Have you worried so hard about something only to arrive in the crux of the moment to find out information that completely alleviated the entire situation? Yeah. We’ve all been there. There’s relief that the worst didn’t happen, but there’s also emotional I need to recover from. And we all know how stress is super good for your body, right? (This is an intensely sarcastic statement of course)
There’s a cheat to letting go of worry. Next time you are stressing over a future event ask yourself, “Is this my future self’s problem?” Your future self has information that your current self doesn’t have. You’re putting in the work to be a healthy and whole human so trust your future self to handle the issue and continue to focus on your now.
For example, It’s Sunday and you get a text from work saying that tomorrow you have to take care of a huge issue and all the possibly complications are in place just for extra fun. You sit and stew. You think about all the possible scenarios to fix the problems. You start anticipating all the reactions from the people involved and what you’re going to say to them. On Monday morning you roll up to your office with that ball of stress in your stomach ready to take a beating. And then it happens, “Oh, well, it turns out it was actually not what we thought and everything is alright.” The deflation is real. Your heart and stomach both feel relieved but confused and definitely like they went through the washing machine.
You literally just had two Mondays because your Sunday was eclipsed by the Mondayness you were anticipating.
If you got that text and instead said to yourself, “Is there anything I can do about this right now?” No? Now, the trick: “Will future me will be more informed to handle this appropriately tomorrow? Yes. Then right now I’m going to enjoy this moment, these people, this beer, this view and be refreshed for the onslaught tomorrow.”
Now you get Sunday AND Monday. You have not lost a day in your life to unnecessary stress. I mean, I’d also like to interject here and say that your work is super rude for texting you on Sunday. Hello, boundaries.
This trick applies to a stress of any size. Worried about that cocktail hour where you’ll probably run into your ex? Future self’s problem because a thousand things could happen to change the situation before you get there. Stressing about how you’re going to finish all these projects by that date? Get organized, trust your systems, and do what you are capable of. You never know what might be taken care of for you by the time you get there.
Using this trick gives you permission to arrive back in the moment. It can be so challenging to sift through what today is giving us and what tomorrow is asking for because almost all actions in life require some kind of preparation. Asking yourself if you can let this be future self’s problem is an easy way to sort out what needs your attention right now and what you can leave for 10 minutes, days, months, or years from now.