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Don't Sweat the Future

        Health | Stress Management

How Not Sweat the Future

6. Stay Grateful

If you look around, you'll notice that the happiest people, those who worry and "sweat" the least, are constantly rejoicing at what they have and what's right about life. Because they are in the habit of seeing life in this way, they are hopeful and optimistic about the future.

Unhappy people, on the other hand, seem to be constantly complaining about what's lacking and what's wrong with life. Sweating about the future is a natural extension of their gloomy outlook.

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more attention we give something, the more it expands. In other words, when you focus on something that irritates you, you'll find more and more things to be irritated about. On the other hand, when you focus on the beauty of life and on that which is good, you'll tend to see plenty of that as well.

This isn't to suggest that we should ignore problems or pretend they don't exist. In fact, just the opposite is true. A bright future requires that we do all we can to solve problems and make the world a better place, yet at the same time learn to acknowledge and appreciate the good that exists as well. A positive, grateful focus encourages more of the same in the future.

Gratitude is a powerful antidote to stress. It keeps us hopeful and our spirits high. It reduces our tendency to worry, which keeps us wise and kind. Gratitude keeps us focused on solutions instead of riveted to problems. It will make our lives happy today, while at the same time insuring a brighter tomorrow.