Hakuna Matata

There are two words to solve your problems this month: Hakuna Matata.

In The Lion King movie, Pumbaa the warthog tells Simba the lion about two words that will solve all of his problems: Hakuna Matata. “It means no worries for the rest of your days,” sings Timon the meerkat.

Though it might not solve all of your problems, being worry-free is good for your health because it allows you to face difficulties in a calmer manner. Worry is a symptom of anxiety. Anxiety is the fear of losing something or of being hurt, as defined by Dr. David Viscott in his book The Language of Feelings.

To ease your anxiety and live the Hakuna Matata lifestyle, try one or more of these strategies:

1. Dab Sandalwood Essential Oil on Your Wrists
A Japanese study found that the molecule santalol, found in sandalwood essential oil, eases worry and can help you sleep better. Dab a couple of drops of the oil on the inside of your wrists to enjoy Hakuna Matata within minutes.

2. Stay in the Moment
Chronic worriers have constant chatter in their minds, often based on “what ifs.” What if I don’t do well? What if somebody finds out my secret? What if I don’t have enough money? What if my spouse leaves me? You get the picture. To enjoy Hakuna Matata, turn off the chatter about future events that might not even happen. Fear is:
FALSE
EXPERIENCES
APPEARING
REAL

When we consider how much and what we worry about, if we were to statistically break down all the stress rehearsal type thoughts we have, my bet is that 90 percent of those imagined or rehearsed problems never actually occur. The universe will always bring you what you fear, to teach you to grow beyond it. So, fear nothing.

As long ago as the 1800s, a Scottish writer named Thomas Carlyle gave advice on how to end fear and worrying that still holds true today: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Concentrate your energy on now. If you are multitasking, choose one prioritized task and focus on it before moving onto the next. As business philosopher Jim Rohn once said, “Give whatever you are doing or whoever you are with the gift of your attention.”

3. Create a Plan of Action
When you are worried about a situation, try this formula suggested by Elizabeth Brenner in her book Winning by Letting Go. First, accept the facts of the situation. Denial of a difficult situation will not make it, or your worries, go away. After sorting out the facts, figure out which aspect(s) of the situation you can control. Then focus on what you can achieve, create a plan to achieve it, and then do whatever action is necessary. For example, if you are worried about losing your job, you might not be able to control your company’s decision to lay you off or fire you, but you can take control of your career prospects by searching for a new job or learning new skills to make you a more desirable candidate in the job market.

4. Imagine Yourself Surviving the Worst
Similarly, in his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie suggests imagining the worst that could happen, and then see yourself working through that worst-case situation. After you realize that you can survive whatever life throws your way, you can start singing Hakuna Matata and have no worries for the rest of your days!

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