Whether you are worried about a pet or a person dying, the fear and sadness that go along with it are tremendous. It’s like they’ve already died and you are grieving them, even though you know in the back of your mind they are still alive. It’s important to recognize when you are worrying and switch your thoughts to better ones that help you get rid of that feeling of grief so that you don’t miss out on the time they are alive. Because that’s what’s most important, cherishing your time with them while they are alive.
8 Things You Should Tell Yourself When You Start To Worry About Someone Dying
1. They Are Still Alive
It’s a simple affirmation, but it counteracts the negative affirmation you are telling yourself… they are going to be dead.
One thing to remember is that your brain can’t tell the difference between imagining something and something actually happening. So as you grieve the loss of someone who hasn’t actually died, you are still experiencing the symptoms from that grief as if it was actually happening. The more you do it, the more you experience negative side-effects of grief.
The more you tell yourself that they are still alive, the less you will live in a state of grief and agony.
2. I’m Going To Make Sure I Cherish My Time With Them
To switch up your focus from their death to them being alive, focus on being with them while they are alive.
Affirm to yourself that you cherish your time with them, and you will find yourself making the most out of every minute with them.
If you find that cherishing your time with them causes you to reflect on how sad you will be when they are gone, you may need to add something to this affirmation, such as, ‘I cherish my time with them and feel only happiness.”
3. I Focus On Living In the Present
If you want to stop worrying about the future, be someone who focuses on living in the here and now.
The more you affirm to yourself that you live in the present, the more you will bring your attention back to the present when you get caught up in worry and fear.
One great way to bring yourself back to the present to ask yourself, “Where am I?” This will force you to look around and notice what’s going on around you, which will pull you into the present.
4. I Don’t Know What’s Going To Happen
When we worry about someone dying, we often create a whole scenario in our minds of what is probably going to happen. Sometimes it’s based on our experiences, but oftentimes it’s purely made up. It’s usually very sad and difficult and scary because we have excellent imaginations and tend to focus on the worst-case scenario.
But the fact is that we don’t know what’s going to happen.
- We don’t know if someone is going to die tomorrow or 50 years from now.
- We don’t know how that person will die.
- We don’t know how the experience is going to be for us.
- We can’t predict with accuracy what is going to happen.
So stop trying to. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in a story that is probably not going to happen and start imagining it as fact.
5. Death Is A Part Of Life
This affirmation can be hard, but it’s one that can help you let go of a lot of worry about someone’s death.
When you try to resist death, you spend more time thinking about it.
When affirming that death is a part of life, there is less resistance there and that helps release your focus from death.
In this case, you may want to develop your faith or engage in activities, such as prayer or meditation, that help you boost your faith. It will help you see that while death is a part of life, it might not be the end of life, and that can be extremely comforting when thinking about someone dying.
6. I Can Handle What Comes
Commonly, part of worrying about someone dying is feeling like you won’t be able to handle it.
I have a friend who didn’t think she would be able to handle her dog’s death. While she had lost grandparents and other family members, she had never experienced the loss of a pet that she had taken care of daily for almost 15 years, and the thought of it overwhelmed her and sent her into a deep depression. She didn’t think she could make it through his death and even wondered if it would be easier if she was to die before him.
When he died, she was inconsolable and had a very difficult time moving through the grief. But she did. It took a while, but she came through it and eventually was able to look back on him with happiness instead of sadness. It was a huge lesson in how much she could handle and she carried it going forward.
We are all stronger than we think. Tell yourself that often.
7. I’m Going To Focus On What I Can Control
You can’t control what’s going to happen to them or when, but you can control other things.
- You can control whether or not the time you spend with them is quality time.
- You can control how you treat them.
- You can control how good you make them feel.
- You can control how you react to them.
These are things you can and should control for a happier relationship with them while they are alive.
8. I Enjoy A Positive Mental State Of Mind
Worrying about someone dying brings us into one of the lowest states of mind we can be in. Fear, agony, and grief are all very low states that keep us from enjoying life, accomplishing things, and finding happiness.
You need to tell yourself that you are someone who enjoys a positive mental state of mind. You don’t allow yourself to get stuck in negative thoughts because you don’t enjoy it. You would rather flip the script and think about something better, such as what you are going to do with that person or how you are going to engage with them.
A friend of mine once worked in a continuing care home, where people were living their last stage of life out. On a good week, there was only one death. On a bad week, there was at least one per day. He was close to the residents there and enjoyed their company, personalities, and stories. I asked him how he dealt with knowing that they were going to die and he told me that it was simply a matter of wanting to be positive and uplifting to himself and to them while they were alive. He accepted that death was coming for all of them, but while they were still here, he was going to make them as happy as he could, which in turn made him as happy as he could be.
Once you start feeling the doom and gloom of worry, remind yourself that you enjoy being in a positive state of mind. It’s the best thing you can do for the time you and everyone around you have left.