Tom Petty was right — most things we worry about never happen anyway.
I’d take it a step further — most of your waking thoughts are completely irrelevant. They’re just random neuronal firings in the brain that mean nothing. They can almost always be ignored.
The first thing any athlete learns in Fredonia’s weight room is how to breathe. Three seconds in through the nose, six seconds out through the mouth. The belly moves first, then the chest moves. Any time a thought enters the mind, come back to breathing. If I could only teach one exercise, it would be breathing.
Breathing this way relaxes the mind. It decreases muscle tension and pain. It puts the diaphragm in a position so the abdominal muscles can function more effectively. But it also reminds the athlete, “Oh, those thoughts weren’t true. I should probably get back to what I was doing.”
Attention is just another muscle to be trained.