Are you a worrier? Does it help?
I was wracked by worry. And all it helped me to do, was find more things to worry about. It would keep me up at night, worrying about the same thoughts over and over. And then I was worried about not getting enough sleep!
I realized that this worrying was just a habit. Just a bad, exhausting habit. And like any habit, it can be changed. It just takes effort and repetition to create a New habit.
So I investigated ways to create a new habit.
I started drilling new inner dialogues.
I focused on meditation to give my mind a rest from all thoughts.
I started consciously focussing on being more Heart Centered, and focused more on Love.
And do you know what has happened since?
Less and less worries find their way to me to fret about. I actually have a physical aversion now to watching too much T.V. I have no time to read rants online, or focus too long on complaints. Best of all, I keep getting ideas about how to share more Joy, and feel more Love!
Abraham Hicks says:
If you can rid yourself of worry, you will rid yourself of things to worry about.
It’s really that simple.
Try it out for yourself. Unless you’re worried like I used to be, that your “problems” will get out of hand if you were to stop stewing over them…
Do you know what a problem is? A problem is only something that is made up in your mind. When you realize that, then you can change your mind, and that problem is no more.
It can be as simple as that.
Now, does it take practice to be able to simply change your mind? You bet your sweet bippy it does. But it’s so worth it.
Do you want to keep the awful, worrisome thing in your life? Then go ahead and keep railing against it. Keep thinking about it, and fretting over it. But if you want it gone, then take your mind off of it, and start focussing on another subject.
Even better, start telling yourself that you are someone who doesn’t focus on problems. Start telling yourself that you are someone who doesn’t worry.
In my studies on how to change my habit of worry, I came across a fascinating book:
What to Say When you Talk to Yourself, by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D.
In it, Dr. H outlines a way to help create “self-change”, by adjusting your inner dialogue. You give yourself a new script of thoughts to think and speak to yourself.
So I started this practice of Self-Talk, and I would listen to a recording of myself saying things like:
I do not worry.
My mind is in tune with the positive.
My mind is bright, cheerful, enthusiastic, and full of positive thoughts and ideas.
By repeatedly speaking those ideas to myself, and repeatedly hearing me speak those thoughts, it helped me to believe them (again).
This may sound like programming, but guess what: your repetitive thoughts are exactly that. And if you aren’t aware of what your running self dialogue is, then just observe your world perspective.
Are you optimistic, joyful, and lighthearted? Or are you pessimistic, cynical, and worried? What’s your mental temperature? It’s caused by your beliefs. And your beliefs are the repetitive thoughts that you speak to yourself.
When I realized that. I actively and consciously started creating a new repetitive habit of positive, calm, peaceful, and joyful thoughts to speak to myself. And I’ve found that actively practicing to feel good about myself, is a way out of the pit of worry.
But this is just one tool, and it only works with your brain and your mind’s mental programming. It’s the tool in my toolbox that I like to call the old bait and switch. “Oh you want to have something to ruminate on brain? Sure, let’s ruminate…” and then you speak to it with all of your new positive self talk!
Another amazing tool I’ve developed is to meditate each day. Meditation is simply a practice to quiet the chatter, detach from the thoughts, and to calm your mind.
I approached meditation as a way to give my mind a rest from all thoughts. It gives the machine in my head a recharge and a daily reboot. I figured that if it helped to just shut off the copier at work when it acted up… you know, to unplug the thing when it got overheated or jammed (with worries?)… that if I gave it a rest for a minute and then plugged it back in to reboot itself… that it always seemed to be the trick to helping the copier run better… So then why not try the same method for my brain? Why not give my brain a rest and unplug it for a few minutes a day?
This has helped me in so many ways. Most notably, calming my mind has helped me to feel more into my heart center.
My wonderful friend Jessie, who teaches Behavioral Mastery, inspires so many others to
give yourself a moment to make space inside and allow your wisdom to bubble up.
She wrote in her inspiring blog What Moves You, this brilliant thought:
We just have to quiet the noise upstairs to hear what’s best for us from the basement.
This sublime analogy of hers is pointing to the loving wisdom and relief you can experience when you move away from your brain chatter, and focus on your heart center. Think less, feel more.
Thinking, thinking, thinking… It doesn’t solve your problems. It just turns into worry, worry, WORRY, with no solution in sight. And do you know why? Because your brain is too full of thoughts of the problem, so there’s no room for anything else.
What if the solution isn’t supposed to come from your brain? What if we are being wracked with worry, because we’re using the wrong resource to find a solution, and so that’s why we get clobbered by the angst of disquiet? What if the solution is supposed to come from your heart?
Einstein (you know that brainy dude with the Doc Brown hair?), said:
The problems of our world cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Spiritual teacher Gary Zukav advises to Trust the Universe. He says:
Trust allows Bliss and Laughter. Why not choose the road of Bliss and Laughter?
Sounds like a pretty sweet road to me. And you know that road is much easier on your shock absorbers than the rough road of worry and stress!
Steve Wozniak, (you know that tech genius who co-founded a little company named Apple, Inc?) has said :
I’ve learned not to worry so much about the outcome, but to concentrate on the step I was on, and to try to do it as perfectly as I could when I was doing it.
He’s commenting on success, but it also falls in line with the key to happiness. Don’t worry so much on the outcome, just focus on the now. Focus on what is right in front of you. Focus on the moment you are in. Also, happiness equals success, so I think he may have been talking about happiness after all.
Another feeling that can plague us is overwhelm. In fact, getting overwhelmed is like getting an upsell on your worries. “Oh, you’re worried about all the steps it’s going to take to find success? Let’s add on a helping of overwhelm for $1.50 more!”
What can help when you’re overwhelmed? Certainly not more thoughts.
How about Faith?
Just like the Woz advises to concentrate on the step you are on, Martin Luther King Jr. famously said:
Take the first step in Faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first step.
Where do you find Faith? I don’t think it’s from a thought in your brain. I think it’s from a feeling, in your heart.
A big lesson that I’ve learned in investigating this subject, are that floods of worry thoughts just happen, you can’t control them. So you can’t really let go of what you have no control over.
But you can question the thoughts.
Like Byron Katie teaches in The Work; you can ask:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
3. How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
She has helped so many people with this simple series of questions, to realize that when they do this inquiry, that they don’t let go of the thoughts, the thoughts let go of them.
I used to stay up all night fretting over potential catastrophes, big and small, as if I was rehearsing for them. But because I was concocting the whole scenario in my agitated (and exhausted) imagination, it never worked out alright! This only kept me up longer, tossing and turning in a state of panic. Have you ever been there?
Have you noticed that when you worry about a potential scenario in your imagination, that you are a lot less effective than when you actually face the situation in real life?
Why is that?
I think it’s because when faced with it, you are just being in the moment, and focused in actions, rather than in some worked up nightmare that was imagined in your anxious brain. Being in the moment, let’s you BE in action. You’re not thinking then, you are be-ing. And you definitely have no time to worry.
The Dalai Lama says:
If a problem is fixable, then there is no need to worry.
If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.
Shakespeare says (through Lady Macbeth):
What’s done is done.
Eckhart Tolle says:
Worry pretends to be necessary, but serves no useful purpose.
I know firsthand that worry serves only to be a destructive and addictive habit. But it’s a habit that you can change. There are tools to help you. I have a whole box of them. More importantly, I have trust and faith in the Universal God Source, that I can tap into by being more heart centered.
When I was a chronic worrier, I couldn’t sleep. Now I can sleep much better. And a rested brain is a much more calm brain. And a calm brain allows you to get out of your head with ease, and get into your heart. With this you can think less, and feel more.
So these are some lessons I have learned, some examples on how I handle worry, and peppered in are words of wisdom from respected sources. I thank you for considering them, but I know that these are just my experiences that I’ve written out for you.
Abraham Hicks likes to always say:
Words don’t teach. Only life experiences can.
But I’m not worried about how you take this. I offer these words with Love.
You have to go through your own process. You have to experience life circumstances with worry as your companion, and experience life circumstances with dropping worry… and then see for yourself which way you like better.
For me, its to go without worry, and I intend to stay heart centered, focused on Love as my anchor. That helps me take my attention off of any worry.
Think less, feel more.
There is much love here for you,