“I can’t stop worrying.” “I am such a worrier.” “I come from a long line of worriers.”
What would it feel like to not worry? How much time and energy would you get back in your life if worrying wasn’t a thing?
I know…right now you’re thinking, “no way,” it’s impossible for me to stop worrying. I am here to tell you it IS possible. To start the process, we you must understand what worrying is.
According to Webster’s definition, worry is to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
First of all, let’s highlight a KEY word in the above definition – ALLOW. Which boils down to, you get to choose. So, let’s be clear and agree that worrying is your choice. Are you with me? Good.
Worrying is not just the way you are. And although you most likely picked up this gift that keeps on giving from your parents or grandparents, the bottom line is worrying is your own doing.
Worrying is to place your focus on one thing assuming and thinking it will be or end in a certain way. You can create intensity of worry about arriving late to a meeting, failing in your marriage or surviving a disease you don’t even have. Your topics of worry may vary, but there is no limit to what you worry about.
The truth is you suffer far more in your imagination then in reality.
So, what do you do?
1. Practice awareness of when you are worrying. That feeling of unease, an increased heart rate, anxiousness, depression, perhaps overwhelm. Start to recognize your worry symptoms.
2. Embrace that you are at choice to allow your thoughts to create that feeling of worry. When you hear the little voice whispering worries, simply notice it. Then say, “thank you but no thank you” and detach from the thought. As in physically picture yourself letting it go.
3. Know that worrying doesn’t help you or your situation…ever. In fact, it robs you of your present and steals your mental energy.
4. BE. HERE. NOW. Practice bringing yourself into the present moment. When you are actively focused and engaged in what is real and what is happening right now, then you will not be focused on the worry of what might be.
It’s not an overnight shift, but through awareness and consistency of practice, you have the power to stop worrying.