5 Ways To Make You Stop Worrying. Right. Now.
1. Worrying feels bad…It just does.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Feeling good is better than feeling bad. Worry will always make you feel bad. In some cases, with trauma or a short in our thinking so to speak, it is almost impossible to stop worrying. But what about when it is possible? We’ve all said, “Oh, that? I’m not going to worry about that…”
This implies that you have the ability to actually stop worrying…and, it’s true. You often do.
Remember that just because you keep having a worrisome thought over and over does not mean that it’s important or even true.
You may have found it strangely comforting to worry. It sounds weird, I know. But if this is your go-to place, the normality of it will actually soothe you in a way. However, this means you are missing out on the luxury of not worrying in the first place! No worry will feel far better then worry every time, I promise.
Try moving out of your thought comfort zone. See if you’re able to and then stick with it for as long as you can. Soon, you’ve stopped worrying altogether.
2. You can stop worrying whenever you want to…It’s a conscious choice.
Yep, it’s true!
I had a client once that was fighting with his wife, so they were giving one another the silent treatment. He heard from a mutual friend that she had some sort of doctor’s visit and didn’t know why or what had happened.
Rather than assume all is well until otherwise notified (I mean, she could have been having a yearly check up!), he became very worried. What if she had cancer? What if she was dying??? He needed to know and right now, had a right to know and was super fired up about it.
I asked him, “What if she is sick? What if you have to take care of her and wait on her hand and foot for the rest of your life? What if the future really is awful?”
“Why do you need to know that right now? Right this second? Don’t you owe it to yourself to enjoy what is, right now? Why rob yourself of the bliss of the present moment? Right now, all is well.”
He immediately relaxed. Was able to even smile and find a moment of peace. Try talking yourself through the worry. Occasionally, the logical mind can help you through it.
If not, try a quick nervous system reset. Allow the thoughts to come in and go out. Regardless of the content, just let thoughts be like waves coming in to the shore and to the sea. Then, bring your attention to your toes. What does it feel like having shoes against them? Are they cold? What is supporting them? This will lure your attention from the worrisome future into the now (where everything is happens anyway!) and worry will dissipate and eventually disappear.
Ignorance really is bliss.
A way that you can start to train yourself that worry is a choice is by simply repeating the mantra, “I can worry about this or not worry about this…what do I get if I worry? What do I get if I don’t worry?”
Right now, someone might actually be very angry with you and you don’t have a clue. Isn’t not knowing that information pretty nice? If a situation arises and you have to deal with this angry person, so be it. But, right now, all is well. So, own it!
You could deny that, but then you’d be worrying. And, worrying feels bad, remember? 😉
I know a lot of you may be thinking, “I don’t want to live in a fantasy land! I need to know what’s going on! I need to make a plan for the future!”
Or, are you just reaching for something new to worry about out of habit? Could you be just rejecting the present moment and latching on to something that may or may not happen in the future?
3. The future isn’t even real.
We can talk about what happened yesterday, but the past is simply what we remember…little bits and pieces of memory lying around with our perceptions, beliefs and meaning applied and wrapped around it. Regardless of what it looks like or how you feel about it, it’s over. Done. By the way, this is why regret is useless, but that’s a whole other blog…
We can contemplate the future easily. Even if we chose the opposite of worry and had a positive outlook, the future still isn’t real.
Simply put, the future is based on the past. The only way we can even wrap thought around it is by thinking about what’s already happened, and we already know that the past isn’t real.
So, all we really only have is Now. This moment. This presence. Here’s the best news…Now, is awesome!!!!
Now, is perfect and wonderful and available to you whenever you want it. Virtually, whenever you want to feel good. I like how Eckart Tolle suggests just asking yourself, “Am I still breathing?” and magically, you are whisked away into the loveliness of the very moment that is now. And, this feels good.
“Am I still breathing?’ -Eckart Tolle
Now is perfect. So, why push it? Choose now. Not worry.
One of the best ways to live a worry-free life using this approach is to take up meditation. If meditation was a pill, it would be a billion dollar industry. No worries is one of the many, many benefits that a regular meditation practice can give you. Come try it out at my office on Friday mornings at 9:30am. The Decatur Meditator meets there every week and all are welcome whether you are brand new or a seasoned vet. If you’re new and really want to dig in on the “how” of meditation, come to one of my Meditation Workshops.
If you are repeatedly and consciously choosing a worry route, then you may be confused about what worry is…
4. Worry is much, much different than planning.
We’ve been trained to anticipate the future, so it can be hard to let go of its grasp on us. We even teach it to our kids in preparing for the next school day or event. It’s good to be prepared and to plan but many of us think that worrying is a form of preparation and I assure you, it is not.
If you’re someone who can admit that worry is like an old familiar friend, it is only because it’s how you’ve dealt in the past. It’s what you normally do in situations like this, so it’s like a security blanket. Your brain loves sameness and repetition so worrying may even make you feel like you are in control.
If you can switch those worry thoughts to actual planning behaviors, you will feel much more comforted and in control in the long run. Making a packing list for the beach trip and putting what you need into your carry on luggage will serve you far better than worrying, “Will it rain the whole time? Will my flight be delayed?” I promise…
Planning is different than worrying. A good rule of thumb with any disturbing thought is to check in and assess the thought. If thinking about something isn’t serving you, the thought isn’t necessary and therefore may be a bit easier to let go. Just allow it to move right back into the sea of consciousness.
Plus, it’s imperative that you begin to practice thinking about what you want rather than what you don’t want…
5. When you worry, You are actually creating exactly what you don’t want.
Scientists say that we take in 400 BILLION bits of information per SECOND! Since this is way too much for our sorry selves to recognize, we are only allowed 2,000 bits of information per second into our consciousness. Wow. This means that we are only actually experiencing 1/2 of one millionth of a percent of what is actually going on…this will get your thoughts about reality in check, huh?
How about if I told you that you would only get 1/2 of one millionth of a percent of your paycheck!?
This means that your brain must discern what to allow in…so, it simply works on the assumption that you are thinking about what you want, not what you don’t want. It’s a physiological survival thing. When you’re cold, you don’t think about freezing to death, you think about a coat or a blanket. When you’re hungry, you don’t think about starving to death, you think about food for goodness sake!
This is why when you’re pregnant, every one is pregnant. This is why you see the car you want everywhere. You’re brain says, “Oh, you want that?! There it is!” All those pregnant ladies were there when you were in college thinking about boys and music, you just didn’t see them. You saw cute boys and concert flyers instead…get it?
So, here is the cool part! You get to decide what your 2,000 parts are going to be simply by thinking about what you want in your life rather than what you don’t want! It’s the coolest thing…try it out. Think about free cups of coffee a couple times a day, a big sale at work or even a lottery ticket that’s a winner, and just see what your consciousness can bring you…
Much love and light to you,