WORRY IS NEVER NECESSARY!
Do you do this? - fixate on an anticipated problem and, in effect, start behaving as if it were real - devoting your time and energy to thinking about it and agonizing over all the terrible potential outcomes?
The truth is, almost none of the things people worry about ever come to pass.
And those few worries that do materialize into real-life challenges? They won’t be prevented by sitting there worrying about them. It only brings their effects into your life sooner…so you’re meeting trouble halfway…
There are a few steps you can take to stop worry happening – because it is NEVER NECESSARY TO WORRY
1) What are you worried about? – look at the worst case scenario:
For example, are you worried about the stability of your job because of the state of “the market” or “the economy”… or because you know you haven’t been performing at the top of your game lately? So you’re going to be sacked!!
Are you worried about your health because of a lingering ache or pain that hasn’t improved? So you have the big C!!!
…or are you worrying about your lack of financial security? So you’re going to be destitute and out on the streets!!
2) What are the actual FACTS of this worry?
The next time you find your mind occupied with worry or start a sentence with, “I’m worried about…”, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this worry based in any sort of fact or truth? E.g. Does a downturn in the economy ACTUALLY mean you’ll be sacked?
Reality-based worries are legitimate concerns. But worrying is the 100% wrong response to them.
3) Make peace with the facts...don't beat yourself up over them.
For example you might be worried about your financial situation – well maybe you could have started a pension, or tried to pay off debts etc. but you haven’t up till now. SO – make peace with that – it is what it is, you are in this situation but you don’t have to berate yourself for that.
You CAN do something about it.
4) Make a decision about WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL RIGHT NOW
You can only change your thoughts and feelings right NOW.
Worry of the vague, more free-floating variety, about imagined outcomes or events beyond your control, is simply a case of choosing negative thoughts over positive ones.
The key word there is ‘choosing’. Which means the remedy is also simple.
Every time a worrisome thought bubbles up, you must purposefully, proactively replace the accompanying mental images with different, better ones. There are a million ways to do this.
But a great way taught to me by the wonderful Rebecca T. Dickson is this: when you have negative thoughts leading you to worry, and these are all based on fear of something, write down what they are like this:….my MIND tells me ..”I’m going to lose my job” or whatever, then tell yourself: …but I SAY THAT... I’m great at my job, the economy will have an upturn, I can get another job anyway…
For every 1 Fear, you have to write 3 other positive things to refute it. Try this! It really works! Other ways to feel more positive might be to list all the things you are grateful for in your life; watch your favourite show on TV; read some inspiring words; go for a walk in nature. And so on.....
Then you can take action instead of worrying!
You can DO something about those concerns. As soon as possible. Make an appointment with your doctor. Refocus at work, talk to your bank if you need to. Write down a list of the ACTIONS you can take that will give you control of the events that create your actual future, instead of allowing fear of an imagined future control you. THEN DO IT!
There is nothing less productive, or more destructive, than worrying — and there’s no reason to do it! You always have the power to eliminate your worries, either by taking a new ACTION, or choosing a new THOUGHT.
Remember – you don’t have to respond to ANY thought you think – most of your habitual thinking was absorbed from other people when you were under the age of 7. Does it still hold true for you now? Also remember that your mind has a negativity bias – it’s there to point out all the negative things and dangers that might lurk around you, but is any of that relevant to you now? And of course don’t forget that YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND!
You can allow the negative thinking to pass by and not take it under your notice.
A couple of thousand years ago, Marcus Aurelius said : “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
And Mark Twain famously said: “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
But simply put – by the Dalai Lama : “If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.”
Another way of looking at worry is this – if you’re beset by detailed worst case scenarios all the time, if you’re consistently making yourself feel bad by imagining disasters in your life, then you have a powerful imagination. That’s great! Start using it to imagine great things happening, and wonderful scenarios coming to you in the future! You’ll feel better and you’ll be attracting positive things into your life!
Ok...quick summary of the four steps to STOP worry:
1) what are you worried about? - worst case scenario.
2) what are the actual FACTS of this worry?
3) make peace with the facts...don't beat yourself up over them.
4) make a decision about WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL RIGHT NOW. You can only change your thoughts and feelings right NOW.
Then you can take action instead of worrying! ...and remember - it is NEVER NECESSARY to worry!
We would like to thank Doreen Ritchie - Life and Executive Coach, Published Author and Queens University Tutor, for providing Keenan Recruitment with the wonderful steps to stop worry.
We hope this helps everyone to reduce the amount of worrying you do, or at least look at what you can control right now. If you would like to discuss any problems you have in more detail, please contact Doreen Ritchie https://www.facebook.com/Doreen.Ritchie.LifeCoach to book a complementary consultation and find out how coaching can help YOU!