How to stop worrying (& enjoy life more!)
Easier said than done right?
I’m sure you agree that worrying is toxic. It sucks the juicy life force out of us- leaving us tight, exhausted and on constant edge.
And no matter how much we know it’s futile in our intelligent little heads, it’s sooooo easy to get caught up in its menacing web.
Yesterday something happened that flung open the gates for a full on worry invasion. I won’t go into the details but let’s just say I made a mishap that triggered a whole fantasy of What if's that thought they'd set up a circus in my mind.
The ‘incident’ happened just a couple of hours before I was due to head for my yoga class and for one mad moment I considered bailing from my much needed stretch - I mean how could I give myself to my yoga practice with this going on? ( I know from the place of being centred and in my power that's exactly the time I need my yoga, but when you're in the grip of Worry it's easy to lose sense of ourselves as you'll well know ).
Then I had a moment of clarity. ~ Breathe. Uncoil. Air. Light ~
The mistake I’d made (the worry 'trigger') had happened. I'd done everything I could do to influence the situation favourably and the next hour would pass regardless of whether I was fretting in worry's dark den or in deep bliss on my yoga mat. So I had a choice. I could choose to let myself be entertained by the bad movie Worry wanted to play out or I could walk away and find a more enjoyable hang out.
I donned my yoga gear and headed to my class.
Please remember this:
When you’re locked in worry you’re actually living a fantasy- a movie. You’re identifying with all of the things that could and might happen in the future as though they are genuinely going to happen (the mind can't distinguish between the present, past or future. It simply responds to whatever you're thinking as it's current reality). Just like getting sucked into a horror move, we become so ‘in’ that place that we loose perspective and forget that it’s just a movie!
Here's where we go wildly off track:
We assume that by "mulling it over" we can somehow magically ‘cure’ the thing that we’re worried about. Come up with the golden key, the mother of all solutions. Ironically, all it does is get us deeper entangled in the worry web and pushing clarity and inner peace further away- the very thing that we're really searching for by all that "mulling it over" and "figuring it out"! It's like going on a frantic search for the perfect party dress when you already have the dream one hanging up in your wardrobe...
Below are my top tips if you find yourself entangled in the worry web:
ACKNOWLEDGE & RELEASE
Get clear on what it is you’re worried about and acknowledge it's a worry and thus just a thought/ illusion. Just as a horror movie doesn’t feel as scary when you remind yourself it’s ‘just a movie’, the worried thoughts don’t feel as bad when you acknowledge it’s just a worry thought.
Then release it. You can do this just by saying to out loud to yourself “I’m worried about X and Y but I am going to let it go because it’s just a worry”.
Journaling can be a really great outlet for this too. Just let your worries and concerns spill out across the page- the very act of writing can feel immensely freeing. Then to anchor the 'release' just tear it up or even burn it-- do whatever you need to do.
ADDRESS IT FROM YOUR POWER
I love this exercise as it creates such an instant shift. Now you’ve pinpointed your worry, address it from your higher self. Take a deep breath, center yourself and speak back to it from your inner wisdom. Think of a time you’ve felt strong, empowered maybe finishing that 10k you worked so hard towards or climbing a big mountain. What would that version of you say back to your worry? Somehow that 'higher self' always has a way of giving instant perspective for our greater good and well being.
WHAT CAN I DO TO FEEL LESS WORRIED & THEN SWEEEET SURRENDER
What’s in your control that you can do to help alleviate the worry? So with my example above, I knew that I could send a couple of emails and make a few calls to help get the situation resolved. But then I realised that beyond that there was nothing else I could do. I had to freely surrender and trust that it would be OK and that whatever was going to happen, I'd learn from the experience. There is such power in that moment of surrender as you close the gates to Worry and instead open them wide open for the Uni-verse, divine energy (whatever feels right for you to call it) to rush in. When you allow this to happen you'll often find the solutions you were desperately trying to grasp at before spontaneously arise with an irresistible inner knowing and resolve.
(if you wanna go a little deeper into the power of surrender then check out this fab vlog by the inspiring Gabby Bernstein )
KNOW THE TIME WILL PASS ANYWAY.....
.....and it's your choice as to how you spend that time. This quote captures it perfectly “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” ~ Erma Bombeck . Rather than using up your energy to rock that figurative rocking chair, exert it into something that will be productive and useful- but be gentle with yourself! This doesn't mean being 'productive' to try and solve the thing you're worried about (because then you're still captive to the worry and really that uptight mistress has the reigns). Instead think about what will make you feel better- be it going for a long run to sweat it all out, trying that new recipe or calling that friend you've been meaning to get in touch with.
WHAT’S THE BEST CASE SCENARIO?
Rather than worrying about all the negative possibles ask yourself: What's the best case scenario? Things feel very different when you approach it from this perspective don’t they?
How do you deal with the worry monster? I'd love to know any approaches you take that work for you
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