Worrying is a futile and stressful habit. Most people recognize this but don’t know how to free themselves from their “worry prison.” It’s helpful to understand how the worry habit is learned, why your subconscious mind perceives worry as helpful, how problem solving can replace worry, and how to give “no worry” suggestions to yourself. By understanding the “worry prison” problem you can be worry free. Here are tips on how to stop worrying.
Worry can run, even ruin, your life. Worry can not only be an unnecessary burden on yourself but it can also be stressful for those around you. Worrying is pessimistic and focuses on negative outcomes. In fact, worry can actually bring about what you fear most. Worrying creates an energy that surrounds you and is sent out into the world. It then tends to create that which its focus is. Worry can convince you that what you worry about is actually true. You then tend to communicate, act, and react accordingly. In this way you become a powerful force in perpetuating and creating that which you fear.
Some people worry to the point of imagining terrible consequences. This kind of worrying is called catastrophic thinking. Catastrophic thinking is thinking that exaggerates and focuses on disastrous results. This can send you into unnecessary depression and anxiety. Catastrophic thinking can be dangerous and should be addressed with the help of a qualified professional.
The worry habit is learned most often in childhood. Frequently the worrier has a parent who worries. To the child watching a parent worry is a strong suggestion that worrying is a good thing. Since children don’t analyze and see their parents as ultimate authority, it is natural that the child decide that worrying has value. A rational adult looking objectively can see that not only is worry futile but it can be destructive. But even a rational adult can be stuck in the “worry prison” until he rationally analyzes the problem.
On a subconscious level worry can be seen as potentially helpful. “If I worry about the problem then my focused attention on it will some how offer a solution to the problem.” “Worry helps me pay attention to the problem so that I won’t be caught off guard if the worst happens.” In these ways worry can be perceived as not only being helpful but as comforting and constructive. It is perceived as a way of solving a problem. Actually the opposite is true. The worry habit is a problem in itself and can create negative results.
So what is a productive solution to worry? First realize that worry is not helpful. Then shift your focus to something that is helpful. Ask yourself, “What can I do, think, or communicate that is helpful?” Shift your focus from fretting to problem solving. Ask yourself what steps you can take that will actually help bring about a positive result. Be proactive. Do something that helps.
What can you do when it seems that there is nothing that can be done? Consider the power of meditation and prayer. Evidence shows that positive thinking is as powerful as negative thinking. Both are creative forces. Instead of worrying shift your focus to the positive.
Find peace of mind through accepting what you cannot change. Change what you can. Leave the rest up to God. Research shows that people who are spiritual or religious and/or have a philosophy that embraces a loving God can let go more easily. Their trust in the ultimate outcome of all of life’s mysterious circumstances sees them through life’s trials. Acceptance is a wonderful gift you can give yourself. It offers the opening door to beginning anew.
Another powerful way of solving your worry problem is through auto-suggestion. Here are some tips on how you can talk to yourself. You can do this while sitting with your eyes closed or you can simply do it while doing something like walking or completing some rote task. First focus within and quiet your mind. Say to yourself, “It is safe to let this go for the moment. I will do what I can and let go of the rest. I accept whatever results from this situation. I can cope with whatever happens. I am embraced by a comforting power that loves me and wants only the best for me.” If you are comfortable with it, speak out loud to yourself. Your subconscious mind responds to the spoken word as a directive.
So, my dear friend, throw worry out the window. Begin a new life that is worry free, be proactive in problem solving, accepting of life’s pitfalls, and engage yourself in positive self-talk. You deserve peace of mind.