If only we could stop worrying we would be happy. Worry wastes our time and steals our joy. However, the ability to stop worrying is more about the effort we put into focusing on other things instead of recirculating the thoughts that bombard our brains with doubt and fear.
Worry has a powerful grip on many of us.
It wasn’t too long ago that I realized I was going to be forever miserable unless I learned how to stop worrying. These thoughts are all a part of what I learned in my search to be free from worry.
People who can’t stop worrying about things in their life have already experienced something in the past that was devasting for them. The deep-rooted reasons we worry could be from past experience or our fear of the future.
Some of us just can’t see past the negative possibilities that could happen in our life. We worry we won’t do well if we try something new. Or, we can’t stop worrying about how other people might hurt us.
Sometimes worry is anxiety that we get from our ancestors because of our genetic makeup (this is a simplified explanation). We don’t hear a lot about it, but many children who get anxiety also have parents who experience anxiety. This is because brain chemistry is similar in families, just like disease runs in families.
There is a way to stop worrying.
Roy T. Bennett, an inspirational author on controlling our thoughts, said, “instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
When I look at that quote, I see two things that conflict with each other. Loss of control (no control) and the ability to create (receive control). Afterall, don’t we all want more control of our circumstances, life, happiness, etc.? Of course we can’t control everything that happens in life, but we can control how we react to life experiences.
When we worry about things we give up control of our minds, and when we do that, the negative always wins.
We need to bombard every negative thought and everything we say with a positive spin. And we need to get so good at it that we take situations that seem impossible and find something good in them. When something that worries us hits us hard, and we can’t see anything positive about it we need to focus on something else entirely, anything enjoyable, and fight like hell to not go back to that impossible thought.
But, be careful we don’t fall into denial, where we tell ourselves that we never have to change something terrible that’s happening to us because someday it will get better. Living with abuse in any form, addiction, or neglect isn’t something we can think our way through.
Negative and Positive are Opposites. When One is Gone The Other Dominates
Sometimes life turns the way we let it, but when we master how we react to life, we can gain empowerment and success. In other words, worry doesn’t have the power over us anymore!
We can control how we look at everything, but we have to choose to do it, and we have to make that choice attentively at first until it becomes a habit. Then worry won’t be the driving force in our life. Focusing on creating our experience the way we want it to be should be the new driving force in our life!
Where do we start? Below is a list of things we can do to drive worry out of our life.
- Define and write down the things that cause us to worry. Example: I’m worried I’ll never have the energy to do everything I need to do to be a good Mom to my new baby.
- For each worry write a positive way to think about that particular worry. Example: Worry won’t help me be a good Mom nor will it give me energy. One thing I can do to feel energetic is to rest when my baby sleeps.
- Every time the worry comes back to your mind counter the thought with the better impression, like: I already am dealing with that by getting more rest. This is how I’m creating my life to be better, and how I’m creating more energy.
- Go deeper. Every worry spreads into lots of concerns. The worries of being a good Mom isn’t only about the energy. Write down the other worries that connect with the first worry. Example: Worries of keeping the baby safe, paying all expenses, needs of the baby as she grows up, good schools, healthy food, health, good friends, good babysitters, etc.
- Now write down everything you already have been thinking of doing to deal with these issues. Example: I will start a savings account for unexpected and regular expenses by cutting back on buying junk food and putting that money into a savings account.
- Write down which things you need to research for answers on how to create a better situation. Example: I need to learn more about what my baby needs at each age as she grows. I will do this by reading trusted websites and their recommendations and by reading books written by educated and experienced authors.
- Highlight the things I need to spend time learning.
- Write a list of goals for creating a better life. Example: my goals to help me be a better mom for my daughter are…
- Write a schedule on what I need to do to achieve my goals so you can use it as a guide to creating your future. Here’s one for $10.
- Sit back and revel in the sunny future your dreaming of and creating for you and your child (or whatever your goals are). You just created some controls in your life instead of letting worry control you!
Congratulations! You just created your plan for a no worry lifestyle!
Controlling our thoughts and our perspective on life is the key to happiness. There is no way around it. In my life, I discovered after many years of worrying that I wasted so much time when I could have been creating better things for myself instead.
Now that I know what a difference throwing away worry can make I’ll never go back to that dark place. However, I didn’t gain the habit of changing worry into creating immediately, and some of you may not either. Worry, anxiety, and fear takes time to overcome. Being optimistic is a learned skill for sure! But I think the day I committed to trying a new thought life I felt relief.
Also, there are times you will feel weak from being tired, ill, or overwhelmed. It was these times that I had to keep telling myself just to keep moving forward. Stop looking back at what could have been and start dreaming of what could be in the future. It takes a bit of stubbornness, which is something of which I have plenty!
Again, I believe when a person’s life feels extremely low, that person needs time. Especially people who are at an extremely low point in their life. Some people need more time than others to come out of a rough place. In support of those people, I say take the time you need, try baby steps, and don’t give up. I’ve learned how low life can be, but it can turn around when you least expect it. So make sure you add a dose of self-care and lots of little things to comfort yourself until you’re stronger and feeling better.
Lastly, if you can’t take the first step, and the things you want to try never get started, see your doctor. Some illnesses cause depression, and depression itself can be a vicious cycle of never getting relief. It is much easier for someone in depression to put positive steps into practice once they get the right medicine. People do not have to feel miserable their whole life! And once they are feeling better and able to change things they may not need the meds anymore. Some people have to use them longer, and that’s ok too. Live, Love, and Learn to be happy, it’s worth it!
Please share what you do to feel better when you’re going through a tough time. Ex: a hot bath, a good movie, night out with friends, cuddle by the fire, read a good book, etc. I would love to hear your ideas!