3 Ways to Remove Worry From Your Day
Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Something I have noticed these days in talking with friends is that we all seem to be so worried about everything! For example, I have noticed that my Mom friends seem to be consumed with worry about their children. Things like; are my children getting a good enough education (seriously are they ever going to like reading or have their multiplication tables memorized)? Am I disciplining enough (how do I get them out of the house on time without screaming at them and possibly setting them up for a lifetime of counseling!)? Are they going to grow a second head from having their faces in screens all the time (if I don’t allow them to watch how will I be able to get a little quiet and who will show me how to use my phone?)?
I have also noticed that as I get older I started to worry about money, more specifically financial security (is there such a thing? I can barely make ends meet am I ever going to have enough saved or invested to retire?). Do I stay in this job/career/position that I am very good at and yet brings me a lot of stress and very little, to no joy (can I keep doing this daily grind? If so, to what end?)? My parents are aging, what do I do about that (are they going into a home, into my home?!)? I hear myself having adult conversations, all of a sudden, like my parents did when I was growing up (where did the last decade, or two, go?)! I used to think, why are they so worried? What is the big deal? I get it now!
What can be done about all this worrying? I have found that there is not a lot that can actually be done, except that I can change my experience of these and many more things that create worry on a daily basis. For me I recognize worry as the circular dialogue that is swimming around in my brain that, although I keep thinking about it, rarely seems to come to a conclusion or resolution in a short period of time or ever! Am I alone here? Maybe it shows up differently for you? Regardless, I think that what I am about to say will help!
Here are the 3 things that I do when faced with a worrisome situation:
I ask myself, “Self, can I control this situation, person, thing from happening?” Answer: No, that is right, NO! This may be a hard pill to swallow, but we have no control over anything, EXCEPT how we decide to react or experience the person, situation, or thing! What if rather than being in reaction to people, situations, or things that are happening, you took a step back and just looked at it from the outside? What if you just allowed people, situations and things to happen and didn’t react, just observed? Would it be the end of the world? No, the answer is nothing would happen. Don’t believe me? Try it. Try not taking what someone said or did personally. Try allowing people to make their own decisions and not judge them because they aren’t doing what you would do. Try not blowing your horn because someone is not going fast enough, blocking traffic or won’t go around an obstacle. Spoiler alert: NOTHING HAPPENS! Wait, that is not true, what does happen is you do not waste energy on these people, situations or things! I read in the book “A New Earth,” by Eckart Tolle (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_8?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=a+new+earth+by+eckhart+tolle&sprefix=a+new+ea%2Caps%2C200&crid=3AKWN2FOTD0W) something that stayed with me for years. He said that everything is neutral, that we are the ones that bring energy to what is happening, what is happening has no energy. So, we get to choose if we want to react to anything! This frees up energy to be used in any way you see fit!
The next thing I ask myself is, “Self, is there any benefit to worrying about what this person said or did, this situation or this thing that has happened?” Answer: NO! That is right, NO there is no benefit! Sure, definitely think things through and gather information so that you can make the best decision you can, but there is no benefit to worrying about the outcome because as I said above you cannot control the person, situation or thing that has happened.
Lastly, find a way to release the worry energy. For myself I use meditation, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)/tapping and visualization. I have used the Oprah and Deepak 21-day meditation app (https://chopracentermeditation.com/article/6-oprah_deepaks_21_day_meditation_experience) for years and found that their brief 20-minute meditations can get me calm almost instantly. If you do not have 20 minutes you can set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and put on meditation music from your phone or YouTube. For tapping I refer to Nick Ortner’s Tapping 101 (https://www.thetappingsolution.com/tapping-101/). He is the best person that I have seen explain the technique in the easiest way so that you can get started right away. Tapping is a way to align your meridians, just like acupuncture/acupressure, so that energy is not “stuck” and can continue to flow. You can also use visualization as a tool to eliminate the feelings of worry. They can be quick 5-minute visualizations of the feelings, people, pets, and situations that you would like to experience. I have found visualizing to be extremely effective in shifting my experience and the positive effects can take place instantly.
So, the next time you are challenged by your child, the traffic, or something not going the way you had hoped, go through these 3 steps so that you can move beyond worry! The good news? Now you can be more deliberate on the things that you do put energy on. Also, be kind to yourself because shifting to this way of thinking is not our default setting, so it may take time and practice to get used to it!