Worry is an unwelcomed visitor that if he outstays his welcome will end up stealing from you. A certain amount of worrying can be healthy, allowing us to give our best and not take any unnecessary chances. But excessive worry doesn’t bring with it any benefits. It just takes.
While we are worrying we are physically in the present but mentally in the past or the future. Worrying excessively actually robs us of:
- Our appetite
- Good job performance
In fact it robs us of life.
Fear alerts us to danger and can save our lives: ‘fight or flight’ – adrenaline is released and channelled to get us out of danger. Pain tells us that there is something wrong somewhere, either physically or mentally – something that needs our attention so that we can get it healed and get back to good health. But excessive worry paralyses us from taking any rational, meaningful, or productive action. When you worry your body releases adrenaline but if the adrenaline isn’t used to get us out of danger it goes to our digestive system where it causes feelings of ill-health, and can lead to debilitating illnesses.
Don’t entertain the thief
In the same way that we protect our houses from being broken into by thieves when we are part of a neighbourhood watch scheme, or by putting adequate locks and alarms around the house, we should also set up mental barriers and alarms for when the thief, Worry, wants to rob us.
Instead of letting worry have a party in the rooms of your mind at your expense, take positive determined action to do something that would get your mind engaged: showing him that the lights are on, someone IS at home, and he’s not welcome there.
Don’t focus on what you can’t control.
When you focus on what is out of your control, you are putting yourself in a lose- lose situation: you can’t do anything to help yourself, and you are getting depressed by thinking about it. It’s just a downward spiral. The fuel for your worrying is your attention. The more attention you give to the negative thoughts the stronger they grow.
We are drawn to whatever we focus on.
When you are driving a car, before you turn left you think about it, you look left, and then follow the path that you have seen. It’s the same principle with the human mind. We act on what we see or create in our minds. If we create doubt or worry, that’s the path that we will go down, leading to a roundabout that we enter but never exit. We need to focus on a route that steers away from doubt and onto something that empowers or supports us. Focus on positive things that bring us joy.
Don’t be a victim. Be empowered!
In life good things happen to people as well as bad things. The sooner we come to terms with that, the sooner we can break out of the paralysis of worry. Instead of worrying and being a victim, try to empower yourself by asking questions like:
- What good can come out of this situation?
- How is this the best thing that has happened to me?
- What have I learned from this?
- Go to bed making positive affirmations about yourself.
- Wake up making positive affirmations about yourself.
- Make a list of things to be thankful about and speak them out. Do you have the ability to hear? Some people don’t. Do you have the ability to see? Some people can’t. Do you have friends? Imagine going through life without the ability to see and appreciate beautiful things.
- Make a point of just thinking about positive things, and not talking negatively about anything. Try that for a whole week… one day at a time, and then extend it.
- Exercise routinely. Exercise is a great release for adrenaline and time to focus on building yourself up physically.
Another way of getting your mind off of problems that you have no control over is by helping people with their problems. You can do this by helping a neighbour or volunteering at a local charity that helps the homeless, children suffering with cancer, or people in hospices.
This could help in many ways:
- it helps the sufferer,
- it helps you to make positive use of your time,
- it gives you a feeling of achieving something good and worthwhile,
- it can take your mind of what you have been worrying about, and
- it can even allow you to put your worries into perspective (even though they may be perfectly valid).
Some people like to share problems by talking to someone that they trust. They say that a burden shared is a burden halved. Whilst it won’t resolve your issue it can help to give you some perspective, encouragement, and maybe even help. Counselling services are very good at getting people to talk through their problems and explore ways of coping or dealing with difficult situations.
So, mirror, signal, manoeuvre…
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
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