How has this fine Monday been treating you?
For this week's installment, I want to cover worry. Most of us at one time or another worry about something, some about everything and others don't worry at all. What kind of things do you worry about when you worry? Are you caught up on not reaching a goal? Do you see yourself in a pit and worry if you will ever see the light of day? Do you worry you forgot to turn off the stove? The doctor says there is something that you need a test and now you assume the worst is going to happen? All common things to 'worry' about, but when is worry a problem?
Worry becomes a problem when it affects your daily living. When you stop living your life for fear of an unknown ... anything, You don't want to go to work, because you know that your boss is going to yell at you. But, you don't know that. You might have been spoken to once on an issue and you jump head first into the pit that everytime you go to work you feel you're going to get yelled at. Me personally, it was going to work everyday and not knowing if today was my last. Whether it be some action from me or the fact the business is failing. I have had jobs that I loved and was really good at only to have the rug ripped out from under me. Some of it was my own self sabotage (which I am really good at), but in general not really.
Why do we not want to worry? Worry is actually a state of anxiety. Sometimes we feel this is our way of being concerned. That if I pay enough attention to this, then that won't happen. In the end, it all adds up to nothing. Everything ends up being ok, you have spent the past few days wrought with the possibility of 'What ifs' When we put ourselves into this state we become anxious, fearful. Our bodies then react to that state. We get headaches. We become irritable. We get a queasy stomach. We have trouble sleeping.
Great @tryskele you just described my life in a nutshell, now what??
This is where we go back and focus on being mindful. Most things in life you can find a mindful approach. Ultimately, it come down to recognizing the issue or that you have an issue. Sometimes things get so thick you don't see yourself. So here are some steps to take when you notice that you are feeling this way.
Change your perspective.
Worry as I mentioned is a normal reaction. The brain is trying to tell you to pay attention. When it consumes, it is too much. You need to change the worry to concern. To be in an anxious state actually makes you more anxious.
Accept your feelings
Being mindful is the practice of accepting things as they are and not to pass judgement for those actions. So this makes perfect sense. Acknowledge your feelings. Admit that you are worrying about something. BUT don't get mad at yourself. Your brain is acting in a manner it is use to, to keep you safe. So take a moment, step back and calmly evaluated your body and your feelings. My heart is racing, I'm shaking, my thoughts are just whirling around me. I don't know what to do. You notice all of this. you can do something as simple as I know my heart is racing, I know I am shaking, I know my thoughts are flying around. I am going to take a deep breath and things will calm down, so I can focus. Telling yourself you are bad for how you're feeling just makes it all worse.
Talk to people
Sometimes you are afraid to reach out to someone, because you don't want them to think you're crazy or a burden. Yet, you need to have that feeling of validation. It doesn't make it wrong or right. It is simply, 'I hear what you are saying and I am listening.' If you're friends are like mine. "Yes you are crazy. Yes I love you. But, I am there with you" Harsh, not if you look at it for what it is. It's just acknowledging the words you use. It takes that sometimes to get your brain to hear what is going on.
Lastly, just be aware of yourself. Listen to the signs and signals your body is giving you. You are your best healer. Each thing that you do for yourself, because of taking care of yourself and loving yourself, helps you overcome these challenges when they are presented.
Don't let worry get the best of you. Have compassion and concern, but don't give away your control to an emotion that overreacts. Be mindful, Be present.
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