Me too. Or at least I used to be.
I was an insane worry wort. If there was something to worry about, however small, I could do it. And I was pretty good at it too. I could worry about anything…even things that weren’t worrisome.
I managed to worry about the past and the future at the same time. Give me an idea and I could find a worry in there…no matter how trivial. I anticipated problems and troubles arising in the future because I believed if I could look at the worst case scenario before it happened and deal with it mentally, I would be better prepared when it actually happened.
It didn’t work.
Over time this incessant worrying didn’t come with a safer future, didn’t bring a happier tomorrow and certainly didn’t lead to a joyful, peaceful life.
Just the opposite. It made me anxious, it made me sick, it made me miserable.
So if you’re ruining your present by worrying about the future here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Change your mind
We worriers are always glad of a little peace. 🙂
And I learned that just because a worry popped into my head, it didn’t mean I had to give it any attention. I looked for evidence of the worries I’d had in the past that never came true and once I realized how many there were it was easier to began to talk to them much as I would talk to a friend.
What would I say to my friend?
Definitely not…keep letting the worries drain your energy. More likely let’s look at the worst possible scenario…and make it so ridiculous that it would make them laugh. I often made myself laugh out loud with ridiculous scenarios. Give it a try. What’s the most outrageous scenario you can image. And yes I’d love to hear it in the comments below. You could make someone’s day and help them to see worry in a new light.
A laugh out loud scenario could change my mind in a heartbeat. Worry begone.
2. Remembering your Glenda
You are so much greater than any worries, than any thoughts at all. The greatest part of you exists beyond anything your mind can conjure up. And remember, worries are just that. Something our minds conjure up for us. They’re not true. They’re definitely not real. How can they be we live here and now and worry lives in the future. If it ever comes to pass that is.
Sad to say for us worriers we don’t have a Glenda the Good Witch conjuring up the lovely and tranquil, it’s more like we have the Wicked Witch of the West conjuring up all kinds of fears that lead to sleepless nights, stress and anxiety.
Try this: Turn towards the power of good within and mentally choose the things you’d like your mind to imagine…it will follow your orders. Bring your inner Glenda out to play.
3. A worry half an hour
If all else fails give yourself some worry time. I’m serious. I did this very thing. Given that I seemed to have become a chronic worrier, I needed some sort of intervention. So I did the sensible thing and gave in.
“Right” I said when the worries arrived. “We have a new arrangement. Worrying doesn’t begin until 3pm, so you just have to turn around and come back then.”
Strangely enough every worry that popped into my head did just that. And stranger things happened.
First of all it felt as though something was missing in my life. Can you believe lack of constant worrying left a giant hole? So I filled it up with beautiful dreams of the life I intended on living.
Secondly, after these initial feelings of discomfort and unease, when the allotted worrying half an hour arrived at 3pm, I stopped and said okay worries here you go. Worry away. It was fine for 5 minutes…but then I’d used up all the worries I had.
I didn’t even have enough to fill a whole half an hour. So clearly I’d simply been recycling the worries,; no wonder it felt as though my life was one giant problem to be worried about.
Only it wasn’t.
So for any worriers give these 3 ideas a try. I can promise they’ll make inroads into most of the worries you can conjure up.
Encourage one another.
10 thoughts on “How to Lose Worry and Find Your Peace”
Great ideas, Elle. I like the suggestion to talk to yourself like you would a friend the most. It always works for me. Coming into the present is my go-to tool also.
Did you know that science says something like 95% of what we worry about never happens and if it does, we handle it way better than we thought we would. Worry is such a waste of mental resources.
Interesting that 95% of what we worry about never happens…it seems so true in my life Debbie. 🙂
I used to be a big worrier too, Elle. I’m so much better now. I’m not entirely free of worry, but it plagues me much less. I love these three suggestions. I find worry never really helps so it helps to have skillful ways to soothe it like these.
How wonderful that you have found ways to support you in worrying less Sandra…it makes a big difference to living happily as we both have learned. 🙂
I Love the allotted time for worry idea Elle! Makes perfect sense. Why waste a perfectly lovely full day over such a not so happy habit 😉
Isn’t that the truth Zeenat. 🙂
Those are some great insights, Elle!
I used to be a terrible worrier myself. The things that have helped me the most personally are spiritual books (especially Eckhart Tolle’s, Osho’s, and David Hawkins’ books) and formal + informal mindfulness training.
Hi Nils…how wonderful that you found just what you needed to manage your worries. May you have a brilliant day. 🙂
My mom was a horrific worrier, I am somewhat but really not bad. Anger is my problem. I am going to try this with the anger I have and see how it works.
Hi Renee – what a great idea. Do come back and let us know how this worked for you.