Are you a worry wart? (who came up with that expression?
I wouldn’t say that I am a constant worrier but there are definite moments where I find myself wringing my hands with worry.
What are some of the things you do to try to feel better when worry shows up for us?
-get extra busy
-inaction, stay on the couch catching up on all 167 episodes of Star Trek Next Generation
-spending a lot of time consuming information
-losing track of time on social media
I would love to hear what you do.
When you are in this state of mind how do you show up?
So here is my very own method or curbing worry in my life.
If a thought comes up that I can’t do anything about at the moment I don’t allow myself to think about it until I am in a position to do something about it.
For example, on Wednesday’s 2 of my high school kids have basketball games, I have 1 son who has soccer practice, another one of my sons has basketball practice and they all have activities at the church from 6:30-8. There are two events that I know the time and location and there are 3 events that I do not. Also, my husband always works this day and is not always able to be available after 6.
So instead of laying in bed thinking about how I will get everyone where they need to be I tell myself to only think about this when I have all the game times and locations in one place, then I can go into action of creating my plan.
I have freed up so much ‘mind juice’ by not spinning around in worry. And guess what, I always get it figured out and every one gets to where they need to be.
So let’s talk a little bit about where worry comes from and other ways to get it into perspective.
Worry is not knowing the future outcomes.
So instead of stressing about all of the possible outcomes, we need to learn how to disallow ourselves the spinning of worry. “stop brain, not going there”.
What to do instead, understand that in the moment trust yourself that you can handle the situation. For example, you are unsure where your husband is going to be relocated. You do not have all information yet.
Whenever you start to worry about all of the possibilities, ask yourself, ‘can you do anything about this?’.
Instead you bring yourself back to the present. Be in the present. Assure yourself that when you get all of the information you will be able to resolve the situation.
You are sitting on the couch and your husband comes home with the announcement- your new location. In the moment, you are able to work through all of the new changes.
Worry and anxiety are often in the same family. Worry is the time that we spend worrying about the future outcomes. As humans we are wired for fear: fight or flight. So when we are in survival mode we go to the worse case scenario. Our brains then operate from that space.
Anxiety is living in survival- living out of the worst case scenario.
So what is the best way to create a new way to live without worry.
1.When I have this thought/worry am I able to do anything about this at this very moment?
2. If you are unable to take action at the moment, don’t think about it at this moment.
3. Plan a time to resolve the thought.
4. In the moment that you can resolve the thought allow yourself to feel the emotions that are coming up.
5. Remind yourself that you are totally capable of resolving problems/ thoughts.
Before I give you the writing assignment I want to model a worry through using the model I have learned from Brooke Castillo.
My worry example
My son is really unhappy at school. He has dyslexia and stresses out at school every time he compares himself to other kids in his class in his ability to read. He has taken off from school a few times. I find myself worrying about how he is going to do at school when I drop him off.
Circumstance: Son goes to school. Son has dyslexia.
Thought: he feels bad about himself when he compares himself to others when it comes to his lack of reading.
Action:I share my mind set skills with him
I do case scenarios with him about situations that he finds himself in and what to do
I have a back-up plan for him when he feels stressed
I read with him at home to build his love for reading
I purchase audio books and set time for him to love listening to books
I encourage play dates to help foster healthy relationships and build his skills
I plan times that we have one on one time to help him build self love so he won’t compare himself
Result: I connect with my son and provide him lots of opportunities for self love
- Think to the most recent time that you felt worry. Write it down here.
2. What was the circumstance?
3. What thoughts come up? I encourage you to write at least 10 different thoughts that come from the circumstance. After you write those 10 thoughts, select your favourite thought.
4. What feeling comes from that thought? This thought will fuel your actions.
5. What actions are you going to take? List the actions.
6. What result do you get from this process?
So my friends, how are you feeling? Do you feel excited? Are you feeling stressed? Are you willing to try these new tools?
Remember that having an open mind will allow us to have an open heart. When we are open to change we will be willing to do things differently and then get different results.
I am excited to see what new results you will get.