Are you a worrier? When you are concerned or troubled about something, when you can’t get it off your mind, what do you do that helps you move on, clear your head and get back on track?
Most of our worries or concerns fall into 4 categories:
1. Those that never eventuate; we waste hours of our lives worrying about the possibilities of numerous situations that often never happen. “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” Mark Twain
2. At times the past is our burden. We can think ourselves into a stew about the past, even though we have no way of changing what has already been. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa
3. Sometimes we spend hours obsessing about something that is fixable or will, in time, fix itself. Instead of taking necessary actions to resolve the issue quickly we procrastinate and hesitate letting the issue fester or instead of being patient and letting it resolve itself we waste our time and energy thinking about it . “If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.” Dalai Lama XIV
4. On occasion we are guilty of using our energy and time worrying about others anxieties. Whilst it is nice to be empathetic, it doesn’t do us or our loved ones any favours to stress ourselves over their concerns. I am sure they would feel uneasy knowing that we are carrying their burden around with us. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”. William James
I find that when our mind and self-talk is driving us a little nuts the only way to tackle it is to change the thoughts. Sometimes we need to press Control-Alt-Delete and reboot our inner hard drive, our inner voice.
Three of my favourite ways are:
“Where am I right now?” When you find your mind going over a worry, ask yourself where you are right now…..you may be driving in the car or waiting at a checkout or sitting at your desk at work. Focus on the now and take note of what is happening right now. Focus on the task at hand or what is around you. Use your senses: what can you see, what can you smell, what can you feel. Grounding yourself and focusing on the now changes your focus and stops the worrying..
Be grateful: When that negative self-talk creeps in, start to think about 10 things that you are truly grateful for and really focus on them. All of a sudden you are brought back to reality and the stress fades.
“Not my business”: Quite often I find myself spending too much time getting perturbed about others concerns. I now say to myself “Not my business”. I have to pinch myself and remember that my worrying does not help them resolve anything.
What do you do to combat worry or over thinking issues? Love to hear from you?