5 Things to Do Instead of Worry
Are you a worrier? Me, too. I worry about my future, what people think of me, about my work. Over the past few years I realize how important it is to manage that worry. If you let it control you you can’t bring your great gifts into the world.
A few things I’ve learned about worry:
- Worry is thought about the future. While that thought may be based on past events or a series of “What if” questions, the future hasn’t happened. The outcome in your mind isn’t real.
- Worry keeps you stuck in what you know. And sometimes what you know isn’t the best thing for you.
- Worry, or future based thoughts, can be managed.
I had a women in a stress relief workshop say to me about worry, “You want to take away the only thing I have!”
I didn’t want to take anything from her. I asked her if she’d be willing to replace it with activities that might prove more useful.
She was open to hearing something new.
I shared my process for managing worry or future based thoughts. Below are five things I do when I find myself getting stuck because of my fear and worry.
I notice and ask ‘Is this true”. I used to ignore my fears. Now I sit with it. I get curious about where it’s coming from, why I’m thinking that way and ask “is it true?” The outcome I created in my mind is not true because events haven’t happened.
I sit quietly. I take deep breaths or sit quietly and meditate on the worry. In other words, I allow my thoughts to drift, and when they do I notice how it feels (I usually feel a sensation in my stomach, butterflies), then I soften my stomach muscles, since my tendency is to tighten and constrict. Next, I bring my attention back to my breath, the present moment, and focus on my exhale to push that nervous sensation away. This clears my head.
I journal. I write down anything and everything that came up during my quiet time, including thoughts, sensations and sometimes the ridiculousness of it all.
I reach out for support. Talking through my ideas, expressing my worry to someone I trust and getting objective feedback is extremely helpful. I always learn something that helps me develop my thoughts more clearly.
I take action. An effective way to alleviate fear, worry and concern is to get out of your thinking head (thoughts and worry) and into your body (action, do something!). Plus every time I do something I gain confidence and a stronger belief of what I’m capable of achieving. You can’t get that sitting on your couch or at your desk continuing to think (and worry).
How about you? How do you deal with fear and worry? What would you add that’s worked for you? Do you find it hard to manage?