During my development, the first thing I did was greatly reduce the amount of worry that I do in my life. There is no reason to do the activity of worry.
The brain’s job is to think thoughts. There are many thoughts in the brain. According to Google Answers the brain thinks about 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. Worrying is taking one thought that causes pain or stress and thinking it over and over again.
When a person thinks a thought that they do not like over and over again it is like loading the Song of Worry on their mp3 player and putting it on repeat. The brain starts the emotions and releases the chemicals that are inspired by the Song of Worry. For example, if someone loads the song, “My Child Is Smoking” into their mp3 player and plays it once, the song is not a negative. The thought can lead to some positive actions, such as the parent deciding to set a good example and take care of their lungs themselves, having a talk with their child to see if they have good influences on this subject, or encouraging their child to make positive choices.. The parent could disregard this thought, use the law of attraction and visualize their child making excellent decisions and decide to wait until the child smokes to actually feel bad about it.
The unfortunate person will decide to worry by clicking the repeat button on their mp3 player for the song “My Child Is Smoking.” What this entails is first imagining their child in a situation where they are tempted to smoke. Chances are this picture in this parent’s head is probably dark and scary. People rarely use rainbows and Care Bears when they imagine their children making bad choices. This by itself will cause negative emotions. After that this loving parent will lovingly imagine their child making a poor decision and start smoking. Then, with all the love in their soul they will think of their child with lung cancer and other smoking related problems. o. This will cause this loving best intentioned parent to become angry and sad. As the parent listens to this thought over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, each time they will feel sad and angry at their child all while losing trust in their child. For all their hard worrying work, the parent will also be hurting their immune system , as worrying can cause headaches, stomach issues, high blood pressure, chest pains, fatigue, depression, diabetes, obesity, skin conditions, anxiety and sleep disorders.
Which parent do you feel will handle the situation better? The one that makes a plan if their child smokes and decides to deal with it when the time comes or the parent that worries about their child smoking all of the time. The obvious choice is the parent who has decided to deal with the situation when the time comes. That parent will make a better decision at the time they learn their child is smoking. They will have less chance of blowing up at their child.
What does worry get you? It gets you a bunch of health risks and lessons your ability to deal with serious situations.
How to change?
One of the first things I listened to was Dr. Paul’s mindOS on a DVD collection called Inner Game. He described worry as a form of suffering. This stuck with me for years and I still use it to this day. He said that suffering used more energy than dealing with the issue. Since I wanted to use my energy more efficiently, I decided that I no longer wanted to choose to suffer. To me, worrying is akin to water boarding myself. If I am going to suffer it is going to be because I don’t have control over the situation, such as a car wreck or actually being tortured. Why should I get up, go over to the sink, lean back and run water over my nose to simulate drowning? That is what you are doing every time you suffer.
How I got off the worry train:
Step 1: Realize that worry is a choice. Running the same thought over and over again in my head is a choice that I have. It is easy to realize this. Think about a frog jumping up and down. Now think of a cat playing with string. Were you able to stop thinking about the frog jumping up and down and start thinking about the cat playing with the string? Changing your thoughts is that simple.
Step 2: Having awareness. Awareness is an amazing tool for changing and self growth. It is almost always the first step to change. Becoming aware of each time, I chose to suffer was a good start. If I am feeling negative, I will ask myself, “Am I choosing to suffer?” Not only does that question bring awareness of my feelings, it reinforces the fact that worrying is a choice.
Step 3: Stopping. In elementary school, I went to an assembly where there was a man who talked about a person who was shopping. All of a sudden he heard the guy said, “Stop it.” The assembly giver asked the guy why he yelled that. The man replied to him that his brain was thinking negative thoughts and he wanted them to stop. I have learned that this actually works. Especially if I say it enough times in my head. It is also much more effective when I say it out loud. It might give some weird looks my way. The weird looks are much better than spinning the record of worry in my brain. NLP co-founder Richard Bandler suggests using the mantra, “Shut the **** up!” That can work as well.
With those three easy steps you will be able to break the habit of worrying. It is how I did it. There are many more ways to give up worrying. Another way is to keep a little book with you. When you have a troubling thought write it down. If the thought is something that is worth following up then file it away to be dealt with at a good time. Thoughts worth following up on include the child smoking example. If the thought is not something that you can control (drunk driver hitting your child), very very silly (meteorite coming down to earth and hitting your child), or a thought you already decided how to deal with, tear up the paper or, better yet, burn it.
If you are interested in learning more about ending the cycle of worry, there are many other methods including the Sedona Method, therapy, the Work by Byron Katie, EFT, and NLP.
There is a quote that I just cannot find who said it on the Internet or remember where I heard it from that I believe states it perfectly:
There are things in life you can handle. If you can handle them, why worry about them? There are things in life that you cannot handle. If you cannot handle them, why worry about them? Why worry?
-anonymous (If you know please leave a comment.)
There is a quote that made me laugh while I was looking for who said the quote above.
The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
Isn’t that the truth Robert Frost?
Homework of the Week:
Think of something that you worry about. STOP IT!