Why do I worry and how do I stop? Here are five easy steps to a worry-free you!
Step 1: Don’t try to stop.
Whenever we try to stop something, all we do is call more attention to the thing we want to avoid. You know how it goes---"Don’t eat that cake!" Then all you can think about is cake! Furthermore, a real worrier devotes a lot of hours to this great American past-time, leaving the worrier to wonder, "What the hell am I going to do instead?" thus creating another form of anxiety. As ridiculous as it sounds---we actually worry about not worrying.
Step 2: Find something else to do.
Is there a possible solution to the source of your worry? Then try it. Would more information make you feel better? Then get it. Is there a closet you’ve been meaning to clean out? Then go to it. Even if your efforts aren’t entirely fruitful, the mere act of doing something constructive will take your mind of your worries.
Step 3: Get comfortable with uncertainty.
There’s a real trick to this one. Worriers are notoriously bad at dealing with the unknown, but that’s because we forget that there’s a difference between "knowing" and "KNOWING." Do you KNOW how your car works? We don’t mean how to turn it on and drive, but do you understand how the fuel burns and powers the motor to turn the wheels? Most of us don’t (unless that’s our business or hobby) yet we’re completely comfortable driving knowing that someone else KNOWS how to make a car run.
We think life is uncertain when we can’t predict what’s going to happen. . Yet it’s this uneasy feeling that also moves many us to seek the bigger picture. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you are one of those seekers so worry actually gave you a little gift. There’s a lot of comfort in the belief that something KNOWS all, even if we don’t, and even more peace of mind comes when we feel we are part of that something and experience it working through us so that it becomes more than just a belief. When we say "get comfortable with uncertainty," what we really mean is to get comfortable with the certainty of this grand idea. We as individuals don’t have to be the architect of every moment of our lives for our existences to have order and meaning, because we are part of a greater something that KNOWS everything.
Step 4: Pick your greater "Something."
For some, the traditional notion of God does the trick. For others, Nature is a pretty reliable power. For still others, Science and the study of Energy shows us how orderly and lawful our universe really is. Pick whatever "Something" works and is meaningful to you. This is a big step because once you make it, you’ve unknowingly given up your worry. Worry comes from the mistaken notion that we are somehow separate from the power of the universe---that things can happen to us, and that we have no power to direct our lives or find meaning and purpose in whatever we encounter---that personal, or even worldly, problems are what real Life is all about. Wrong, wrong, and wrong! And if you want proof, go to Step 5.
Step 5: Pay Attention...
...to the world around you and within you. Don’t judge, don’t condemn, just pay attention. Trust us on this one, the solutions to your "worries" may be right under your nose.
Copyright © 2004, 2016 K. Weissman & T. Coyne