“No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worry can change the future.”
Image from Unspalsh by Lesly Juarez
The practices of guilt and worry are actually habits we form through our lives.
Close your eyes and look back in time at your upbringing under the influence of friends, family, school, religious institutions, the economy and the media, who always thrive on drama.
Take a few minutes to look also around your world as it exists today, and into the future to see what conversations or inner chatter occupies some or much of your thoughts.
Given that this line of thinking often results in frustration, exhaustion, uneasiness, and upset, ask yourself: How does my thinking this way help?
Assuming your answer to the question is “It Doesn’t,” what alternative strategies can you try to reduce or eliminate guilt and worry from your life?
“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”
Image from lichtstudiohelden
Someone once told me that worry is like running on a treadmill. You get all worked up but don’t actually get anywhere.
With that in mind, consider the thought, “Action eliminates fear.”
Unfortunately, in these challenging days, all too many people are turning to the “whiskeys” of our times for temporary relief or escape from their difficulties, often with considerable consequences.
Using the treadmill metaphor, we can still improve our mood and lighten our loads by shedding a few pounds to lead a happier and healthier life.
What other forms of work, professionally or personally, could be just the tonic you need to reduce or eliminate your current worries?
“Worries and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us, but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our minds.”
—Rishika Jain, rishikajain.com
Image from Unsplash by Ben White
When I think of a “nest,” I think of home, safety, comfort, security, and peace. What other words come to mind for you?
Consider the visitors you invite into your home, and those whom you would never allow past your welcome mat. We all want to keep the good stuff in and the undesirable things out of our homes.
How much does the inner world of your mind act as a sanctuary – a safe and secure nest? How often do worry or tension-related intruders find their way in, disrupting your world?
What are some of your most effective strategies for preventing, or at least limiting, worry and tension from making a nest in your mind?
Please reply to this post and share your most effective techniques. Invite others in your communities to also share their most helpful methods.
“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”
-Dan Zadra, Founder/Editorial Director of Compendium, Inc.
Image from WDWlive
IMAGINATION is a pavilion on the western side of Epcot’s “Future World.”
At one time, a playful purple dragon named Figment was the IMAGINATION host, taking visitors on a happy and whimsical ride.
What if there were a “Worry Pavilion”? What would you name the host character? What might the ride through that pavilion entail? Unfortunately, many of us take a ride through the Worry Pavilion every day, living lives that are anything but whimsical.
How can and will you channel your imagination muscle to have a far more joyful ride?
“Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.”
Not a single person ever got out of this thing called life alive. Bad stuff happens and without question, it happens to everyone.
Someone once told me the reason many people get up in the morning is simply because they didn’t die in their sleep.
What a sad thought.
Worry is something we actually do to ourselves, which very often keeps us from being fully alive and enjoying all the good that life has to offer.
Try the More/Less/Start/Stop exercise as it relates to the concept of worry, by answering these questions:
- What things can you do to experience more joy, fulfillment, and vitality today?
- How can you worry less and not focus on potential bad stuff that could only possibly occur?
- Start each day reading some form of affirming optimistic material to set the course for your day.
- Stop associating with people who worry excessively in your professional and personal lives. Worry is contagious.
Feel free to modify this More/Less/Start/Stop exercise with alternative questions you would like to ponder.
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
When was the last time you examined your shadow just after dawn or just before dusk? You know – the times of day with the sun just peeks over the horizon, on either side of the day. It is at these times that the longest shadows are cast.
Worry, fear, dread, or that forbidding feeling we sometimes experience is just like these shadows in that they make small issues so much larger and ominous than they actually are.
Imagine a world where it is always high noon – where the dark shadow of worry is either very small, or nonexistent.
How can you exercise your optimistic attitude, enthusiasm, and positive perspective so that you can carry around your own sunshine, making your life and the life of others brighter?
“Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”
—Erma Bombeck, humorist and author
Many people are familiar with the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle.
An example of this rule is that 80 percent of our results comes from only 20 percent of our efforts.
On the other hand, 80 percent of our time and efforts account for only a small portion – 20 percent – of our results.
Bombeck would probably include worry as a significant part of this non-productive yet time-consuming aspect of our days.
Create a list of your professional and personal worries, then apply this two-step process:
- Look at each worry through an objective lens, not only from a negative or emotional perspective.
- Consider these issues from an optimistic perspective and explore some new or different approaches to stop rocking and start improving your situation.
Also consider Mark Twain’s statement: “I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.” Read more about it here.
“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.”
– Mark Twain, author and humorist
Do you know someone who worries a lot? These individuals are often people who experience considerable fear throughout their life. Perhaps you are one of them.
Twain points to the fact that many of these fears and worries are unfounded – and yet they can limit our enjoyment of life.
When you or someone you know is experiencing worry or fear, ask these questions:
1. What is the likelihood that this thing I’m afraid of will actually happen?
2. What if I am successful?
3. Who can help me resolve this issue?
4. What one step can I take to improve the situation?
5. What, realistically and objectively, is the worst that could happen?
6. How would I cope with it if it did happen?
7. What can I do to minimize the danger of …?
Lastly, try breathing deeply. This technique has a magical way of lightening the load of worry.