“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens up new avenues.”
—Cullen Hightower, American quip writer
Image from Unsplash by Yellow I’m Nik
Over the past several weeks I’ve become increasingly aware and sensitive to the worries, complaints, and repeating gossip in the people around me. I am sure I must participate at some level, but I can’t stop wishing others would cease and desist with these ever-looping, dead-end conversations.
I wish I had a magic wand to shift other’s perspectives to open up new avenues to more empowering and productive paths in their discussions.
What are some of your best approaches when you and others in your communities are trapped on the dead-end streets of worry? What can you do to open yourself and others up to new avenues of thinking?
“Worry is just imagination used in an unproductive way.”
Image from Unsplash by Ethan Sykes
These days, many people have been pulled to the dark side of imagination. Instead of using our wonderful imagination for creative and positive purposes, we easily slip into worry.
Imagine you are a special kind of meteorologist. You can easily report on inclement weather and potential storms, but you can also change the forecast to sunnier skies with your power of positive intentions and optimism.
Where is your imagination causing you to worry about future events in unproductive ways?
How can and will you bring greater creativity and a positive bias to your thinking when you notice the clouds of worry headed your way?
“Worry is interest on money never borrowed.”
Image from Unsplash by Ben With
Imagine you had a financial crisis. Instead of asking family or friends for assistance, you found a local loan shark, and borrowed money at a crazy interest rate that compounded daily until the debt was repaid.
Unfortunately, the intention to repay the loan quickly was overtaken by other life events, and the debt and your level of worry and fear continued to grow.
Hopefully, you are only aware of such events from movies or TV shows, but we can all feel the tension and relate to these character’s predicaments.
Where in your life are you currently worried about the interest on a loan you never borrowed? Consider looking up Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping to see if these easy methods of self-soothing might help.
“Sorry looks back, worry looks around, despair looks down, but faith looks up.”
Image from Unsplash by Chris Gegelman
Many of us become a bit more reflective this time of year.
Where do you have regrets and feel sorry about the opportunities you saw but did not pursue?
What current matters or present challenges are the greatest cause of worry and concern that need your best efforts?
On what aspects of life have you given up, feel down in the dumps, or maybe even a bit of despair?
How would looking up with a more heart-centered and faithful perspective lead you and those you love to a happier, more richly rewarding new year?
What strategies and methods can and will you use to keep looking up in faith all year long?
FRIDAY REVIEW: WORRY
Have you ever questioned the benefit you get from worrying? Here are three worry-related posts you may have missed. Click the links for the full message.
“I have lived a long life and had many troubles, most of which never happened.”
“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”
—Sir John Lubbock, 19th Century British politician
Image from Unsplash by William Hook
Imagine you are a cell phone.
You begin your day with a full charge, and prepare to productively navigate your day. All of a sudden, a Worry App is opened on a family matter. Then two more open on your way to work. After your first cup of coffee, a couple more Apps open, due to an email and a text you’ve received.
Following a day of such events, your reserves of power are low or completely exhausted.
You’re in need of a recharge.
Unless you can limit or eliminate the open Worry Apps, you may find yourself headed to bed mentally and emotionally exhausted, sometimes unable to turn them off so you can rest.
How can you more efficiently and effectively allocate your physical, mental, and emotional energies throughout the day?
How would greater awareness of your worries limit or prevent you from experiencing these draining factors?
“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?