6 ways to tackle Worry
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
I'm trying to remember the last time I worried about something.
Probably it was Laila in Jr. High with all of her teenage angst and going against family rules and stopping church attendance. These were worries for me. I worried about what her future would look like? How would she turn out? What's going to happen with our relationship? Is she was going to graduate from school? All future based worries that I had no answer to and spent so much emotional energy on.
I started telling myself I'm not a worrier. I turned so much over to God and just put my faith and trust in Him and I thought on purpose, "Everything will be okay."
Worry feels like it’s useful, but it never is. When worry continues to roll through your mind, then overwhelm and stress love to show up which all together can snow ball into anxiety which has physical manifestations of increased heart rate, sweating, difficulty breathing and our fight or flight kicks in. So it’s a good idea to nip worry in the bud.
When you see/feel/sense yourself worrying recognize it, change your thought to “It’s possible that one day I won’t worry” and try one of these six steps.
Drop the worry -
1. Feel it, lean into it. “Hello worry.” Name it, where does it sit in body. If it were a color what color would worry be? How would you describe this feeling to an alien? (This is good because then the worry is processed and it moves through you and you can get back to sleep.)
2. Come back to the present...use all your senses. What are you seeing now? What are you hearing now? What are you smelling now? What are you tasting now? Get a drink of water. What are you touching now? Think “ I’m OKAY now. My family is okay right now.“ (Worry is future focused on something that you don’t even know is really going to happen- so this reins it in and gets you back to the present and you can sleep.)
3. "Phone a friend"-- say it out loud to a rational- non worried person. Don’t stay in darkness, shame and secrecy about it. Empathy is a good cure for most things.
4. Become aware of what you’re thinking. Start watching your thoughts, be the observer. You are not your thoughts, you are the thinker of your thoughts. Just surrender and be curious. Thoughts are just sentences in your head. "Get in the back seat worry, I’m the driver.”
5. Give yourself a Worry protocol-- every Friday at 3 we can worry for an hour. Teach your brain who’s the boss. When worry comes up, remind yourself that we only do that Friday at 3:00 and save it till then.
6. Manage the story you tell about yourself. Stop calling yourself a worrier. Your brain will come up with all sorts of evidence to make that true. A better story would be “I don’t worry.” Eventually your brain will start believing this and will find evidence that this is true.
If you need more help managing your worry....book a FREE mini session with me.