You might agree that worrying is such a waste of time and energy and there are far better things to do than waste your valuable time and precious energy. We only have a limited amount of both. Many of my clients have learned how to let go of worrying and focus on enjoying life to the full. It's simple when you know how.
September is a new beginning, a new season, a new school year. Time to let go of the last clutches of summer and prepare for the long winter ahead. The shops are full of warm coats and boots and this indicates that summer is now truly behind us. It’s also a good time to let go of the harmful habit of worrying and choose the new habit of staying calm when faced with a challenge or a problem situation.
This unhelpful habit of worrying can steal your energy and spoil your life. We all worry occasionally but some people worry excessively and irrationally. The good news is there are ways to stop worrying and regain a sense of calm.
The little duck glides across the water gracefully, but underneath the surface, his webbed feet are kicking at top speed.
This metaphor can be used for keeping calm and working hard to achieve your goals, or it can be likened to someone who appears calm but is worried sick about something bad happening in the future. Which would you rather be?
Worry can cause insomnia, anxiety and physical illness. It is bad for your health. So, why do we worry? If you think about it, nobody wants to worry, but most people do it from time to time. You can’t worry and feel relaxed at the same time – it is just not compatible.
Worrying can runs in families – some people are chronic worriers and worry about everything from the weather to the state of the economy. Other people don’t worry at all, they just get on with life. Often, people worry about getting worried.
Worries come in all shapes and sizes, some are serious, most are trivial. “What if my car breaks down on the motorway?” “What if nobody likes me at the party?” “What if I make a mistake at work?”
You could literally worry about anything, money; death; betrayal; rejection; what other people think; the weather; health; what to wear; being late or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
“John ignored me in the office this morning – have I done something wrong? Did I offend him?”
“My partner hasn’t called me today and he always calls me around lunchtime, his phone is off – what if he has gone off me? Is he having an affair?”
“I need to return this dress to the shop because it is torn. What if the shopkeeper thinks I did it? What if I can’t get my money back?”
Studies show that 85 per cent of all that we worry about never happens.
"If you worry – you die. If you don’t worry – you die. So why worry?"
Worrying is a form of anxiety. When faced with a challenge it makes sense to focus on solving it rather than worrying about it.
There can be a number of solutions to any problem so it’s good to keep an open mind when exploring possibilities. Sometimes things sort themselves out; other times an unexpected answer pops up that did not occur to you before. One thing is for sure, worrying doesn't help to solve anything.
Have a strategy
Here is a strategy to deal with worry – it is a good idea to write down the answers to these questions:
- What exactly am I worried about? Define the worry in clear language.
- What would I like to happen? Imagine the problem was solved, what would be different?
- What can I do about it? Explore all the realistic options available to you and write down your top three.
- What am I going to do about it? Choose the best option and create an action plan.
- When am I going to do it? Decide exactly when and where to take action and follow through.
- Has it worked? Review the situation some time later and if you are not satisfied, try Option 2, and so on, until you have found a solution that is satisfactory.
Change your approach
Another approach to overcome worrying is to become solution focussed.
1. If you want to worry, do it properly, write down all the gory details and get it off your chest as you put your thoughts on paper.
2. Rate the importance of this issue on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is a very serious issue, like your house falling down and 1 might be a dent in the car if you hit the lamp post. Everything can be given a rating on your scale of importance.
3. Choose your own worry time, for example, only worry at a certain time of the day for an hour (maximum), or on Mondays, etc. If you find yourself worrying at any other time, postpone it.
4. See worrying as a bad habit and like any habit, it can be changed.
5. Listen to your thoughts and become an observer of how you think. Argue with self-defeating negative thoughts and change them to constructive positive thoughts instead.
6. Never worry at bedtime – if you can’t sleep get up and do something boring for twenty minutes, then return to bed.
7. Think about what you can actually do, and do it.
8. There are some things you can’t control and some things you can control. You control your thoughts. Choose helpful, positive and constructive ones.
9. Always take action – never sit on a worry – it festers.
10. Learn to say “So What” about things you can’t do anything about.
How can hypnotherapy help? When you are in a state of hypnosis the critical part of your mind is temporarily switched off and your creative imagination can flourish, reframing the situation so you can look at it differently, or from another perspective, in a relaxed and calm manner. The subconscious mind has it’s own way of working things out and it can do this easier when the conscious mind steps back and you give yourself a bit of inner space, away from the issue.
Choose to keep calm and focus on what it is you want to achieve, like the duck swimming across the pond – have a goal in mind.
4 September 2014
Follow your excitement
If you would like help to overcome anxiety and worrying, get in touch with me for a free consultation or visit my website for more detailswww.innerspacehypnotherapy.co.uk