Tips To Help You Stop Worrying

You can pray or you can worry but you can’t do both. Vicki

Although people often say there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible, technically it’s not true. In the King James Version, fear is spoken of over 500 times. If we expand our search to verses that encourage us not to worry or not to be anxious, it would be many, many more. 

Fear, which frequently manifests into worry and stress, is not only contrary to faith but it can cause physical harm. Here are five tips to help you kick the worry habit:

  1. Set aside designated “worry time” — set a timer, consider what’s bothering you then move on when your time is up.
  2. Write down your worries then mark those over which you have control. Erase the rest.
  3. Spend less time online surfing the bad news.
  4. Have faith that _____________ (fill in the blank) will move forward even if you stop worrying about it/them.
  5. Stop procrastinating and take care of those things you’re worrying about that are within your scope of control.

Affirmation: I can kick the worry habit.

Coaching questions: What’s on your worry list? Which of the above tips speaks to you? Which one will you implement today?

 

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Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

How To Negate Negativity

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience. Eleanor Roosevelt

Did you know that your brain is built to be more sensitive to unpleasant news than it is to pleasant? You’ll probably remember the rebuke longer than you’ll remember the praise. Sometimes, the sadness of death will impact a person more than the feelings of joy and warmth they received from their loved one.

This bias for negativity generally causes us to worry more than necessary, fear the worst, and focus on bad narratives for too long. When we allow this to happen, we rob ourselves of experiencing the joys around us.

Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, writes, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

Affirmation: I feel the joy.

Coaching questions/requests: Are you experiencing an abundance of anxiety, stress, or worry? What about sadness, bitterness, regret? This week, take time to be aware of your negativity. As you do so, refocus your thoughts by meditating, having an attitude of gratitude, establishing a “worry time” or writing down your negative thoughts to get them out of your head. Some negativity will hang around for a while and that’s ok. What counts is your continued effort to redirect and reprogram. You will see the effects of it over time, just stick with it.

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Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

When Nothing Can Be Done About It

The Japanese phrase, Shikata ga nai, means “it cannot be helped”  or “nothing can be done about it,” a strategy for accepting an undesirable situation and the antidote to worry. It’s a reminder that when the something is beyond your control, you need to mentally move on.

Scientific studies agree that dwelling on negative events may cause depression and other physical symptoms. I know….it’s easier said than done but still an excellent lesson for living a healthier, happier life. 

Affirmation: I move on when a situation is beyond my control.

Coaching questions: What situations/relationships beyond your control are causing you to obsess, worry, or lose sleep? What’s one step you can take to move towards adopting Shikata ga nai?

Mother Goose Knows Best

For every ailment under the sun, There is a remedy, or there is non.

If there be one, try to find it, If there be non, Never mind it.

Mother Goose, 1695 

The Serenity Prayer was taken from Mother Goose—who knew? Thanks to the friend who sent this rendition to me. With a second close friend having open heart surgery tomorrow and the recent deaths of two others, I’ve offered this prayer/rhyme frequently. I pray that the surgeon will do his/her best and for the patient’s speedy recovery, of course, but then I let it go.

I often blog about worry and the effects of worry because I’ve noticed that it’s a common malady. I have the opportunity to practice what I preach during the next 10 days as we embark on a cruise at the height of the hurricane season with a house on an island in the Gulf. We are living on the edge a bit but decisions have been made, the weather is going to do what’s it’s going to do, and I’m going to have FUN.

Affirmation: I know worrying is futile.

Coaching questions: What helps you curb your worrying? 

P.S. I will blog during my travels. I’m hoping the Internet is stable.

Put Your Worries On Pause

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. Corrie ten Boom, Dutch watchmaker and Christian who helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust. Subject of the book and movie, The Hiding Place. 

According to Robert Leahy, PhD, director of The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, “When we don’t know how something will work out, we worry in order to get certainty.” And yet, studies have found that 85% of things people fretted about had neutral or positive outcomes. 

To calm your anxiety, throw yourself into something you can control or accomplish like laundry or calls to friends or pulling weeds. You’ll feel good in the present due to your accomplishment and, in the meantime, you will have put your worries on pause.

Affirmation: The outcome will be positive.

Coaching questions: If you have an immediate worry, what can you do to push the pause button? Think back to some of the circumstances you’ve worried about in the past. What were the actual outcomes?