Posted by: Jo Banks
Are you sick of worrying? Do you want to stop it and gain more control over your life? Here's how...
Worry is such a crippling emotion. It virtually strips us of our ability to deal with situations effectively by creating imaginary scenarios which no matter how hard you try, you’d struggle to find a way out of. Why? Because they haven’t happened!
Worry is created when we take an actual situation, issue or problem and then imagine all the possible things that could go wrong. Usually when we begin worrying, nothing untoward has actually happened, we just create negative scenarios in our minds, usually as vivid, large, bright, noisy videos in our heads that we run over and over again with more and more imagined horrific endings. The more negative thoughts we have, the more negative thoughts come to us, it's like a never ending spiral.
When I talk this through with clients, they usually say something like, “Well if I don’t plan for the worst case then it could take me by surprise and I’d be left high and dry and devastated". My reply, “There’s a huge difference between worrying about imagined scary scenarios and actually making plans.”
Can you hear the difference in the language? Worry is ‘Victim’ behaviour, whereas planning is ‘Owner’ behaviour. When we worry, we lose the ability to plan and see things clearly. I absolutely advocate having an action plan, it’s a wonderful way to combat those worrying thoughts. But that plan should be based on what you know about your situation NOW and what you can do about it NOW and not based on all the dreadful things that you think may happen in the future.
Think back to some of the most trying times you’ve been through in your life, has there ever been a time when you haven’t come through the other side? Was there ever a time when you really couldn’t cope? It may have been difficult at the time and extremely uncomfortable, but whatever obstacles you’ve been up against in your life, you came through them. How do I know that with such certainty? Well you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this!
It doesn’t matter what happens to you, it doesn’t matter how stressed, depressed, anxious or scared you are, you will always find a way to deal with a problem and because I think this point is so important, I’m going to say it again:
YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY THROUGH!
You always have and you always will find a way and no amount of worrying about it will make one bit of difference to the outcome. Another good way to stop worrying is to change the pictures you're running as soon as you notice you're running them. As we can't have two thoughts at once, as soon as you notice, think of something you love, your child, a beautiful sunset, lying on a sundrenched beach - anything that it more calming than the original thought. As soon as you stop the negative thought and move to your positive one, you immediately halt the downward spiral.
So the next time you find yourself worrying about something that may happen in the future, change the picture or plan for it in a calm, focussed way and tell yourself that whatever happens you will deal with it!
If you find that you are an incessant worrier and would like help dealing with your unhelpful thoughts, call us for a free, no obligation consultation on how we can help you.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.