Can you really not worry about it?

Worry Cartoon

I’ve always been an anxious person who worried. It started in childhood, continued through my teenage years into adulthood. Today, I work hard not to worry about “things” but it’s a struggle, a hard struggle. I no longer say “I’m not going to worry about it” because, I ask, can you really not worry about it?

It’s a true struggle for me not to worry. As I previously mentioned, I have always been an anxious person and I think worry plays a big part of that. Do you know what worry is? One definition of the word worry is as follows:  to feel uneasy or concerned about something; be troubled.

The  first line about worry in its Wikipedia entry states: Worry is thoughts and images of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. From my experience, that’s a great description of my worry when I worry.

I know a lot of people would say if you worry you don’t trust and lack faith in God. That’s not it. I know from my religious upbringing, beliefs, and teaching that God is in control. I’ve learned that what causes my worry is that I’m not.

The root of most of my worry comes from me wondering if I’m in the right place, doing the right thing.

I’d like to share some tips that help me not worry.

  • Visualization. My worry is accompanied by ugly thoughts. Visualization helps to replace those thoughts with pleasant images. Try visualizing the happy outcome versus the negative one.
  • Gratitude.  Sometimes I forget to take time to be grateful for what I have, the experience, where I’ve been and who is in my life. When you do this you can see how rich your life is and worry doesn’t have any place in it.
  • Slow down. You would think that when you slow down you have more time to worry. What I’m talking about is slowing down and taking time to replace all the “go” with something fun and enjoyable. Enjoy the bubble bath, have that glass of wine, take the long walk and enjoy nature, go to the movie. And enjoy. Slowing down is a way to appreciate and honor yourself.
  • Spend time with positive friends and family. The key word is “positive.” And this is one I don’t do enough. Positive people in your life is like filling an empty glass. They give you what you need: encouragement, a sounding board, joy and companionship.
  • Laugh. Did you know kids laugh over 300 times in a day while adults only laugh 15 times? Worry does not like laughter. If you need some inspiration to laugh, visit YouTube. My favorite? Baby’s laughing.

Some of you may wonder why I didn’t add pray to my list? I did, just not in the traditional form. The six items I listed are forms of prayer with joy rather than a heavy heart. Don’t stop praying just incorporate these other forms of prayer to help if you are a worrier.

TeaAnd when worry affects your sleep, take action FAST! Aromatherapy, tea, sleep herbs and melatonin have helped me when worry and insomnia take over my nights. Nothing is worse than worrying in the day and not being able to get the sleep you need to recharge at night.

Worry can lead to stress which is attributed to a number of health issues. Take the steps you need to not worry about it.

Do you have any tips to help with worry?

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