We’re a society that likes to worry. Worrying is so prevalent, it almost feels socially acceptable. We consider it a good trait if a mom worries about her kids, a teenager worries about good grades, or a father worries about his company shutting down. We’ve accepted worry as a common human condition and while we’ve all been there (and may be there right now), it doesn’t mean we have to live there.
Don’t confuse worry with interest in maintaining well-being or an attitude that contributes to problem solving. The only thing you’re guaranteed to create with worry is more anxiety and self-imposed misery. Know that worry is born of unexpressed fear. Worry means that we are spending a lot of time thinking about the future in a negative way, most of which never comes to pass.
Peace, fear’s opposite, is created when our attention resides in the present. The sooner you learn to shift the focus from the future to the present, the better off you’ll be.
According to Attitude Reconstruction, here are four powerful tips to battle worry:
1. When you find yourself worrying, deal with the fear energy physically by shivering and shaking, (hard, fast, and with abandon) for literally one minute, like a dog at the vet or a leaf on a tree. Do it hard, fast, and with abandon for 90 seconds. Up your spine, out your arms, hands, legs, and neck. Make accompanying sounds like EEEk or Brrrrr. Both your body and your mind will slow down, relax, and your attention will come back to the present.
2. While or after you’ve shivering with vigor, chose one of the following truths that resonates and repeat over and over:
- Everything will be all right.
- I’ll handle the future in the future.
- Be here now.
- Enjoy the present.
- I’ll do what I can and the rest is out of my hands.
- Worry doesn’t work. It doesn’t make me happy.
3. If you must worry, designate 5 minutes a day to that activity every day. For the rest of the time, keep hauling your attention back to the present, shivering, and repeating your truths. It’s a battle because the tendency to leap into the future is very strong, especially at times when you feel that fear energy. Remind yourself when you’ll next worry.
4. Make a detailed task list. Write down a list of your “to-dos” and then break all the things you need to do down into specific, small, easy tasks that you can easily accomplish. Then attend to one thing at a time, keeping your focus on what’s in front of you.
5. Prioritize what you need to do right now… What is happening right now that is in your control? Do what you can in the moment. Focus on doing well in the present and enjoy the now.
By sticking to the here and now, replacing worry thoughts with peace producing thoughts, and moving the energy out of your body, you’ll be in the present more. And that has a triple benefit: you do whatever you need to do with increased awareness, you squeeze worry out, and you’ll feel happier and more peaceful which automatically sets you up for a much better life!