I’ve often wondered why we worry.

You’ve probably heard others say not to worry about things you can’t change or things that haven’t happened. How well has that worked for you?

We all understand the concept of non-worry at an intellectual level but not doing it is a different matter. If giving up worry was so easy then wouldn’t we simply stop?

The problem is that worrying doesn’t come from a conscious part of ourselves. You don’t make a decision to worry about something. Instead it creeps up on you unexpectedly.

I used to have a terrible fear of flying. It got so extreme that when I would see a plane overhead, I would worry that it was going to drop on my head. Intellectually I knew this was ridiculous. But by the time I was aware of what I was thinking, my mind and body had been taken over by tension and anxiety. I was consumed by the fear and breaking free was a real challenge.

Saying ‘stop worrying’ could only work if it was something we are doing purposefully. If we aren’t aware of it, we have no control of it.

A different approach is required. The first step is the realisation that your worry is simply a part of your consciousness with well meaning intentions. A bit of fear can be a good thing if it inspires you to take action when being chased by a tiger or your home is on fire.

Give permission for Mr Worry to be there but provide additional clarity on where you would like input — a life or death situation would be helpful whereas some imagined catastrophe or disaster less so!

Don’t try to prevent worry from being there. Instead, when you notice it speaking to you in less than useful contexts, acknowledge and reassure it. For example, f you are about to give a public speech, you might say ‘Thank you for your concerns but I’ve got this one covered’.

Gentle consideration and compassion is much more effective than trying to beat it down. If you’ve ever tried to stop worrying, you’ll know the inner struggle and conflict being in disagreement with yourself creates. Trying to not do something that you can’t stop doing is a recipe for despair!

Harmony is restored when you no longer resist worry. As you turn into the thoughts with a loving presence, you will find that they gently dissipate and dissolve. Inner peace is all ways a progressive process.

 

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