I come from a family of "worriers". My parents were constantly worried about everything from their jobs, finances to health and how they were raising us.
Oddly enough, by being so damned over-protective and worrying so much they likely seeded more harm than if they had worried less.
It took me years to realize that my own life was largely limited by worry. I worried about…
- My job
- My finances
- How I appeared to others
- Did I have enough friends
- Would I be alone
- Would I be able to do what I really wanted?
- Was I destined to die young?
- Do I have the courage and self-confidence to be who I know I could be?
- Was I raising my kids right?
- Will people catch me in a lie?
Do you find yourself worrying about any of these?
Worry is a rather insidious disease, it gradually eats you up inside, detracts from who you really are, can spiral out of control, hits you in the middle of the night when your mind should be at rest.
After having enough people tell me about my constant obsession with worry and after suffering health and wellness challenges, I finally figured out how to control the worry in my life and keep it from holding me back.
1. Recognize The Damage That Comes From Worry
Worry impacts nearly every aspect of your life from your own confidence to your ability to develop friendships through your sleeping patterns, eating patterns and often is the source of depression not to mention physical diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Worry and stress has been proven to impact blood pressure, digestion, your immune system and stress out the pancreas leading to various blood sugar imbalances and diabetes. We have to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings around worry in our lives to understand the role it plays and how it literally takes over our lives.
For me, meditation was the #1 most effective technique for reducing worry and controlling it in my life. Meditation allows you to recognize the flurry of worried thoughts that travel through your brain each minute, gently acknowledge them and without having them impact you, let them roll on by – a lifelong coping skill that helps you deal with stress and worry no matter how great it becomes in your life. Meditation twice daily for 20-minutes done with patience (it can take weeks to finally achieve breakthroughs with meditation – check out Attracting Greatness for some tips that will help you meditate more effectively and quickly.)
3. Healthy Diversions
I have also learned to quickly substitute healthy diversions such as listening to relaxing music, brisk exercise, changing my environment and positive affirmations to sidetrack worry when it happens. If I get into a state of worry, I can now interrupt that damaging thought pattern quickly (within minutes) using these techniques when worry used to paralyze me for hours or days.
4. Self Confidence
Much of the worry that I (and thousands of others we have helped out with this debilitating condition) have is rooted in low self confidence. Basically it does like this…if you can't have faith in yourself to handle whatever situation emerges then you worry about that situation because it scares the hell out of you. But, if you have a high self confidence you know that you can adjust on the fly, you can handle whatever condition may come up and so you tend to worry less and sleep much better at night. Improving your self confidence reduces your worry directly.
5. Personal "Blackmail"
There are many situations I have been involved in over the past few years (starting my own business, standing up in front of thousands of people, raising my kids through some challenging times, dealing with tragedy, etc…) where I literally "blackmailed" myself using a conditioning technique that basically inflates the pain of NOT going ahead to be much greater than the perceived pain (causing the worry) of what may happen if I fail at performing the task. In other words, I turn the pain versus pleasure tables in the opposite direction and combat worry by making the original thoughts about worry insignificant. This works for nearly any situation and has incredible results in ultimately overcoming the paralyzing affect of worry on your life.
So how does worry impact your life?
Do you have ways of dealing with worry, or can you see how some of these tips will help you next time worry threatens to derail your progress in life?
Leave us a comment.