Let’s be real, worry is going to happen from time to time. But maybe there’s a way to stop worrying as much? Here’s how to stop falling down the rabbit hole of worry, which might be sabotaging your day and leaving you feeling utterly, totally exhausted.
These ideas were sparked by my conversation with Rachel Alexandria, who talked to us about EFT tapping on the last podcast episode. Here’s a few ideas how to stop worrying as much, so that you can carve out a different life for yourself
- Acknowledge it
- Break it down
- Challenge it!
Let’s simplify how to stop that worry bus.
- How to stop worrying in 3 simple steps
- One final whisper
- If this thought of the day inspired you…
- Watch the video version of this episode
- Join us and become a Simplifier!
How to stop worrying in 3 simple steps
1. Acknowledge it
Worry is not the same as anxiety. Well, at least not for me.
When I’m worried; I’m future focused, stressing out, and being a card-carrying member of the Overthinkers Anonymous club. (Heck, I’m the chapter president, at times!)
I’m running through 80 billion possibilities of how things could turn out in my life. This includes coming up with escape hatches and rescue strategies to save the day. Total superhero style.
The point is, when I worry, I’m projecting my fears onto the future (aka. that thing that HASN’T happened yet).
On the other hand, anxiety shows up for me as feeling overwhelmed about the present moment (aka. that thing I need to do RIGHT NOW, oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!)
Once you are able to distinguish between your worry and your anxiety, you can acknowledge what you are dealing with. A worry is simply a thought floating across your mind like a balloon. That’s all. Nothing more than that.
Visualization to let worry float away
- Take a deep breath.
- Visualize your worries as balloons, and your mind as the sky.
- Some balloons are bigger than others. Some are about to pop… while others are fading away into the clouds.
- Take a deep, belly-filling breath
- Simply say, “Huh, look at those balloons floating by. Look at those worries.” Say it with loving neutrality, and realize that your worries are not your identity. You are not those worries – or the balloons.
In the words of the iconic and classic movie with David Bowie, Labyrinth.
“You have no power over me!”
2. Break it down
Some of those larger worries that are floating by might totally paralyze you. Trust me, I know the feeling. It’s the unknown, it’s the ‘What-ifs’ in life that cause great stress in our minds.
So, what do you do?
In my past life as a wedding planner, I won international awards for my ability to problem solve, and reduce risk when producing live events. I could intuitively see things go wrong before they happened. In a split second, I diverted the crisis like a superhero!
It was one of my strengths and what The Simplifiers became known for in the events industry. When I’m in a healthy place (getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and taking time to nourish myself away from my work), this truly is a superpower.
But when I’m worn out, exhausted and frazzled, this superpower turns into my super-downfall. It rears its ugly head as ‘worry’ and that can be crippling. So, the next step is all about breaking down the worry and diffusing the power it has over your mind.
Question what you are worrying about
- Why am I worried about this?
- Is it the fear of failure, or looking stupid in front of others?
- Am I worried about a big change in my life?
- Am I worried about ‘making it through to the other side?’
Set a 7-minute timer and start to journal this out.
What is your intuition trying to tell you in this moment?
Worry is sometimes a coping mechanism. You may have created it for yourself in an attempt to keep you safe. It might look like this:
Don’t speak onstage – what if you trip and fall down?
Don’t go after that big job – what if they say no?
When you write your worries down, you’re taking that balloon out of the sky and putting it on paper. It helps to clear your brain, and diffuse the power that the worry has held over you. It’s now grounded down, instead of swirling around and around in your head. Better out than in… this is part of the process.
3. Challenge it
Now that you’ve journaled down everything that’s worrying you in this moment, it’s time to challenge those thoughts.
Point blank, how you challenge them is like taking a sharp needle to the balloon and seeing what bursts. And also seeing what’s substantiated in truth. (Spoiler alert: I find most of my worries are totally ‘poppable!’)
Question those worrying thoughts
Choose one of your worries, set another 7-minute timer, and then answer the following questions:
- What evidence do you have that proves this thought is true?
- And what disproves it?
- What’s the probability that this situation will play out exactly as you think it will?
- Is it more probable that something else will happen?
- Does this worry move you closer towards your greatest goals and desires?…
- Or further away?
- What would you say to a friend who had this very same worry?
It’s in the little moments where we shut off the monkey brain and start listening with our hearts, and our intuition.
We are not discrediting the worry. We’re acknowledging the part of our brain which is attempting to protect us. Then we’re breaking it down on paper, and challenging it, to its core.
It’s as simple as that.
One final whisper
Sometimes your worries are bigger than balloons. They seem like the entire atmosphere, don’t they? “Mary, there is no popping them… it’s the air I breathe and I’m suffocating!”
Girl, I feel you. And I want you to know, you are not alone. Find a counsellor. Phone a friend. Send out a lifeline to someone who knows you and ask for help.
When our thoughts and worries become so overwhelming that we can’t see a viable way out, we need to remember to slow down. We need to focus on nourishing ourselves, and reach out to others.
You are important and you will get through this, too. You’ve had a 100% success rate of surviving everything that’s happened in your entire lifetime so far. And even if this worry seems especially hard and all encompassing, you will make it through this as well.
Hear my words: you’re doing fine. You are not broken, you don’t need fixing. You might just need a little breathing room and clarity.
Give yourself this gift by reaching out for help. Your superpowers will lead you through this, and journaling will help. But you were never meant to do this life alone.
“Don’t worry, be happy” —> bollocks.
Don’t isolate and be gentle on yourself.
You can do this, I believe in you.
It’s time to SIMPLIFY.
If this thought of the day inspired you…
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My month-long social media sabbatical is about to finish and I don’t want it to end! I can’t wait to share everything I learned this month about stepping away from social media in a future series of episodes.
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Tell us how you’re simplifying, which past episodes are your favorite, and we may feature your voice on a future episode!
Big thanks to our undercover superheroes at The Simplifiers Podcast that help us create these episodes for you – Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Janine Yardley, our Show Notes Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Director of Brilliance. Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Our advisory board includes: Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for listening and telling your peeps about us.
As always friends, keep things simple.
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