Hello all. I'm back. MY life has been crazy for a while now. Admittedly I stopped doing some of the things that I used to love. I let school, work, life get in the way of me having MY time. I used to take plenty of time to keep up my blog. It was where I expressed my thoughts, where I celebrated triumphs, where I sought advice, or wrote out advice for others (which was really for myself most of the time.) Anyway, I just got bogged down in life. I've been stressed and depressed. Anyway, its time for me to do some things for me again... as such I'm back. I know what you're thinking... I've said that before. Its ok... I know that actions speak louder than words, so in five or ten posts I'll say I told you so.
Anyway, something I really struggle with is worry. I'm sure i've posted about this before... but its an ongoing thing, so I'm discussing it again. My bff Kiley and I are always talking about how much we worry. We are always texting or calling to ask the others interpretation of a comment, action, event. I can look objectively at her world and she at mine, but when it comes to our own situations we get all paranoid. So today i started reading about worry.
I really liked this quote that I found.
“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened” - Mark Twain
This describes me totally. I worry about things that never happen. I'm butchering the pig, but nobody wants bacon. It occurred to me today that worry is a behavior. As such I choose to do it. I'm of the opinion that every behavior we choose serves a purpose or meets a need (thats related to my theory of counseling, but you probably don't care about that... unless your one of my classmates in which case refer to choice theory for my basis there haha). Anyway, if this is a behavior (habitual as it may be) I can choose to STOP that behavior. Easier said than done... but following are some ways I intend to accomplish this goal.
First though I found some interesting statistics about worry (yes, from reliable sources). I'm not gonna lie, some of these made me feel stupid for worrying all the time.
When it comes to worry, studies have shown the following statistics:
40% never happens – so in essence we are wasting our time by worrying.
30% of what we worry about has already happened. Learn to “let go” and forgive yourself and others. You cannot change the past – no one can. Accept it for what it is and go on.
12% are needless worries, such as what someone else thinks about us.
10% are petty and unimportant such as we worry about what’s for dinner, we worry about being late, we worry about what to wear.
8% of what we worry about actually happens. Of this percentage…
4% of our worries that happen are beyond our control. We cannot change the outcome. These worries may include our health, the death of a loved one or an impending natural disaster. Often times the reality of these events are more bearable than the worry.
4% of what we worry about we have some if not all control over the results. Basically I think this is the consequences of our actions or inaction on the problems and challenges we face.
Given these statistics, you may find it worthwhile asking the following questions:
How many times do we work ourselves into frenzy over a situation that is beyond our control?
Why do we allow worry to stress us out so much that we become ill? (this is my downfall seriously)
Why do we waste our mental energy with worry?
So what can we do? Here's what Ive come up with from a little reading. I'm seriously going to be taking these things into practice ASAP... this worry drains me.
1. Prepare for the worst – Hope for the best. This comes right from the advice of Dale Carnegie in “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. Accept the worst possible outcome and then take action to improve upon the worst.
2. Get Busy. When you find yourself beginning to worry – get busy on your to-do list. If you don’t have a list – then write one. List your goals and the action steps required to meet them. One of the benefits of your to-do list is you will stop worrying about forgetting something important.
3. Distract Yourself. Call a friend. Read a good book. Watch a funny movie. Take the kids to the park. Take a walk. There’s dozens of things you can do.
4. Get Support. Friends and family can be an excellent source of support. Especially if they will tell you how they see things. Sometimes just talking things out, helps the worry go away.
5. Make a Decision. If you’re worrying about an unresolved personal or business issue – then it’s time to make a decision. Once you decide what to do, you can begin taking steps for the best possible outcome.
6. Confront the Problem Head-On. It’s usually not the problem itself that is causing your worry. It’s usually the anticipation of the problem. How will others be affected or react? Deal with the problem as soon as possible.
7. Practice Relaxing. It is important that you take time to totally relax. Close your eyes take long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. With each breath tell yourself to relax. It just takes a couple of minutes of this exercise for the tension to leave your body.
8. Listen to CDs. This can be your favorite music, brainwave CDs or behavior modification tapes that are designed to dissolve worry and anxiety. (These do not have to be self-hypnotizing or subliminal – but of course you can choose these types of tapes.)
9. Journal. After writing down everything they are worried about in a journal, most people feel a sense of relief. In writing you may have discovered what you are really afraid of, and then you can objectively work on improving the situation.
10. Take Care of Yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat a healthy diet and exercise. When you nurture your body and mind, it’s easier to put things in perspective. It’s easier to cope with the unexpected.
11. Count Your Blessings. You have a lot to be thankful for. Look around you … We live in a beautiful world. You can be thankful for your health, your family, your mind, your country, your house, your job, your TV or even your microwave!
12. Monitor Your Thoughts. Be aware of your thoughts and be ready to replace worries with positive thoughts. Be prepared with a positive thought or quote, such as “Calmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland).
There are many techniques you can use to stop worrying. The important thing is to consistently use them until the new behavior becomes a habit.If this is a struggle for you like it is for me, I hope it gets better. If you've got something else that helps calm your worry post it in a comment... I know I need all the help I can get.