The idea that worrying is senseless and gets us nowhere seems to be one of those things that we take for granted as an inherent truth. It is so self evident the words almost have no meaning to us anymore. To challenge the wisdom of this truth would be to align yourself with folly.
However, even though we all readily reject any value in worrying, worrying is something we all do.
Even in the face of its quite obvious futility every single one of us at some point falls into the trap of creating a state of mind that we would very easily recognise as ‘worry’.
I have a very specific definition for the word worry.
I’m not talking about the puzzling or pondering we do every day at work to make sure the reports are in and all the jobs are done, or the apprehension we might feel as we do the last minute swotting for tomorrow’s exam. I’m not even talking about the final checks we might run in our mind to make sure everything is in place as we prepare to propose to our partner. No, no, this stuff all falls into the category of ‘solving’. After all, there are some problems that get very easily sorted when we take the time to apply a little detailed mind action to them. These are things we can influence. This is the puzzling that creates action. These are the calculations that produce answers.
Worrying is something else. Worrying is when we truly waste our time, energy and valuable mental resources on things that we cannot possibly influence or change
Worrying is when we are unable to do our work through fear that the last report we sent to the boss wasn’t good enough. It’s the lack of sleep, eyes wide open wondering if the questions in tomorrow’s exam will be ones we can answer. It’s the concern over whether the engagement ring we have nestling in our pocket will sparkle enough to make her say yes.
Worrying is trying to solve puzzles that are not ours to solve.
Your mind really wants to have an effect on your levels of happiness. In fact I would argue that your mind is working tirelessly to try and find the best strategy for the most happiness.
What it doesn’t want to do is waste its time. It wants to work out how to impact positively on your life and formulate actions that will result in the best version of that life possible.
Worrying has no result but to damage you.
It is the architect of anxiety and the causer of pain.
If you find yourself pondering something that you cannot influence or going over something in your mind that ultimately has no answer then remind yourself that this is futile and there are other things you could be doing with your mind.
Once the report has been written you can’t decide if the boss likes it or not. The best strategy is to get on with the next job on your list.
Once the revision is done you can’t decide what questions will be in the exam. The best strategy is to get your sleep. That way you’ll be thinking clearly tomorrow.
Once you’ve bought the ring, put on your best suit and booked the restaurant, you can’t do any more to make your partner love you enough to say yes. The best strategy is to relax, make friends with the butterflies in your stomach and enjoy your meal. You’ll want to remember this as a good night.
Whilst we all condemn worry as necessary and counter productive, few of us take any radical or direct action to stop it happening. We just accept it as a function of our mind that we have to put up with.
Well here’s what I have learnt from years of helping people to stop worrying. Most of the time the only thing that stops our mind upgrading and making radical life-altering changes is the belief that change is not possible. As soon as your mind directs your attention towards changing it generally achieves it fairly quickly.
Accepting a different pattern of thought as possible is generally the only encouragement your mind needs to start making it happen.
So the next time you find yourself thinking in a way that you would class as worrying, remind yourself of the futility of this and gently steer your thoughts elsewhere. You’ll be surprised how quickly your mind can shift towards more positive thoughts when it is allowed to.
If you’d like to learn a fast and effective way of changing the way you think then get the CONTROL system online training.
Take a look at the video for 2 worry free minutes.
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