When posting my quotes of inspiration on Social Media, it often makes me step back and take a good look at the realities of emotion and how they can govern our successes and failures to an enormous degree….if we allow them to.
Take the emotion ‘worry’ for instance. We’ve all been guilty of worrying ourselves into the ground about something ahead of us; whether it be work orientated, health related, regarding to our personal lives or just generally about the future.
The trouble with this innately destructive emotion, is that it begins with a niggling thought, which turns into a nagging concern which then invariably turns into a mountainous problem in our heads. This, subsequently, can often create irrational ideas about what may lay ahead; in turn completely blitzing our mental and physical energy -either through lack of sleep or through physically ‘tensing up’ whilst we’re going about our daily business. The result is often unmitigated chaos, where we make unreasonable choices to avoid facing the cause of our concern or, sometimes in the case of health worries, making the wrong choice altogether!
When combatting the source of our worries, it is important to take a step back sometimes and try to view the situation from a calmer perspective; no matter how difficult.
A quote from Winston Churchill perfectly encapsulates the rationale behind the doom of the worry wart:
“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened”.
This quote is absolutely correct of course… worrying about instance x,y or z is indeed wasting a perfectly good imagination with negative thoughts of what could happen in the future. It may actually never occur that way and all the worrying was for absolutely nothing! Even if the future holds a grain of reality true to your worry, it very often turns out not to be half as terrible or painful as you’d imagined.
With this in mind, I’ve created ‘3 Simple Steps to Handling Your Worries’ which I hope you’ll find useful.
- Remember most of the things you’ve worried about and will worry about don’t ever come to fruition.
A good exercise is to sit and think about how many times you’ve had a huge worry in the past and whether all of these occurred the way you’d imagined they would. It has been proven that by thinking about these things regularly and confirming in your mind that it wasn’t that bad at all, will make life easier and easier for staying calm with each possible concern. If you can introduce clarity into these exercises, then all the better. Ask yourself honestly “ what REALLY is the worst that could happen”? Spending just a few minutes during stressful times and finding some clarity in your path of thought can save a lot of time , energy , suffering and will eventually stop all the negative thoughts from snowballing out of control in the future.
- A Problem Shared Really is a Problem Halved
If your own mind can’t unscramble the rationale behind your worries, the best medicine is to talk about it. Talking it all through with someone close to you can make the world of difference and can often leave you wondering what on earth you were worried about it the first place! It can often be the case where a sensible, objective pair of ears can shed a more reasonable light on your worries where they can offer practical, pragmatic advice. Sometimes it’s enough to have a willing pair of ears there for you to outwardly vocalise how you’re feeling. Either way- it’s good to talk.
- Concentrate on Your Own Wellbeing
Ultimately, the only person who can really take care of you and your worries is you.
This means , physically and mentally ,make sure you’re prepared for the rigours that life throws at us from day to day in modern society. It may be quite an unexpected requirement, but by keeping our bodies fit and our diets healthy, we’re better equipped to deal with the stresses and strains around us. Whilst we’re far past the ‘fight or flight’ days of the cavemen, we still need stress combatting nutrients in our diet. Foods such as turkey, salmon, blueberries, pistachios , dark chocolate and those enriched with vitamin D all help to boost our nervous systems – as well as sunshine of course! In addition to this, working out releases tension and takes us away from our worries. Concentrating on fitness goals can often help us to shift our thought patterns to being more decisive and focussed.
Finally, it helps if we can mentally exercise ourselves by stopping our minds from thinking the worst until we feel stronger to deal with it. By saying to yourself ‘ I will think about this another time when I know my mind will handle it better’, you’re doing yourself a huge favour and ultimately taking the weight of your own shoulders.
With these helpful pointers above, I shall leave you with a positive Chinese Proverb:
“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent”.