As I mentioned in my previous post, the hard part is not to understand why it doesn’t make sense to worry, it is to know how to deal with it, when a stressful situation comes up or a worrying thought keeps us busy!
1. Get a “totem”
You remember the spinning top from the movie Inception? The protagonists used it to check if they were still dreaming or not. When it comes to remind yourself of a stressful or worrying situation, a totem can be pretty helpful too. A spinning top obviously doesn’t work, since you are awake anyway, but it can be useful to remind you that you are actually worrying.
Of course, many times you instantly know that you are worrying about something, but very often, we only realize it when we are already minutes or even hours down the thinking hole.
For example, how do you mostly react when something is worrying you? Do you just breathe out very loud, being annoyed by the fact that you can’t focus? There you have it! Are you maybe thinking something like: “Oh boy, really?”, do you start running around in your room or biting your nails? Great, there you got your totem!
If you don’t know how you react when stress or something worrying is coming up, think of how you react when you watch a thriller, horror movie or playing an exciting video game.
Now, the next time you start worrying and you, for example, are about to bite your nails, remember that this is your connected totem which enables you to become aware of the state of worrying itself!
2. Create your personal mantra
Now that you are aware of your biggest addiction – thinking and worrying – you can proceed to create your own mantra which will be the exit from that annoying labyrinth.
For example, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down:
Why do you worry? You can’t change what happened in the past and you can foresee the future. So why do you worry about things you can not change and things you are not even sure that they are happening – even though it currently seems like!
I would suggest to really write these things down instead of typing them to a screen, simply because we become way more aware and remember things better once written down.
It could also be a little meme like the one from my previous post.
3. Becoming aware of the now
Now that you have become aware of the here and now, tell yourself that this worrying process doesn’t make any sense at all, because it doesn’t do anything. It makes as much as sense as slamming your head against the wall in order to stop a nagging headache.
Always remember, if you can do anything about your problem – do it! If you can’t change it, then learn to accept it!
4. Analyzing your fear
To put it simple: Worrying is being afraid of something! So rather than running around in your room or trying to distract yourself – which most of the time doesn’t work anyway – try to sit down, analyze what you are afraid of and make a list of all the things cruising around in your brain.
For example, you have an application interview tomorrow and you write down: I am afraid that my job interview goes wrong tomorrow!
Convert it into: I am looking forward to this interview, because it means a better life which will open lots of doors for me.
5. Have some trust in the universe
Also be aware that even if the interview goes wrong, you never see the big picture! Sure, you may leave the company and receive that stupid letter, telling you that you haven’t been accepted … but how often the following thoughts did cross your mind:
“Damn, if I weren’t involved in that accident two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have met this girl in the doctor’s waiting room, who is now my wife I am happily married to since ten years!”
Isn’t it strange that we are always able to connect these dots which already happened, but constantly worry about what still lies ahead of us? So even if that job interview goes wrong, think about that the universe may have better plans, you are simply not able to process yet! Sometimes you have to have a bit of trust in the universe!
6. The fireplace
In case you got some really annoying thoughts cruising around in your brain and you still need to focus. Sit back for a moment, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and imagine that cozy fireplace. In your mind, write down the problem on a piece of paper, then crumble it together, throw it into the flames and imagine, with all your senses, how that crumbled piece of paper burns to ashes.
You can use many other techniques such as becoming aware that you are, in your imagination, an all powerful being. Simply rip that whole planet earth apart and find yourself an imaginary place to order your thoughts or better, think nothing.
7. Self fulfilling prophecy
“Why does it always rain when I am about to leave the house?”
Yes, of course, … it aaaaalways rains, when you are about to leave the house. Sure thing! You are the center of the universe and its whole mission is, to annoy the crap out of your life! Obviously! 😉
Did you ever hear of selective cognition? Most of the time it is helpful because we would simply go crazy by perceiving everything which happens around us. Did you ever realize that, for example, when you broke your leg, that you suddenly see lots of other injured people around in the streets? That if you or your wife is pregnant, you suddenly see many other pregnant women or new born babies? That if you watch negative news all day long on your Facebook stream, you have the impression that the world is really getting worse each day? Congratulations, this is your selective cognition which is “narrowing” your brain down to the stuff you worry or think a lot about.
So if, for example, you left the house forty three times during the last month and it was just raining around five times, your selective cognition leads you right away to the thought that it aaaaaalways rains, when you are about to leave the house. You are already that focused on the negative stuff that … well, it may be time to change it?
8. Stop watching news
Stop watching news! Yes, simply stop watching news, … at least on a daily level. There is no need to see HD videos from every angle showing some amok running truck driver hitting into a crowd of people. There is no need to see Trump telling the most stupid crap every hour.
Ask yourself: Would you say the world is getting worse and worse? Yes? Then you may be already too influenced by all that negative crap which is being shared each day! Because if you take a moment and, for example watch TED talks of Steven Pinker, asking if the world is really getting worse, the answer is a simple NO!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all ignore the bad news, but ask yourself seriously. What is worth more? To focus on all the tragic stuff happening each day and feeling more and more depressive until you find yourself with health or mental issues or focusing on yourself, becoming that great human being who is, at the end of the day, being able to really improve and influence things on this planet on a much higher level!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all ignore the bad news, but ask yourself seriously. What is worth more? To focus on all the tragic stuff happening each day and feeling more and more depressive until you find yourself with health or mental issues or focusing on yourself, becoming that great human being who is, at the end of the day, being able to really improve things on this planet on a much higher level!
9. Should, could, would
How many times during the day you make use of these words?
“If only I could ___________”
“If I would have done things different in the past, then I would ___________”
“I should have taken the other option, than _____________”
The truth is, all of this in an illusion!
Let’s break it down for a moment with this little simple example:
You tell yourself that if you would have decided differently ten years back, you would be way more successful today! Seriously?
Consider the following points:
- it is just wishful thinking and a cheap substitute to realize that you still have the chance to improve your life, but you are probably too lazy to take action or didn’t work out a strategy yet to make it happen!
- eventually, yes, you would be way more successful now, but it could have also been that you died of cancer five years ago!
- it could have also happen that you got really successful and at some point in your life you got kidnapped by fifty beautiful women (or men), leading you to a secret island … and you lived happily even after!
While you may say the last example was absolute nonsense, so is any thought related to should, could and would.
It simply doesn’t make sense, because it is not happening right now!
Let’s face it! If you have thoughts like this, you are probably not happy with your current situation! If you can do something about it … do it! And again, if you can’t do anything about it, accept the current situation and make the best out of it and always keep in mind that worrying doesn’t make any sense!
10. Improve your self confidence
It is a simple fact! Self confident people worry less, because they are able to, let’s say, broadcast with very high/positive frequencies.
For example: You are a self confident person because you are being able to accept and to love yourself! Therefore your appearance is way more natural because you are not afraid to show yourself the way you are, with all your flaws and scars or even disabilities. You also don’t need to play some role of someone you wish to be. People perceive you as a natural, friendly, balanced and open minded person who becomes some sort of a magnet to positive things! If something goes wrong, you file it as experience and make it better the next time!
There is a full section dealing with the topic of self confidence in my available course, LifeBuff mini, which is absolutely free! If you are curious just check it out!