“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
― Mark Twain
We can all relate to worrying about future scenarios that never eventuated. A reason for this is that part of our brain is wired for survival and therefore the mind subconsciously seeks out possible impending dangers to present to our conscious mind in the form of imagined worse case scenarios. While it can be helpful to be aware of potential threats or possible obstacles in our lives, the reality is that most of our worries are unfounded, unhealthy and unnecessary.
When good intentions take a bad turn
Contrary to the negative feeling that can come with worry, usually the mind is simply looking out for us by attempting to pre-empt possible challenges or threats to keep us safe. This is a good thing because let’s face it,
if we went through life in a blasé state, we would be unaware aware of potential dangers and risks.
However, when worry isn’t helpful is when we jump to negative conclusions and replay adverse outcomes in our minds. This puts us in an unresourceful state and can also significantly affect our mental and physical wellbeing
A lot of worries come from dwelling on past negative memories or worrying about the uncertainty of the future. Yet both past and future are mostly out of our control and only exasperate the worrying.
So, what can we do to free ourselves from unnecessary worry and live happier, healthier and more productive lives? Here are some tips that can help.
TREAT WORRIES LIKE A CONCERNED FRIEND
Thank the mind for bringing the worry to our attention and then have a good look at it to see whether it’s a founded concern. If not, mentally say “I don’t need to think about this,” change the focus and keep moving on with the day. By dismissing worries that do not deserve our attention, we become more in control of our mental focus and where we place it.
CHALLENGE THE WORRY
Explore to find out if any parts of the worry are unfounded and write them down. By challenging aspects of the worry, we may become aware that the foundations of the concern aren’t valid or accurate, and the charge around the matter may dissipate.
FIND THE POSITIVE INTENTION WITHIN THE WORRY
For instance, if I am worried about my job security, then the positive intention of the worry is financial security.
By being in touch with the positive intention, we can move towards possible solutions instead of perceiving it as unfavourable and something to avoid.
Get into a relaxed state (ideally just after waking up in the morning when the subconscious is more open) and brainstorm ways to help alleviate or resolve the intention of the worry and write them down.
TAKE ACTION WHERE POSSIBLE
Start to action potential solutions as soon as possible. Even making little steps towards doing this can make the worry disappear.
And even if you can’t do something about the concern straight away, knowing something will be done in the future and scheduling it in can alleviate the worry.
GET GOOD ADVICE AND SUPPORT
Call upon support, guidance and expertise where possible.
People tend to go to people they know for advice, but while friends and family are well-intentioned, they are not always experts in the area where we need help. Sometimes they can even add fuel to the fire by judging, criticising and projecting their fears onto the problem.
LET GO OF PAST REGRETS.
Fear pulls our attention to what we don’t want through mental images of adverse outcomes and makes us lose sight of what we actually want. A way of letting go of past regrets is to take them as a learning experience.
Ask the question “what can I take away from the experience as a lesson and use moving forward?”
However, sometimes there can be suppressed emotions in a memory that make it difficult to move on from.
Using a combination of Hypnotherapy and N.l.P timeline therapy, it’s possible for these stubborn feelings to be acknowledged and released. .
Timeline hypnotherapy is where you are guided back to the memory in hypnosis and have the opportunity to observe the memory from a safe objective viewpoint to potentially get a fresh perspective, re-imprint a more favourable impression and release any stuck emotions. Through bypassing the critical faculty of the mind with hypnosis, the subconscious mind accepts the new positive images as current, accurate impressions of reality. The mind can then be under the impression that this is the new normal – it’s like upgrading the memory in a more favourable, healthy way.
Bypassing the critical faculty of the mind with hypnosis, the subconscious mind accepts the new positive images as current, accurate impressions of reality. The mind can then be under the impression that this is the new normal. It is like upgrading the memory in a more favourable, healthy way.
REFRAME THE PROBLEM
We can change the way we perceive a problem by reframing it; which can shift the way we feel.
It’s not what we’re worrying about that is the problem; it’s the way we’re interpreting the worry that is the cause of our suffering.
Getting a balanced perspective, where possible, is a good start.
A good question to ask is “what other ways can I interpret the problem that would have me feeling better?”
Looking at the problem and finding things to be grateful for within the problem can also make a difference as to how we feel about it.
COME BACK TO THE PRESENT
When we find the mind worrying about the future or dwelling in the past, we can come back to the current moment through connecting with the breath and being present with our immediate surroundings. By being anchored in the present we can feel more empowered and in control.
Bringing the mind back to the present moment can be compared to waking up in bed and realising we have been dreaming all along.
To get greater control over what has been called the ‘Monkey Mind’ is to meditate each day, starting with 2-5min sitting in a comfortable chair and build it up to 10 or more minutes daily. Meditation helps us to gain more control over the focus of our minds, which in turn can lessen worrying.
Some people find it challenging to sit and meditate and so moving meditations like walking in nature, painting, listening to music or anything where the mind is absorbed on one thing are effective alternatives.
REMIND YOURSELF IT WILL PASS AND YOU WILL COPE
Remember the countless worries that have come and gone and become faded or forgotten memories with time. With any current worries ask “will I remember this in 1 or 2 weeks?” and if not, then why not forget it now?
When we don’t have any more time to worry, it is incredible what us humans are capable of handling. A lot of what we go through can be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Life is inbuilt with problems, and rather than trying to escape this inevitable truth, we become empowered by letting go of the victim mentality. A better mind frame is to remember all the obstacles that we have already come through in life and reaffirm to ourselves that somehow, we WILL handle whatever happens.
Need to let go of your worry?
The Worry Less Hypnotherapy Program is a hypnosis session program which taps into the subconscious mind to reduce worries.
Instead of getting worked up, you will find yourself naturally relaxing, feeling calmer and more in control – ready to let go of worries and be a happier, healthier and more capable you.
Contact Skye today for a consultation or to book a session.