Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
Over worrying seems to be something many of us face. How often do you lose days, hours, or weeks of your life worrying? It may surprise just how many perfect moments you have in life to enjoy and be peaceful, but instead you choose to spend that time worrying.
Nothing much really happens in life day to day, most of it happens in our heads. Take stock now of where you are, is there anything happening at this moment? Are you enjoying in the gift of peace that you have or are you worrying about something that may happen in the future? I encourage you to try to notice the moments when nothing is actually happening, and be grateful for them.
There are many times every day when nothing is happening; however most of those times are seen as voids that need to be filled with something else. Perhaps there is an association with having nothing to do with being sad and lonely. If that is the case, no wonder we spend our time filling our days with things, thoughts, worries, activities, and cannot bare the solitude when it is there.
It is not uncommon for people to worry just in case something is going to happen. I hear time and again from people that if they worry in advance they are ready for whatever happens. There is a fear that if I’m happy and do not worry about something bad happening that when/if it does I won’t be ready for it.
Nothing can prepare us for what is going to happen, and we cannot deal with a perceived threat. We can only deal with what is in front of us, and life will always bring us new experiences; whether we’ve worried about them or not. When we live in a state of worry, in effect we are less able to deal with what comes because we are exhausted from worrying about all the potential problems.
The body experiences the stress of the perceived problems as if they actually happened, so it is no wonder we are tired at the end of the day. When we are constantly in worry we deplete our selves and our ability to think clearly is disrupted.
Living in such a way creates an inability to cope. Situations that may not usually affect us can become ‘the final straw’ and cause us to act out of character or inappropriately because we have no space in our heads to deal with another thing, when in reality the only thing you have to deal with is what is in front of you.
I find it useful to have a mantra when times get challenging, something along the lines of; I am safe and nothing is happening, thank you for all the good things in my life, and this situation is not life or death and I can cope with it.
Finding tools that help to disrupt the thoughts are really helpful as this in turn allows us to create new neural pathways, and therefore new behaviours.