Life is a Journey

To Worry or Not to Worry, That is the Question

As a small child, I can remember not having a care in the world. In the daytime, I would stare at the clouds rolling by. At night I would wish upon a star. Now, in my mid-thirties a mother of two with a home and a husband, I worry about worrying. (lol) Will I have enough money? Will I have my job next year? Did I put deodorant on this morning? Am I screwing up my kids? You get the point. Is it even worth worrying at all? On one hand I am able to accomplish a lot because underneath all of worrying lies care. I care so much that I put a lot of effort into things. On the other hand I wear myself out and waste time thinking of things that may never come to fruition. It is almost as if I am trying to train my brain to be negative.

What is worry? WIKIPEDIA defines it as, thoughts, images, and emotions of a negative nature in a repetitive, uncontrollable manner that results from a proactive cognitive risk analysis made to avoid or solve anticipated potential threats and their potential consequences. Wow! That sounds  awful. So why do I allow myself to entertain worry? No matter how hard I worry, it won’t change the outcome of most situations. Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “How do I train my brain to worry less”? Like most of you reading this, I barely have two minutes to myself each day. From the minute my eyes open I am meeting needs of someone else. From laundry, cooking, cleaning, working, the list goes on. In spite of the chaos, I am going to add a few simple strategies to my day.

  1. Write a quick not to myself on a post it and stick it on my coffee pot.
  2. For example, you’re doing amazing keep it up. Love, me
  3. Replace a negative thought with a positive thought.
  4. The second I recognize that I am worrying, I will think of something I am grateful for like chocolate, or a martini, even better a chocolate martini.
  5. Find something to laugh about periodically throughout the day. According to Dan Baker who wrote “What Happy People Know” humor is like gratitude in that it nurtures optimism.

If you consider yourself to be a worry wart, I invite you to try these 3 simple strategies with me. Check in with yourself after a week or two and see if you notice a difference.

Wish me luck,

 

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