The stress hormone cortisol leads to all kinds of illnesses and there’s something EASY that you can do to take control of your worrying!
When a worry pops into your mind, decide first if the concern is “out of your control” or not.
If there IS something you can do about it, do it right away so you can get it off your mind. If it’s “out of your control”, then here is a super easy, ingenious way to take control of your worries and achieve “Peace of Mind”!!
Here it is.
*** Set a time each week to “Worry” about stuff! ***
Literally. Put this as an Event in your calendar and set a repeat notification for the same time each week.
“Time to WORRY!” Friday afternoons at 3:30 (for example). Block off half an hour or however long you think you’ll need.
Instead of the vague statement, “I’ll worry about this later.” your brain wants to know that you take it seriously. Saying the vague word “later” doesn’t make you stop thinking about it.
So if you have a worry pop into your head during the week about your aunt who is sick, for example, instead of getting whirled into the debilitating pit of worry, deeper and deeper in thought and fear about something that is OUT of your control, always do whatever is IN your control first… you could call or text your aunt to let her know you’re thinking of her and wishing her the best.
And once you’ve done what is IN your direct control, say to yourself, “I’ll worry about this on Friday at 3:30.”
Write the specifics about each Worry down in the “Note” section of your calendar as they come up during the week so that when this “WORRY” appointment time comes around you will be organized and ready to get right to work at it!
Protect this time! Take it seriously – as much as possible! Don’t allow others to interrupt you during this appointment with yourself.
(“Please come back in 10 minutes… I’m busy worrying!”)
This is important to your sanity and “Peace of Mind”.
What does this weekly practice do for you exactly?
1) It gives you power over what goes on inside your head!
You do not need to let your constant mental chatter hijack your mind. This is one (fun) way of taking control of your thoughts. Whenever you can feel like you have control of your own life, this gives you power, feels amazing, increases your Self-Confidence, and ultimately leads to a fulfilling life.
2) It also makes you more productive!
You will get more done. It will be easier to focus because your thoughts can be directed toward what you’re working on at any particular time – instead of worries.
3) It makes your worries disappear!
The most remarkable thing you will discover is that by the time your weekly “Worry” appointment comes around, a lot of the things that are on your list are probably not relevant any longer!! You can have a little chuckle to yourself, cross them off and focus on worrying with all your might on whatever is left on your list that came up during the week… that is still “out of your control” … but you still feel the need to worry about.
4) It makes your worries seem less worrisome!
If you do have some things on your list that are still relevant, you may eventually discover that you feel a bit silly worrying about things that are actually “out of your control”, and you may find that you put less and less worries on your list each week. (How wonderful!!)
Even if you feel a bit awkward or silly, it’s still important to keep to this scheduled appointment, because it’s super easy to slip back into your old habits of worrying all the time. It’s what you’ve been conditioned to do over many years and will take some time to turn it around, so always be patient with yourself.
Use your Weekly Worry Appointment as you wish. When you get to the point where you have NO worries (it’s possible!!) spend this time “thinking” about your thinking. Be sure to set a timer so that you don’t go over the allotted worry time. If the time runs out, put any “incomplete worries” you might have onto next week’s agenda.
You may actually gradually learn the most powerful (and healthy!) lesson in life.
As the Serenity prayer says:
God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
If you cannot change something, you will learn to “Let it GO!” Accept it… It is what it is… This too shall pass…. What good does it do to worry about this?
Trust that there is a Higher Power that is taking care of everything for you.
Are you going to worry about something or not?
The act of “Worrying” is IN your direct control!
Wishing you wonderful “Peace of Mind” this week!