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Can’t stop worrying

It is good to know that some worry or concern is healthy.  It indicates that you are noticing risks that may exist in your environment.  You came into this life with this warning system pre-loaded, ready to perform its job.  However, if you are tuning into more risk, worry, and nervousness, than positive emotions, you may want to consider that this part of you is carrying too much of the load.


Signs of Excessive Worrying


Some of the signs that worry is starting to negatively impair your life:


1. You hang out with other worriers

We tend to commune with others that look, feel and sound like we do.  If you notice that the people closest to you only talk about the potential downside of situations, that’s something to bring to your attention.  Misery loves company, and you are both feeding each other’s need to embellish the worry.

2. Your sleep is disrupted with a busy mind

Being unable to sleep because you cannot “turn the mind off” is a sign that thinking may be off the rails.  Go over and over the myriad of possibilities of how things could go wrong keeps your mental warning system working overtime and makes it virtually impossible to slip into a peaceful, refreshing sleep.

3. You feel sad more often than happy

You need to notice what are the predominant emotions that you feel daily. This is a strong indicator of how much worry you are carrying around with you.  This feeling can become so familiar with a habit that you don’t even notice that it is the background noise in your head all day long.  Your emotions, however, will give you a clear signal of that kind of thinking.  If you feel more low than high, worry may be running rampant.


Worrying is Not All Bad

But even if worrying is not hampering your functioning, it doesn’t mean that you should look at it rationally and see where and how you can manage it better.  Even if your worrying is within what you consider the acceptable range, there are still ways you can do something about it.


Here are some suggestions to positively management of worry:

1. Life coaching centered on neurolinguistics deals very effectively and successfully in eliminating negative thought patterns.  By working with the unconscious mind predominately, these thinking patterns are negated. This results in less worry and expanded perceptions of life possibilities for each client.
2. Therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) focuses very successfully on building conscious skills and habits to change negative thought patterns.
3. Mindfulness techniques such as meditation and focused breathing can correct erroneous thinking and bring awareness back to the present moment.
4. Rigorous exercise is stellar for physical as well as mental health.  It stimulates positive hormonal release while keeping one’s focus in the present moment.


It’s All About Balance


Remember that worry is not the enemy and has a place and purpose.  It is when that worry is out of balance that corrective action needs to happen.  Anyone or a combination of the above suggestions can restore balance quickly and result in a more calm and comfortable living experience.
If you are interested in learning more about neurolinguistics as a coaching modality to deal with worry, stress, anxiousness, or overwhelm, log onto my website at itcanbedifferent.ca and book a complimentary consultation.  You could be on your way to a less worrying life very soon.

The Anxiety Mindset

If you have an anxiety mindset, you constantly turn over issues. You think about the future, and pick over the past. You analyze, worry, or ‘nit-pick; about what did happen or might happen. It’s exhausting, and ultimately unproductive. I know, because I did it for years. I constantly reviewed every scenario, past and future, in my mind and dissected them into tiny bits of useless information, which I then used to berate myself with.

Anxiety-prone people often ask “what if?” What if I take the highway and there’s a crash? What if it rains and I get wet? I might get pneumonia and die. What if I say something stupid? This kind of anxiety

is largely based on fear of the unknown, of taking risks, and of feeling unprepared or unable to deal with the unseen.

‘I Wonder’ Instead of ‘What If’

In order to stop myself from the habit of imagining the worst-case scenario of asking “what if” followed by the inevitable negative thought, I now ask “I wonder.” And I follow this up with a positive thought. So instead of thinking; what if I take the highway and there’s a crash? I would think; I wonder how smoothly and safely the traffic will flow on the highway today?

Instead of thinking; what if it rains and I get wet? I might get pneumonia and die. I would think; I wonder if it will rain. I’ll take my raincoat in case it does. That way I will stay warm and dry no matter what the weather does. This mindfulness technique directs my attention to the alternative outcome. One that is more productive, creative and optimistic. This simple change in thinking has had a profound effect on my level of anxiety, as well as that of my clients.

‘If Onlys’ and ‘Shoulda, Wouldas’

Another common phrase people who deal with anxiety struggle with is, “If only…” If only we had gotten up earlier, we wouldn’t have been delayed. If only I had a million dollars, then I wouldn’t have any money worries. If only I hadn’t eaten that cake, I wouldn’t have got sick or put on weight. This kind of anxiety is tinged with regret, and often disguises an underlying anger or resentment.

The third kind of anxiety mindset is “shoulda, coulda, woulda.” This type is about what you should have done, what could have been or what would have happened. This is the worst kind of negative mindset;

as it is a major way of beating yourself up for the past, the present and the future.

This mindset takes a huge amount of energy, and can become quite obsessive, as we worry away, trying to rewrite our history. Shoulda, coulda, woulda mindset can also be a passive-aggressive way of blaming other people. Either way, it usually erases positive thinking as you constantly try to change the past and the future without being able to live in the present.

Awareness Is the First Step

Regardless of what particular negative thinking you engage in that triggers your anxiety, awareness is the first step towards making a positive change. Pay close attention to your language for the next week. What sort of negative talk and thinking dominates? Once you can recognize it, you can start making changes.

As with everything and anything, it is the small first steps that move the momentum forward. Over time this awareness, coupled with the discipline of correction, will eliminate anxiety-breeding talk and replace it with more talk that is accepting and gentle.

I invite you to share ways you try to focus your talk in a positive way in the comments. You can also join in the conversation on Facebook and Instagram for inspiration. And if you’re looking for assistance overcoming those negative mindsets I’d love to chat.

To our health and wellbeing,

Karen