Worry has the capability of taking over your world if you let it. Mentally, it creates a dark place where your mind often goes, engaging in phantom scenarios about what may potentially happen. Physically, it stresses your body and causes tense muscles, headaches, body aches and chest pains.
Even if you can rationalize with yourself that the fear is unfounded and unlikely, it can still grip you. It is like a wildflower in that it spreads throughout every part of your life until eventually it drowns out all the other flowers, leaving you one-dimensional and too scared to do anything about it.
If you’re ready to come out from the shadows of worry and enter a world full of sunshine and happiness, then here are some tools for you to use to make that happen:
Challenge the Worry
When you worry obsessively about something happening, you walk yourself mentally through the scenario that scares you time and time again. You envision something absolutely tragic happening and picture yourself completely unable to recover from it.
For example, let’s say you fear that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you. You have no proof of it and you truly don’t believe it’s happening, but you still run your mind through the “What if” and you imagine him with other women, being unfaithful to you. You are scared that your sense of happiness is going to be shattered forever.
In this scenario, you might envision yourself finding out “the truth” and you picture your world being thrown upside down and inside out. You convince yourself that life as you know it would be over. But, would it?
Sure, you would face some tremendous heartache and pain, but would it truly end? No. It may feel like it for a day or two, but you’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and eventually get over him and start to live again.
Challenge the worry that has overtaken you and remind yourself that even though it may be difficult if you’re faced with it, it’s not the end of the world. You are tough, you are strong and you will prevail!
Complete the Scenario
Sometimes we worry because we don’t think things through in their entirety. We run through scenarios in our mind but only part-way so we never resolve them. We essentially get stuck in the problem moment and don’t progress from there.
For instance, let’s say that you worry about losing your job. You know that the company you’re working for is hurting financially and you fear that you’re going to get let go. What will you do? How will you survive?
If you’re a worrier, this is the spot where you’ll typically get stuck. You take your mind up to the point where it is the worst (you’ve lost your job) and you stay there. You envision what your life would be like at that moment, almost as if time stops.
So, if you find yourself doing that, it’s time to complete the scenario. Ask yourself what you would do if you truly found yourself in that position. What if you did lose your job? What would you do?
It’s highly likely that you would try to find a new one, right? Sure. So, you would update your resume, check job posting boards, ask those around you for any leads and do what you could to secure some other form of employment. It may not be 100% what you want at that moment, but it would at least get you by until you found the job you wanted.
The point is that once you complete the scenario in your mind, you find that even if your fear comes true, the situation is still livable. Once you get your mind to see that you have options, you relax a little and your worry isn’t as intense.
Decide to Fight It and Win
Make a conscious decision that even if your worry becomes true, you will fight it and win. For instance, if you fear dying, then you may spend your days worried about every little pain that you feel worried that it’s a sign of impending death.
You envision yourself either collapsing right then and there, or you can see yourself lying in a hospital bed, much too young to perish. Either way, it’s a scary feeling.
One way to learn to get over that fear is to decide to fight it and win. If you were told that you had some major health issue, what is the reality? Would you work your hardest to fight it and overcome the disease, hoping for a full recovery? Would you do the best you could to participate in whatever treatments were available?
Hopefully your answers to both of those questions are “yes”. Being diagnosed with a disease isn’t the death sentence that it was in years past. Yes, it is certainly a big deal, but people fight huge and powerful diseases every day and win…and you could be one of them.
This is not meant to minimize disease, because this one fear in particular certainly has the capability of not only affecting your mind, but your body as well. Research has shown that you can essentially talk yourself right into sickness.
However, it has also proven time and time again that the more positive you can remain, the greater the likelihood that you’ll have a good outcome. Give yourself all the hope you can and work to keep your mind focused on staying optimistic.
Worry can overtake you and make your life absolutely miserable if you let it. Don’t let it. Decide to start challenging your worry, keeping yourself aware of your options and decide to fight it and win. It’s time to regain your life – and your happiness.