Anxiety Warriors, we totally get this comic, right?! LOL
When a worry comes up say to yourself, “I am a warrior, not a worrier.” Being a worrier is like shooting arrows at yourself. It’s assaulting yourself with painful thoughts and images when they aren’t even happening! Warriors use their arrows not on themselves, but for their goals and dreams!
It’s time to start letting the mind movies of bad things that could happen go. Use your brain power to just focus on the real obstacles that you need to address. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong just zaps all your energy and passion that you can use for better things in life! Channel that energy into writing a novel, making a sculpture, working on a cool business idea… Say, “I’m using this worry energy for something better!”
Also, no amount of worrying makes what is not controllable suddenly controllable. Ruminating about the future doesn’t help you or protect you. It’s wasteful, it’s scary… and it sucks.
Just be a safe, smart, cautious person in the moment. Challenges will come but you can face them with all that you are when they are here. You are making yourself miserable practicing facing them before in your mind (over and over!) when they might not even happen! Say, “I’ll face that challenge when it’s here, if it happens, but I don’t need to face it in my mind.” Don’t be absent from your own life.
Anxiety and worrying might even do the opposite of helping you because they distract you from what’s in front of you and chronic stress can cause health problems! (But don’t start worrying about worrying! LOL How meta!)
You don’t have to believe everything you think. I believe about 20% of what I think. The rest is too stressful! Sometimes you can’t choose your thoughts. They just fire out on their own BUT you can choose your relationship with your thoughts. You can choose to be like, “Oh, hi worry-thought. I don’t believe you. You can stay but I’m not attaching to you. You’re wrong a lot. Have a nice day.” or “OMG! THIS IS PROBABLY GOING TO HAPPEN! AHHHH! LET ME PLAY IT 40 TIMES IN MY MIND AND BELIEVE IT’S GOING TO RUIN MY LIFE!” Which one feels better?
Let the worry go and distract yourself with something positive. Maybe think of a really silly time with a friend where you laughed so hard you peed a little.. or cried a little; some kind of liquid came out of you! You can also say, “I’m not a person who worries about that anymore.” You’ve been a person who worries and stresses about everything in the past, but you can always choose to be who you want to be, not who you’ve been! “I’ve always been a worrier!” Ok, well, you don’t have to keep going like that! Recreate yourself!:)
Either let the worry go/distract or take a positive action that will help you feel less worried such as if you have an exam you’re worried about, stop worrying and study! 🙂 The more worries you are able to let go of, the more your brain stops going down those pathways. You are addicted to worrying. I know it’s hard not to follow a worry down it’s worry path (My boss made a weird face.. I might lose my job.. then my house.. then my cat, Fluffy!) but be strong and don’t follow it. You’re not going to lose Fluffy. The less you go down the worry path the less your brain will. Slowly your brain starts being less prone to worrying. I challenge you to having 7 days of letting go of your worries! If you want, you can have 10 minutes at 5pm daily to worry but that is it! Any other time worries come say, “I can only think about this worry at 5pm for 10 minutes.” Worries don’t help you- they hurt you!
9 Other Ways To Let Worries Go:
1. Take deep breaths and know that all emotions pass
2. Get out of the past and future and just focus on what’s in front of you
3. Ask yourself if your anxious thought is true (“The Work” by Byron Katie is helpful for this)
Remember a time where you were really anxious about something and then it ended up being not a big deal! You’ve been wrong many times before;)
4. Know your mind is overacting to a threat that is not serious. It’s your biology being like, “Oh no! A lion might eat me!” BIG THREAT! Realize that there isn’t a threat and you are ok and safe. Be like, “Brain, thanks for the warning, but I’m not a cave-woman or man who needs to be alert all the time to lions and tigers and bears.” (OH MY!)
5. If you are stressing about something that may happen think about other possibilities. Look at the evidence. “Maybe I will be able to get this work done.” “Maybe I will be a little late but it will be ok.” “Maybe my friend isn’t mad, they are just busy and will text me when they have a minute. Not everyone constantly checks their phone or email.”
6. Know that you don’t have to stop the worry thoughts from HAPPENING, you have to stop yourself from investing in them, believing them, attaching to them. Your thoughts can’t hurt you and they aren’t you. They just go off like a reflex. We all have weird, cray-cray thoughts so don’t worry about your thoughts if they are not what you want to be thinking. Just distract yourself and don’t give them so much weight.
7. Talk to a friend, family member, counselor.
7. Do self-nurturing things like: Funny movie, TV show, Exercise, Bubble Bath
9. If you notice a worry, say out loud, “STOP” and then distract.
**** What helps you guys with worry/anxiety? I would love to hear your suggestions and tips!
Thanks SO much! 🙂 Good luck, warriors! Love you! Rachel