When we can’t stop worrying about tomorrow, we’ve lost contact with the present moment.
Let’s say you’re waiting on the results of some medical tests. The results will confirm whether or not you have a serious illness or not. But you don’t know yet. If you spend the next three days torturing yourself with worry, it’s not the illness that’s doing you harm. It’s your worry thoughts.
Perhaps you’ve been asked to make a presentation at work. You’re worried you’re not going to get it finished in time, or that your colleagues will disagree with your standpoint or that you’re just going to end up embarrassing yourself. So you agonise over it, can’t sleep properly and are nervous.
Well, guess what’s likely going to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy? You guessed it – worrying!
Another example. Your mother in law has asked for a favour. You want to say no, but you’re worried she might think badly of you, and you don’t like disappointing people! So you imagine all the possible conversations with your mother in law. You come up with a hundred different ways to say no to her. You may even cave and agree to the favour, because you can’t stand the thought of looking bad – and you can’t stand worrying any longer! But then of course you just wind up with another problem – feeling overworked and resentful because you’ve just taken on more than you can handle.
When we worry, we are trying to control the outcome of events because we’re afraid of what might happen if we don’t. The thought of being powerless about what happens next can be a scary thought. Through worry, we think we are exerting some control over things that can’t be controlled – such as the results of a medical test or what someone thinks of you.
In fact, the mind-body connection means that worrying about your results has the power to make you more ill. If you believe stress is dangerous for you – it actually is! See this fantastic TED Talk by Kelly McGonigal to learn more about this: https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend
Getting caught up in worry consumes a lot of physical, emotional, and mental energy – energy that could instead be used for the things we DO have control over.
The ONLY thing you can really control
If you’re a bit of a worry wart, this isn’t really your biggest problem – although it may seem like it. Worry is actually a coping mechanism for another underlying issue. When you worry, it’s a sign post showing you that you aren’t loving or trusting yourself. Let me explain.
When you love yourself, you don’t get down on yourself over mistakes you made in the past . When you love yourself, you don’t feel anxiety over things that may or may not happen in the future, because you know you have the phenomenal coping skills to be okay no matter what happens.
However, when you don’t love yourself, everything can come across as an attack. You’re afraid that you aren’t safe, and your brain goes into threat-monitoring mode, trying to find a way out of the fear. Loving and trusting yourself, immediately stops the worry cycle by allowing you to feel safe in your body, no matter what’s happening outside it.
When you develop this robustness, you achieve ultimate safety for yourself – and you free up other people, too. That’s because you no longer have to rely on others to give you the security you need to feel safe. You are “unfuckwithable”, because your core is solid and strong. You are present, grounded, and generating trust from the inside.
It’s not just as simple as saying “I love and trust myself” though. It is simple but it takes practice.
In my practice as a Stress Coach and RTT Practitioner I help clients reconnect with the love that is inside them, removing long-held limiting beliefs that have stood in the way of that love for too long. I also help my clients to train their minds to stay in the present moment, creating distance between you as the watcher of your thoughts and the thoughts themselves, so it is you who chooses what thoughts you run with and those you let go of. If you ‘d like a free chat with me about the work I do, just drop me a line and we’ll find a time.
All the very best,