The smothering effects of excessive worry can sabotage peace and happiness for hours, days, or even longer. Worry thoughts are typically rooted in fear of change and/or uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Worrying isn’t bad in itself. It is an effort from the ego to resolve fear and to aid in future planning.
However, it becomes problematic when the energy is persistent, stuck, and cyclic as you ruminate in the worry thoughts. Excessive worrying is like a freight train running out of control and derailing you from the magic and opportunities of the present moment. The consequence is less likelihood of thinking and behaving from clarity and ease. Like me if you mastered the art of worrying, you most likely formed a habitual neural pathway which is a reason worrying shows up often and is difficult to interrupt.
Personally, I’ve come to realize when I begin to worry about my safety, my daughter’s safety, or my environment’s safety it is typically a cue I’m in a place of change and transition. The change triggers fear of uncertainty which then retreats to a primal space of concern for basic needs or to my root chakra. It is important to explore how and when you excessively worry to gain a better understanding of your internal state. The awareness will encourage a feeling of empowerment in order to regain control and mastery of your mind. Sometimes you may notice physical sensations, pain, or distressing feelings (such as feeling unsafe) prior to becoming aware of the specific worry thoughts.
Be forewarned, habitual worrying may present a fight due to its stable home in your mind, but it just takes matched persistence to evict its power. It is absolutely possible to master this new way of thinking just as you mastered worrying. It is a matter of refocusing your thoughts with determined practice in order to retrain your brain and strengthen a more adaptive neural pathway.
The following are four ways to regain your power and to return to the engineer seat: 1) Repeat An Intention, 2) Imagery, 3) Acknowledge The Fear, and 4) Challenge The Validity Of Worry Thoughts. The skills can be used one at a time or all at once providing a means to direct your train back to peace, clarity, and happiness.
It is beneficial to incorporate some type of diaphragmatic breathing, grounding, mindfulness, and/or meditation practice when applying the skills. These practices cue the brain and body to relax so it becomes open to the new skill(s). I enjoy utilizing tuning in to one or more of my five senses to ground my energy in addition to diaphragmatic breathing. This grounding technique may include tuning into a pleasant background noise, noticing the feeling of the weight of my body while standing or sitting, visually noticing the details of an object or person, or awareness of a taste and/or texture in my mouth, etc. I also enjoy going outside or going for a walk or run to ground my energy.
1) REPEAT AN INTENTION
This skill is a way to interrupt the cyclic energy of worrying. It can be any intention that generates positive feelings and peace. I enjoy using the intention: “I release the future to God” which is from the book, A Course in Miracles, by Helen Schucman and William Thetford (2007, combined volume). You may adapt this intention to what resonates with you most by releasing the future, for example, to Source, to Spirit, to your Higher Self, to Nature, to a Higher Power, etc. Hopefully, you experience an actual sense of relief from the pressure of worry and fear and a sense of peace from a quiet mind. Another possible intention to practice is: “I choose to not manifest worry or fear”. This intention may promote feelings of empowerment and self-worth.
Either intention energetically lessens the tension of anxiety and promotes higher vibrational frequencies cultivating fertile grounds for manifesting what you actually desire. It is probable you will need to be just as persistent with the intentions as the worry thoughts. Again, it is helpful to include deep relaxing breaths and/or a grounding or mindfulness practice with the intention.
Imagine in this very moment your life is absolutely perfect. This skill requires you to greet your inner child and give yourself permission to pretend and imagine like when you were young. With your eyes closed or with a soft gaze in a safe place truly feel, see, and think how it would be if your life was absolutely perfect in this very moment. Inhaling and exhaling deeply the pleasant and gratifying thoughts and feelings.
The imagining of perfection will vary amongst all of us, but in general it is an activity to encourage feelings of fulfillment and complete satisfaction of having all your desires and dreams come true. Ensure this life of perfection serves your higher good and higher good of others. You may call upon this image as often as you need in order to interrupt and dispel any disturbing worry thoughts.
3) ACKNOWLEDGE THE FEAR
A way to acknowledge the fear is to ask yourself: “What am I afraid of?”. This question may generate one or more fearful thoughts. Acknowledging the thoughts emerging from the dark corners of your mind illuminates the thoughts in order to see it objectively thus reducing the power of the thoughts. It is even more beneficial to write down the thoughts or to verbalize the thoughts out loud. Once again, it is recommended to utilize diaphragmatic breathing and/or a grounding/mindfulness exercise to tolerate and to reduce any distressing feelings of fear, anger, or guilt and/or physiological reactions associated with the fear thoughts.
4) CHALLENGE THE VALIDITY OF WORRY THOUGHTS
If the worry energy remains unyielding in its stronghold, then you may want to further explore the roots of the thoughts and to challenge the validity. Challenging the validity of the worry thoughts is a way to gain increased altitude to objectively understand if the thoughts are based in truth and reality. Review the previous blog, “THE ART OF DISENTANGLING YOUR MIND” (15 March 2016), for a full explanation of how to apply this skill.
After conducting the challenge and discovering a more realistic and adaptive thought, you will once again need to be persistent in practicing the new thought. The continual practice will eventually strengthen a more conducive neural pathway. As repeatedly stated earlier, it is beneficial to include a practice of relaxation or mindfulness to open the door for the new thought to enter.
MY EXPERIENCE USING THE COPING SKILLS
There I was tumbling down the familiar rabbit hole of worry…
Excessive worry has plagued my life since as long as I can remember. Showing its sly head in the form of cyclic worry energy about safety, finances, achieving success, and finding divine love, basically rooted in fear. Typically with the worry, beliefs of unworthiness come along for the ride. It can consume me to where I feel wound up with a cluttered mind, emotional angst, and a tense body like I’m dragging a heavy weight impairing me from any sort of pleasant feelings and peace.
Empowered by awareness and consequences of my worry thoughts, these skills bestow a means to interrupt and resolve my worrying. I will share my experience with a couple of the skills as a practical example of the application.
IMAGERY and INTENTION
On this particular morning the specific worry thoughts were not identified, but I felt an overall feeling of dissatisfaction, irritation, and fear. I went for a run. For me retreating outside and doing something physical helps to ground my energy and clear my mind. Typically after the runs, I stretch, do a few yoga poses, and meditate. I decided to try something different during the routine. I told myself to pretend my life was absolutely perfect in that very moment. I felt the power of the negativity wanting to immediately refute the idea by bringing the thought: “But it’s not perfect how can I even pretend it to be”. Persistence was needed and the challenge was on.
I gave myself permission to connect with the innocence of my inner child and explored deeper. I remembered how magical it felt to pretend and imagine like I used to do. With the image of my inner child, I again prompted myself to see, feel, and think what it would be like for my life to be absolutely perfect in this moment. I imagined all my desires came to fruition and all my dreams came true.
The word “free” surfaced in my mind and I saw myself rising and flying with grace. Then the word “organized” came forward of having financial freedom and being cluttered free both internally and externally. Spirit ascended in my heart with an overwhelming abundance of love, warmth, and joy. I saw myself encased in a cloud of completeness and peace. I couldn’t help, but smile. I felt protected and guided, and then the phrase: “don’t be afraid to teach” echoed in my heart. Empowered and vibrating on a higher frequency, I was able to interrupt the worry thoughts several times during the day. I simply recalled the morning meditation resulting in continued resonance of confidence and peace.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE FEAR
The excessive worrying was quite persistent on this night. I tried the intention: “I release the future to God” which resulted in some relief, but I knew I needed to go deeper because my attachment to the worry was a bit tight. I explored the worry thoughts by asking myself: “What am I afraid of?”. Almost immediately several thoughts surfaced: “I’m afraid of missing an opportunity”; “I’m afraid of being alone the rest of my life”; “I’m afraid to wait”; and “I’m afraid of being left behind”. I knew the origins of all these thoughts. They were imprinted in my memory during the tragic loss of my beloved husband when he was KIA in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
By bringing the thoughts and its origins from the shadowy corners of my mind to the light, the thoughts dispelled along with the negative and persistent energy. I felt lighter with a clearer mind and a heart as ease allowing me to drift into a deep sleep. If I was still tightly attached to the thoughts and the associated negative feelings/behaviors, I would then challenge the validity of the thoughts as described in the fourth skill.
It is my hope these skills provide you some relief and ease. Thank you Spirit for providing another opportunity for healing.
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The purpose of this blog is to share with you how I integrate my professional mental health experience, personal experience, and spiritual awareness in the form of coping skills. By sharing my experience, it is my hope it will provide a practical example how to interrupt and eventually resolve the cyclic energy of suffering and to elevate your energy! Please visit my Facebook page: Divine Healing: Poetry and Coping Skills (https://www.facebook.com/DivineHealing.Poetry.Coping) or my website: http://divinehealingmastery.com to learn more about me and to read my poetry.
PLEASE BE ADVISED
The coping skills provided in this blog are meant as a tool to aid in healing and not for psychotherapy or social work practice requiring a contractual, professional relationship. If you need consistent therapeutic care and/or crisis intervention due to being at risk of harming yourself or others, then seek professional and/or emergency services immediately.
These skills work best when you are ready to heal. It is OK if you are not quite ready. Please be gentle and patient with yourself. You will heal when you are ready. Sending you so much love, warmth, and compassion.
© Stacy L. Pintor 2016. All Rights Reserved.
(No part of this blog may be reproduced without written permission from the author.)