Life has its ups and downs. Most of the time things happen and we have very little control over the outcome. We might lose our job, have a relationship break-up, or have financial worries. That is the nature of life; Things don’t always work out the way we want them to. When we are going through these challenges, we cannot help being anxious, but how would you know if you need help? Answering the question does worrying and “what if…” keep you awake at night? might give you a clue.
For some people, worrying is a nasty habit – that is the way they are, and they make themselves miserable perpetually “what iffing”.
My client Sue came to see me because she said she had “lost her mojo”. She told me that she couldn’t find any joy in her life, was exhausted and was barely coping.
This is what Sue told me – “The moment my head hits the pillow at night I start to worry about all sorts of things and get myself into such a state that I can’t sleep. The thoughts just go on and on and I feel as if I am a hamster on a wheel and I cannot find any way to get off. Even when things are going well, I worry because I am fearful that it won’t last!”
As I got to know Sue it made perfect sense to me why she is unhappy because of her constant worrying. I told her that I had seen many clients over the years who had the same problem and I found that when they changed the way they think – to stop catastrophizing so much, it made a huge difference to the way they felt and behaved.
“I understand your pain”, I said, “a lot of people worry about “what if” and many find that it is just a nasty habit that traps them in misery”. I couldn’t help also saying “I bet that even though you spend a lot of time thinking about real or potential problems you don’t actually come up with a solution!” It was as if a light had gone off in her head and she said “I have never thought of that before, but you know, you are quite right”!
The reason why Sue couldn’t find any solutions to her worries was because she didn’t have a strategy to “worry well” – to use that energy to find solutions. What made it even worse was that her worrying was such an ingrained habit that most of the time she wasn’t even aware that she was doing it.
I said to Sue, “imagine how different your life would be if you could control your thoughts? To be able to address your fears in such a way that you find solutions? If you were to do that you might find, just as many of my other clients have, that it’s as if the scales have fallen from your eyes and you can now see all what’s good in your life”
Now that Sue has a strategy to “worry well” she has set herself free to embrace life with joy and positivity. “I know that life isn’t always hunky dory, but I feel confident now that I can address challenges in a creative and logical way by worrying for solutions instead of worrying to get stuck” she said.
Having the skill to “worry well” is an important step towards having a life of peace and joy. If you would like a free copy of the “Worry Well” strategy please contact me.
I have heard people say “I do my best work when under stress” or “worry and stress drives me to achieve my goals”. Usually that is because we are driven to honour our values and meet our goals. However, there is a tipping point and if we have multiple issues challenging us at the same time a strategy such as “worrying well” might be the difference between coping and not coping.