If you feel overwhelmed by worry, it’s time to take a deeper look behind the reasons you turn to worry so often.
How you view the world will largely determine how you experience the world. Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” What do you believe?
One of the major criticisms of positive thinking is that it’s delusional, that it seeks only one viewpoint and ignores all others. After all, life is not all rainbows and cupcakes and snappy tunes. There are struggles and heartaches. Sorrow exists. Tragedies play out in the most distressing ways one can imagine. And, yes, there is evil in this world. How else could one explain the atrocities man has been known to commit against his fellow man?
Stop confusing “realism” with pessimism.
Confession time: I used to like to call myself a “realist” … not a pessimist, not an optimist. Secretly I felt superior for taking this obviously better point of view. I saw the world for what it was: both good and horribly flawed.
As a realist, I wore a coat of armor (metaphorically speaking), always protecting me against the potential ugliness and badness of the world. The problem was that the armor I wore for protection also blocked me from experiencing a lot of good that was available to me in life. It shut people out. And, it was heavy … so very heavy.
As I learned to lighten my perspective, my life got lighter, too. That doesn’t mean I don’t experience some pretty crummy things… we all go through stuff we’d rather skip. Still, as I embrace a more positive view of life, I am stronger and better able to cope with the tough stuff, and far better able to bounce back again. We all fall, that’s no big deal. We just need to know how to get back up again. [Great related read that helped me so much: Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman]
To stop worrying so much, change your focus to what’s right with the world more often
Focusing on the goodness of life is not to deny the existence of the not-so-good about life. It’s just to say that at the end of the day you still believe that for the most part, mankind is kind. Happy endings can happen. Compassion wins over cruelty. You stand up to say that hate never solves anything, but that love can and does.
When you’re in a state of worry, you put your faith in the sourness of life.
And, here’s the kicker: you’re not actually experiencing sourness, or trouble, or any true negative issues yet; you’re just in a state of anticipation that something will go amiss. If what you worry about doesn’t happen, you’ve worried needlessly. If what you worry about does happen, your worry did nothing to prevent it, so worrying didn’t help.
Worriers will wonder whether they can or should focus on the ultimate goodness of life. You can, it’s a choice we all can make. Should you do this? I hate “shoulding” on people, so I won’t and I suggest you don’t should on yourself either. Just make a decision – what do you believe? It’s your call. Are you truly tired of the weight of worry?
Adopting a belief in the ultimate goodness of life will lift you up instead of weigh you down. It’ a far, far more joyous way to live your life than what worry will ever create for you. [Related Read: The Joy Plan: How I Took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness]
Helpful Affirmations When You’re Overwhelmed with Worry …
Life is wonderful. I believe that with all my heart.
I choose to stand in faith that my life is working out beautifully.
I believe in the power of kindness, compassion, and love.
I choose joy. I trust in joy.
I choose peace. I trust in peace.
Your Homework for Today
At some point in your life you’ve been at a meeting or event where you wore a name tag, right? C’mon, I know you have. It may have said “Hello! My name is ______________” and you filled in your name.
Name tags make it so much easier for people who don’t know each other, or don’t know each other well, to remember who they’re talking to when they’re in a large group meeting. It’s a label that clearly states who you are. For your homework today, you’ll make a special name tag to wear (okay, you don’t have to wear it if you’re not feeling that bold, but do create it and carry it with you.) At the end of the day, place this name tag on a mirror you’ll see for the next few weeks. Above is a picture showing you what your name tag should say (print this out if that makes your life easier!)
You may be thinking, “Why on earth would I do this?” Good question! There’s great power in associating YOUR name with YOUR beliefs. It attaches ownership to the thought. It affirms your attachment to its truth. Wearing this name tag, or just having it close by, will be a good reminder for you of your true viewpoint on life. That way if worry thoughts emerge, you can remind yourself what you really believe.
When dumping your worry habit, you must learn to change how you respond to life before the life you experience changes. When life circumstances have you debating whether to lean into worry thoughts or lean into goodness thoughts, this name tag provides the answer now choose. Remember, it takes time and practice to dump your worry habit. You need tools to help you. Though super-simple, this one is a great tool!
The above post was an excerpt from J. Marie Novak’s new ebook, How to Kick Your Worry Habit & Just Be Happier. Get your copy now: available exclusively on Amazon.com.