Fixing your eye on Worry

By Sue McCoy - November 8, 2018

I picked up this comment “the Darth Vader of worry fixes his eye on the source and shoots at it like a repeat firing weapon”.  When you stop to examine what damage the weapon (worry) has done to the object – it is usually nothing in fact the problem may be worse due to the overload to our physical and emotional systems.  I am not sure where the quote came from so apologies to the source but what wonderful mental imagery and you have to ask yourself does this help me?

Is this you, do you find yourself worrying more than you would like?  For many of us and particularly at a time like this, uneasy thoughts can tick away and fuel stress levels which leave us irritable, panic stricken, frustrated and sleepless amongst other things.   Subtly worry seems to offer us some form of protection that “fixing our eye” on what we fear will save us from it!  This is a trick though and all it really does is draw us further into the worry and prolong and enhance the problem.

There is nothing wrong with anticipating problems and thinking things through by reviewing the past or preparing for the future and of course nerves are entirely normal.  Being able to let go of excessive or intrusive thoughts is not easy however and real freedom takes a risk, the risk of doing it differently and training our brain to let go which can take a bit of work. This is why people practice mindfulness, contemplative prayer and silence to develop new habits to train the brain out of the worry habit.

Here are some things to try:

  1. Be specific about what exactly it is you are worried about, try writing it down!

-Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?

-What are the odds that this will actually happen?

-Specify what you would like to happen and

-Describe why you want that to happen.

2. Are there other people that have different priorities and are affecting the situation? Evaluate whether or not talking to them would help?

3. Can you control this situation? If not what do you need to accept about it?

4. Can you influence the situation? If so how would it work and is it reasonable?

5. Develop a gratitude list to give your brain something different to think about.  Notice your internal response when you think about one of the things on your gratitude list.

6. Share your problem with a neutral person so you can speak it out loud?

7. Keep the amount of thinking time to a minimum by writing it down and putting it in a safe place for later.  Or telling yourself each time the problem comes into your mind I will think about that at 5pm for example.

8. Keep practicing the steps you find most helpful and remember change takes time!

Please note these steps are just a guide and if you are not able to make a difference or the issue becomes more difficult then professional support will be of the most benefit.

Fixing your eye on Worry

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