Letting Go of Worry

Steve via Compfight

I’m taking the Worry out of 2014, and so can you!

What are you worried about?

Would it be easier if I asked you what you aren’t worried about?

If you are anything like me (God help you!) you could be worried about a myriad of real or imagined things, at any given time.

After all, your child never does her homework.  Or is it that she does too much homework?   Maybe she is doing SO much homework, she is not getting enough exercise or has too much stress?  That’s worth a few bitten nails.

And then there is the “doctor or no doctor” worry.  If I had known how incredibly difficult it would be to discern whether to take my precious tots to the doctor or give them a warm compress and a baby aspirin, I would have happily paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn the difference between a headache and a brain tumor.

But the truth is that no matter what is happening to my children, whether it is a skin rash that has erupted with no apparent cause, a pimple the size of a quarter or a stubbed toe, I worry.  What if it’s something serious masquerading as a “no big deal?”  Hello little lines between the brows!

Like a community with a lifetime membership to the Chicken Little Club, we can make a case for plenty to worry about in addition to the falling sky:

Is your 3-month old meeting his milestones?

Who is your child spending time with after school?

Can we trust the babysitter?

Is he reading at grade level?

Are there hormones in the milk?

Why isn’t she home yet?  I hope she’s ok.

Why does he spend so much time at home?  Maybe he needs more friends?

What about her lisp?

Should I mention his weight?

To self-esteem or not to self-esteem?

The worst thing about worrying is worrying. 

After all, if we are worried, it is about something that might happen – a “what if.”  And we are powerful – we can cause ourselves a tight stomach, headache, heart palpitations and the need for a quart of ice-cream, by simply considering the possibility of a potential outcome.

What if we channeled that energy toward something we want or someone we love?

Coach Me Quick Tips for Letting Go of Worry:

  1. Notice when you are worried.  Worries have a way of creeping up on you.  My thoughts move gracefully from worry to worry like a woman who is walking on hot coals – trying to ignore the fact that her feet are burning and she’s still not getting anywhere. (If you find yourself thinking “someone is crazy and I’m the only one in the room,” you have completed step one.)
  2. Sit down and take a look at what you are worried about.  Is there an action you can take right now that will reduce your worry?  If so, do it.
  3. If there is nothing left to “do,” write down the worry on a piece of paper and give yourself a full hour of vacation from the thoughts associated with that worry.   Remember that the worry is about something that has not happened in reality.
  4. If you are interested in a terrific resource; pick up Byron Katie’s book:  “Loving What Is.”  She has created a process (“The Work”) designed to help us let go of our belief in worrisome thoughts.
  5. Join me in committing to letting go of worry in 2013.

Letting go in L.A.,