Many of us go about our days in our normal routines, not consciously aware of our thoughts. How much time might you spend in a day worrying about something?
- I need this sale to go through. What if it doesn’t?
- Does s/he really love me? What if s/he doesn’t? What then?
- How am I going to pay my bills this month, especially with holiday spending?
- What if the bus is late? I can’t be late!
Even if you are not consciously aware of the feeling of worry, the subconscious mind is aware.
Unfortunately you stand to gain nothing by worrying. It takes from this current moment and robs you from being present to it. Those who believe that the energy behind our thoughts creates our experience often say that “worry is giving energy to what you do not want.”
Think about that for a moment. When you worry, you are expressing fear of an outcome that has not yet occurred. Worrying about the outcome can only affect it negatively – the fear you put into it affects your own mood and energy level, and because you have only limited control over the outcome, your fear may have a negative effect on the results.
Eckhart Tolle suggests that we can break the cycle of worry by any of these methods.
- Become aware of and stop a negative thought, and replace it with something positive in the present moment.
- Place your attention on something natural: see a tree or flower and really focus on it, or hear a bird and focus on the song.
- Focus on the “aliveness” of the body: Notice the texture of your skin, the pulse beneath the skin, the way your clothing feels, or any other present moment sensation.
A key to stopping worry is surrendering to the fact that we don’t have control and allowing life to be what it is, while knowing that life can sometimes bring us pain, grief, or difficulties.
Remember as a kid you continued to pick on an elbow scab and how it would only prolong the healing? Think about this image the next time you catch yourself overthinking, worrying, or trying to “fix” things. Release your attachment to the fear, and use your thoughts to envision a positive outcome, rather than allowing fear to imagine a negative one.
Give it up and sing!