Are you a worrier?
When we worry our focus is usually on the future or the past. The worry is seldom related to the actual present moment.
We can worry about a conversation we need to have or have already had, a job interview, an accident waiting to happen, going to work, meeting a deadline or paying the bills. The list can go on and on.
Somehow sometimes worry can make us feel in control, like you care and therefore worry will prove that you care or improve the outcome because you are putting time and energy into the worry. Perhaps you call it planning even.
Can you think of a time when a future situation played out exactly like the story of worry that was in your head?
Can you think of a time when the pre-worrying helped or was useful?
Did you find a solution in your mind then keep replaying the solution only to solve it many times and start again?
This is called anxiety.
Left unchecked it can also become physical and impact your life dramatically.
The looping thoughts and stories in our minds are just that. A story. It’s not who we are.
The story is formed as our mind as a way of protecting ourselves (our ego) due to our past conditioning.
We are always looking for the familiar even when the familiar may not be very nice. However, as humans, we thrive off unpredictability and the unknown. It’s how we grow if we are open to it.
Our brain will replay the same old song like the well-worn grooves of a record because that’s what it knows. If we are not aware of it we get stuck on the b side.
So how can we unwind our anxiety?
When you catch yourself with the record on repeat and the needle is stuck you need a circuit breaker. Here are some starters.
- Stop whatever it is you are doing and change rooms.
- Go outside and take a break (without your phone)
- Get up out of bed and move your body gently. Try some gentle stretches
- Go for a walk without your phone and look around with the eyes of a child. Fascination, awe.
- Push yourself back from your desk and focus on the feeling of your body sitting
- Put your focus on someone else, help a friend, do something with your child (play, homework, or ask them about their day)
- If you already practise meditation, find a quiet space to focus on the breath, your body or listen to the sounds around you.
It takes awareness and practice. Each time you break the circuit or change the song 😉 you are creating new grooves in the brain that say ‘Hey, let’s try this instead, we know the other way doesn’t work’
Is it time for some new lyrics?
How do you unwind your anxiety?