Set Yourself Free from Worries
Have you ever gotten tired of being worried? More often than we think, we spend a lot of energy worrying about things that we don’t want. Worrying is not entirely a bad thing; it helped our ancestors predict danger and survive for thousands of years. Even in today’s world, worrying technically helps us get things done and be prepared to face challenges in life more effectively. An appropriate anxiety level keeps us healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, the problem is not worrying itself, but the problem actually is allowing ourselves to be the victim of it. Here are the signs of when we are entering worrying victim territory:
– Our mind is getting narrower and we are less able to focus on other things than the worry itself, gradually stopping us from functioning normally or doing our everyday routine.
– We clench our jaw and loose touch of our breathing when we think about the problem.
– We isolate ourselves from those close to us, not reaching out for support, and are sinking into a learned-helplessness mindset.
Not being able to recover or bounce back from being worried or chronic worry can exhaust our mental and physical abilities to function normally. Our mind and body need a break to replenish the energy in order to help us achieve our goals. It is critical for our wellbeing that we know how to pause from being worried and able to set ourselves free from those negative mental states that don’t serve us well. Especially, when they are blocking us from thinking clearly and seeing an accurate picture of the reality. It is important to be aware of our unconscious worrying mind because it will help us identify and change the unhelpful pattern of how we treat ourselves to a more positive and growthful one.
Here are some questions we may want to ask ourselves to become aware of the pattern :
– What am I actually worrying/anxious about?
– Does this problem/challenge need to be solved right now?
– Do I feel stuck?
– Do I need help/support on this?
– Would I accept help/support?
It has been said, “Worrying is praying for what you don’t want.” Focusing on what we don’t want makes us depressed, but focusing on what we want makes us feel stronger and become more resilient. If we ever want to be free from the the worrying lifestyle and start living in a more abundant life, the time is now!
Cultivating equanimity and filling our heart with gratitude and self-compassion are essential practices that will help us gain strengths to break free from the unconscious worrying mind. Below are some tools to help us center ourselves in real time when our worrying mind throws us out of balance. You’re welcome to do whichever one that resonates most with you. It also might be interesting to notice your feelings towards the list, as some of them may bring up anxiety about doing all of them or fear that you might do “too little”. If you notice feelings and thoughts like these, just be aware of them without any judgement. It is completely okay to do as little or as much as you want. This is absolutely not a measurement of anything, but an opportunity to practice loving and accepting yourself as you are.
Here are the tools:
1. Smooth Breathing: compassionately bring your attention to your body by breathing smoothly. Breathing smoothly is breathing without holding or forcing the breath at any point. Breathing in, feel the cool fresh air filling your lungs while softening your gaze and placing your focus on something at a far distance in front of you. Allow your thoughts to slowly flow through your mind without holding on to them. Focus on your breathing and watch the thoughts flow away and disappear like you are watching the river flows. While breathing smoothly, you can keep in mind:
– Breathing in, I fill my lungs with love and gratitude. Breathing out, I release anxiety.
– Breathing in, I cultivate peace. Breathing out, I let go of chaos.
– Breathing in, I absorb positive vibrant energy from mother nature. Breathing out, I no longer try to control what I can’t control.
– Breathing in, I am free. Breathing out, I am at ease.
2. Connect to the Body: studies have shown that there is a strong connection between mind and body. To shift our mind to a new perspective, we have to move our body. You may consider walking in nature, going to a yoga class or gym, biking, jogging, dancing, cooking, or even cleaning or reorganizing the house. Physical movement is the easiest way to stop our mind from being taken over by the negative emotions. Moreover, it will help sooth our mind to feel more relaxed and be more broaden. We will be able to see a bigger picture and no longer being a victim of worries.
3. Nourish Your Spirituality: read a book or article that will expand your positive emotions and or inspire you. Increase your connectivity level by reaching out to someone who you feel safe with and ask them for emotional support, share your worries with them, or just drink some tea together.
The practice of setting yourself free from worries is a wonderful gift that we can give to ourselves, and we are indeed well-deserved. This approach is an ongoing practice that we have to continue to do in order to keep ourselves free from negativity bias and help us live in a present moment and well-balanced lifestyle. It is important to be compassionate toward ourselves, especially, when we feel stuck and overwhelmed. You are entitled to live freely and be free from unnecessary worries and anxiety. You deserve peace and calm.