Ben had a terrible anger problem. His rage stemmed from living with an abusive father who criticized and belittled him as a child. As an adult, Ben hates the way his anger seems to unleash itself at his wife. He sought therapy to help identify the hot buttons for his anger and learn strategies for […]
Worry-that thing we are not supposed to do but find ourselves fighting it. If you are someone who wants to make sure everything is OK, you may be prone to constant worry. And during this time of pandemic, it’s easy to worry about so many things we can’t control. But you can control your thoughts and do a few things to tackle worry.
First, pay attention to the number of times you say, “What if…” Those two words are the beginning of a worried thought. Instead of thinking, what if something goes wrong, change it to, what if something goes right. I am not asking you to ignore reality. Rather shift your focus away from all the negative scenarios that prompt worry. Or change your “What if…” to “How can…” When you shift focus on problem solving, worry dissipates.
Second, we have hopefully learned through this pandemic that uncertainty is a part of life. We have to get comfortable with not always being in control. Unexpected things happen. They aren’t always good but that is part of life. So if you want to curtail worry, accept uncertainty. Worry is not helpful. It does no good for your physical body either. Thus, letting go of worry requires a mind shift from fear of uncertainty to embracing the lack of control over many things. But remember, God is in control. There is a higher power looking out for you. Focus on that thought and remember God knows what will happen in the world and in your life. Meditate on that. Give your worries to Him and trust He will work all things for your good.
Next, don’t try to suppress those worried thoughts. Let them come and then let them go. The more you try to push the thoughts away, the more they come back. Think of those thoughts like an ocean wave–they roll in and then roll out. Stay in the moment. Ground your thoughts in the present-what is happening right now? Then distract yourself and refocus on something positive.
Letting go of worried thoughts takes intention but is doable. Practice one thought at a time and see the difference it makes.
For more help with worried thoughts, Letting Go of Worry by Dr. Linda Mintle