Switch the Channel on Worry
Worry is like any bad habit. It can be addictive. One small fear leads to another and another. Before you know it, you’ve imagined your life falling apart, not only now, but ad infinitum into your future. One of the ways to begin breaking any habit is to simply recognize you’re doing it! “Oops! There I caught myself imagining not being able to pay my mortgage again.”
But simply the recognition that you’re worrying isn’t usually enough to change it. What can you do to switch the channel? Ask yourself the question, “What do I want?” For example, if your worry du jour is imagining yourself broke and penniless, turn it around. What you probably want is to feel safe. You might also want to imagine having enough or more than enough money. Your task at this point is not to figure out how this will happen, it’s simply to begin choosing something you want versus something you don’t.
Sometimes you don’t know what you want. Or, the thought of imagining something so dramatically different stops you in your tracks. If this is the case, switching the channel on worry may be to simply say, “I want to feel at peace.” “I’m choosing not to worry right now.” Or, “I’m open to something easier.”
If you’ve got a bad worry habit going on, you may need to be patient as you retrain your brain. Also, all of this is much easier at 3 in the afternoon than at 3 in the morning when you’re lying awake with not a lot to distract you! The great positive thinker, Dale Carnegie, once said, “If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.