Tag Archives: Worry

Worrying too much?

 

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worrying too much

Escape the worry cage

Text Version here:   Worrying too much?

…when I was younger and out of a true concern for my welfare – my Mum was always saying to me, “stop worrying too much!”

So I began to believe that as part of my identity it was normal for me to have cycling persistent worries – always trying to think one step ahead. “Just how could I deal with any negative outcomes that might befall me.”

It wasn’t until many years later that I came to understand that when we consistently  hear or persistently think of a negative possibility as being a probability, then not only is it exhausting but it can reinforce the uncomfortable feelings of those message.

Flexibility and the ability to live with uncertainty  sadly becomes  alien.

Now I’m not saying that it’s not a good thing to think about things through planning ahead in a more constructive light but…

Let’s attempt to switch perspective for a moment. 

What if there is a difference between being a worrier versus being a person full of curiosity?  Think about it.

Does that mean we’d be more likely to be able to think more clearly about a given situation? Is it more likely that we could reach out for help to find useful solutions and get the emotional support we need?

Notice if becoming curious holds a different internal feeling for you. Or maybe it strikes a chord which creates changes in how you’re thinking.  What’s the difference to your inner experience?

Which one, worry or curiosity, would give you a glimmer of hope for the future. It’s intriguing, isn’t it? …

Many clients have said that they wish they could be more resilient when the stakes seem high.  I believe they have a good point. Growing an inner resilience to handle life’s challenges doesn’t mean we have to be super-human.

On the contrary growing an inner resilience means gradually gaining a more adaptable outlook. When things aren’t certain we can have more control, by listening to our emotions as a way to be helpful and supportive to our self.

How to –  where to start?

We’re all human, and we’re used to going into a protective mode of thinking which when we’re under stress, can lead to negative over-thinking, and high anxiety.

But being human means that we’re also able to grow strategies that nurture resilience. That means in circumstances where we need to handle the normal and not so usual challenges of everyday life too.

History is full of normal everyday people who have gone on to do extraordinary things, or have overcome challenges to lead a happier life with family, friends, and for themselves.

Sometimes we need help to learn those strategies and that’s okay because in one way or another, we are all fellow strugglers.

Just being…In this moment

Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, worrying about what others are thinking about us, not feeling good enough, loved enough.

Overwhelming factors which lead to fatigue can take the juice out of remembering times when we’re having fun, when we were really pleased with the outcome of something.  Those things can be simple things that can bring us a sense of joy and connection.

Re-edit your personal movie

When life gets tough then people often find themselves replaying fears based on past experience, without taking into account what they have learned or that they have changed.

I wonder what happens if you stop the replaying of the feared expectation, that imaginary snapshot of discomfort by using the imagination to re-edit the journey.

What went well? Who helped? What have you learned that could help you make better choices? What things had the potential to make you feel good?

What’s the first action you can take today towards a better outcome? Does that mean moving on or holding out?  The choice is yours.

Recall those good times too.

From experience, we can recall how feelings of confidence do grow over time, with practice and experience. From the first time riding a bike, to the first time we were in flow with a work task which initially we can recall, months or years ago, was a challenge.

The world didn’t end!

Recognizing that we have choices.  knowing deep inside that it’s really okay to be the best that we can be within each moment, of each day, can help us to feel better and give us hope on the journey.

It’s been said that we’re learning machines!  No one is saying that it has to always be easy to learn.  But why not experiment, by choosing to believe that it’s okay to just give ourselves a fair chance.

I like to think that showing ourselves a bit more self-compassion is preferable to constantly berating ourselves.  It surprising how these switches in perspective can lead to improvements in self-esteem too. Give it a go…

As attitudes to ourselves change for the better, I wonder how that could allow us the space to be kinder to others who may be facing challenges too?

Do you want to change?  We all have to start somewhere..and that could begin by one small step, by giving yourself a break and showing yourself some kindness.

Interested in getting some professional guidance on your journey? One to one therapy at my office or over Skype or an alternative web meeting link is available.

Contact me

Quest registered Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Maria Richards

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year Challenges!

Facing your challenges in the New Year!

Challenges can be invigorating

 

 

 

Do you recall the first chimes of the New Year, was it  like stepping  through a rusty creaking door into the challenges of 2016 or did the door glide freely because it was lubricated (no pun intended!), as you swung with positive expectation into the New Year?

 

 

Last year was a mixed bag of emotions for a lot of people, me included.  Life comes with challenges – some may be exhilarating because they involve stretching those boundaries which may take courage and determination.  Challenges can be described as grabbing the bull by the horns in an unpredictable landscape.  Overcoming difficulties or making changes by engaging at a deeper level can mean finding self-acceptance of one’s limiting beliefs. Learning to let go of them by trusting oneself can be a life-changer.

It’s funny how many people have said that it’s the learning to trust in one’s  own instincts that allows them to be more at peace with themselves and as a result more in ‘flow’ in their world.

Finding your own path doesn’t necessarily mean following someone else’s!

When it comes to testing situations, the choices we make and the things we tell ourselves can lead to growth or protection.  If protection causes negative stress, then that can really feel debilitating and exhausting, even lead to destructive behaviours.

If we expect New Year challenges to be like experiencing an uncomfortable roller-coaster ride, – struggling with circumstances ‘outside our control’, that can derail, upset  and cause muddled thinking.

Instead we have a choice to be curious about how we can take action on small things through the year. What can gradually improve our situation to stop feeling responsible for things outside our control?  New ways of thinking can prove to be an emotional game changer and in the bigger picture, a life changer!

Challenges can dissolve old ways of thinking…

With an enquiring mind if we can turn what challenges us into an opportunity for growth, then we’ll be using stress as a positive force, so that what can at first appear difficult can transform into a glimmer of hope for success and well-being.

Hope  can create change.  Determination to pull through can enable us to access a more powerful nurturing resource, through building a personal resilience.

My follow-up blog may encourage you to start that exploration within yourself – opening up to  ‘New Ways of Being’…

Tricks of the mind – Worry well or worry more…

Oh My God

“OMG” Tips that help reduce stress

Okay so nobody is suggesting that we actually become mates with stress,  unless of course we’re talking about the type of stress that can be our buddy.  I’m thinking of a good exercise workout, resistance training, going for a run were the heart pumps harder, my favourite ‘Zumba’, and as with all these things as the sweat glistens then the body and mind can receive all the benefits of a natural high as we are flooded with the positive hormones called endorphins.  And it’s funny isn’t it how one person moves away from what (s)he perceives as a negative stress, whilst another person will move towards the same stressor because (s)he finds it exhilarating and exciting (think tandem-jumping out of a plane! ) Here it’s  the meaning we give to the event that matters,  our personal perception, and the meaning we give that event in that moment.

So what would change if we could understand a little more about the cause and effect of those not so nice stressors, which lead to persistent worry, stress and anxiety?  I know from my media and corporate worlds that where people experience a high pressurised environment, some may be silently suffering from health aliments including high blood pressure, digestive disorders or insomnia. This is because pressures within those environments based on expectation can cause a build up of a stress hormone called cortisol which can exacerbate those types of maladies.

Just like everyday 21st century modern living; if people struggle with worry because they focus on the negatives of the past, or fears from an imagined future it contributes to triggering within the body a primitive need for survival, otherwise known as the fight, flight or freeze response. The brain searches for explanation and resolution resulting in a cycle of persistent unhelpful thoughts and the body responds. In some cases people talk of irrational behaviour, irritability or anger which then impacts on how they relate to others.  When we lack the understanding of what is a natural process and how we can start to help ourselves, then it  can really stoke the embers of so many personal limiting beliefs. “I can’t cope”… “I’m not good enough”…etc…etc…

And of course, within the context of a life,  every person has a different process in how they experience their problem. That’s where additional help through seeing a Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapist can play a significant role in helping you to get better.

But back to some general self-help tips…

The other day I was taking a look through some of the things in my tool kit which many people have found useful.  Practical tools, or if your willing to use your imagination, tricks within the mind that can influence your ability to combat the effects of debilitating worry as a causation for stress and anxiety. So we know that physical exercise is a great way of reducing bad stress and bringing on the good stuff.  When it comes to the mind, there’s a great opportunity to include a few easy strategies, in order to help calm everything down – lowering stress and giving us the potential for thinking that bit more clearer, helping us find solutions and giving us greater peace of mind.

Here’s a few general tips that people have found helpful:

Set aside ‘worry time’…

It’s interesting that when we are hungry or tired and in a low mood then worries can take on an even darker persona.  Many people have found that jotting their concerns down as they occur, then setting them aside to be reviewed in specific worry time, say 20 minutes only in the day can work magic.  Ensuring that time is after a meal, after a good night’s sleep or after at least 20 minutes of a good exercise workout, helps with clarity of mind in creating a series of solution steps – and the self-promise to take one action a day.

Writing down worries can help people to review them more objectively. Asking yourself questions like:

  • “I am worried about…”
  • “The worst that could happen is…”
  • “The best that could happen is…”
  • “Things I can do now are”…

Create a possibility and probability box  (Trick of the mind)…

If you’re in the habit of turning events that are very unlikely to happen into events that are likely to happen.

  1. Imagine if you had inside your mind a small container the size of a thimble with the word ‘POSSIBILITY’ written on it, and on the right side a large container the size of your living room with ‘PROBABILITY’ written on it.
  2. When you get anxious about something which has a ‘small’ likelihood of happening, then it means that something that should be in the small container has snuck into the large container and your mind is treating it as a probability.
  3. If that happens imagine taking a look in the large container, finding the worrying thought, removing it and shrinking it in size putting it firmly in the small container.
  4. Finally put back in the large container the thought that ‘EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT OKAY’.

When you find yourself becoming anxious or worrying about an outcome take five minutes looking in the probability container to see if any possibilities have sneaked in there. Find it, shrink it down really small, put it in the possibility container and replace it with the probability of what is likely to happen.

We’re all different in what we can find to be of most help, and it’s an opportunity for you to get creative,  as they say ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ – so what have you got to lose by trying?

The Journey ahead…

Sometimes we need professional help and guidance, and this is best served by someone who will treat you with respect and have the capabilities and experience to construct a treatment plan that is unique to your needs. Working with you in an alliance which helps you recover from stress, anxiety or low mood.

Very often people say to me that they just want to be able to lead a normal life,  free of the pain or behaviour caused by worry, unwarranted stress or anxiety.  Whatever the context of your story you could find Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy an alternative that’s right for you.

To arrange for a no-obligation conversation giving you the opportunity to take one single step towards that positive change, it’s now…

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