Is worry a useful feeling? Or should we declutter our worry-creating thoughts?
Worry is a feeling and as any other feeling, it’s produced by a thought.
We have certain thoughts about the circumstances in our lives and these thoughts create feelings.
And there is nothing wrong with feeling worry, fear, or anxiety. It’s our human right to feel that way if we want to.
However, every thought is optional.
If we are feeling a feeling that we don’t want to feel, we can choose not to believe the thought that is producing it.
The main problem with worry is that it’s not a very useful feeling.
It’s not helpful and often makes us feel helpless.
Feeling worry doesn’t change anything, doesn’t make anything better. The things we worry about are usually outside of our control, nothing we can do has a direct impact on the object of our worries.
Thus, it might be a good idea to decide to stop worrying, or at least to reduce the amount of worry we are willing to feel.
Letting go of worry-producing thoughts
If we want to ‘delete’ feelings of worry we first have to uncover the worry-producing thoughts in our mind.
We can ask ourselves:
‘What is the thought right now that makes me feel worried?
Some worries have to do with our assumptions about future events or developments that we fear could happen, some are caused by our thoughts about current experiences.
Moving on with ‘better-feeling’ thoughts
As soon as we have found the thoughts that make us feel worried, we can start to search for new thoughts – different ways to think about current or potential future developments.
A helpful question is:
‘What would I be thinking if I didn’t worry about this?’
Searching for and finding the best suitable new thought is a very personal and individual exercise. We need to find a thought that we are able to believe, it has to make sense to us.
It’s worth the effort to search around for useful inspirations and to experiment with different thoughts.
Worry-dissolving thoughts – Some suggestions:
- ‘I am / we are fine right now. Everything is o.k. right now.’
- ‘I focus on the good things in my life – on all the things that are working, all the things that I do control, all the things that I’m thankful for.
- ‘I’ll manage whatever comes up. I am strong enough.’
- ‘All this is temporary. Finally, it will go away.’
- ‘All this is a learning field for me. I use this to learn about myself and to grow. This makes me stronger.’
- ‘I can always take control of my thoughts and feelings. I don’t have to worry if I don’t want to.’
- ‘What is the one thing that I could do right now to make me feel better?’
- … (What’s a helpful worry-reducing thought that comes to your mind right now?)
We simply experiment, we try out new thoughts and see if they help us feel better.
Then we practice thinking them as often as possible. (see below)
What if new worries come up?
It might happen that a new thought that felt right yesterday, is no longer useful today. That’s no problem. We just have to find another thought that helps us to manage our life better.
We never should beat ourselves up if we give in to worrying thoughts. It’s o.k., it’s part of the human experience to get worried from time to time.
The great thing about our thought-decluttering work is that it helps us to always be aware that we are in control of our thoughts and feelings:
It’s absolutely o.k. to feel worried, yes, but it’s also always possible to change our mind and our feelings if we want to.
Help your mind to get used to the new thought by deliberately focusing your attention on it for several days in a row.
- Write the new thought on post-its and place them all over your home, at places where you will see them frequently: the bathroom mirror, the bedroom door, the edge of your computer screen, etc.
- Send yourself an email with the new thought in the subject line.
- Send yourself daily reminders of the new thought via your online calendar.
- Use the teeth-brushing-time to think about your new thought.
- Tell a friend about your new thought.
- … (What else could you do to remind yourself of your new thought?)
CAN I HELP YOU?
Are you tired of trying to declutter and (re)organise the various areas of your life (and your mind) completely on your own?
Do you want to make progress – easier and faster?
Do you want my support & advice?