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How To Worry: A Primer

How To Worry: A Primer

How To Worry!

I worry.  I would like to say it’s genetic and not my fault but the bottom line is “I” worry and “I” am responsible to do something about it.  Worring is a sink hole on the path to my best efforts.  I don’t want anything to come in between me and those goals, so I’ve been looking for ways to be with, respond to, and/or reduce worry.   I think I have figured out how to reduce the hold worry has on me, without ever really trying to make it go away.

worrywithdog

To do this, I start with something I enjoy.  I really love  Sundays for example.  I love the Sunday paper and watching CBS Sunday Morning.  Public Radio programs on the weekends are my favorite and I even…wait for it…like Sunday football.

Here’s my first point:

In the shower this morning, I started to worry.  Random worries, that’s how it is for me.  What if we don’t make enough to pay our rent? What if I can’t figure out my medical insurance stuff? What if, what if, what if…”  Just a slurry of fret.

As I was soaping up I thought (this is important“It’s Sunday. I love Sunday’s so I’ll just worry about all this stuff tomorrow.” Put off the worring until later! Why not?  It’s not going any place. I don’t have the answers right now so why screw-up my Sunday with it?

I think I have stumbled onto something really great for us who have a head that tends to worry.   Tell yourself,  ”I’ll worry about this tomorrow, or in an hour, or few minutes.”  You are not denying the worry it’s moment, you’re just telling it, “we’ll talk later”. Worry actually seemed alright with all of this, and it seems, as long as I don’t deny it, it’s alright with being back burnered.

I think this way of talking to our worries is really healthy and here’s why.

1)  We are not getting pissed-off at ourselves FOR worring.  It is very, very, good for us not to get mad at ourselves, better than eating super foods I think. Because beating ourselves up for worrying is an insidious and corrosive thing to do. Not only are we upset that we are worried, now we are both worried AND MAD at ourselves for being worried.  Good Lord…ISN’T IT TIME WE THROW OURSELVES A BONE?!!! ?

2) Next good thing.  Lots of us worrying types are also….procrastinator types.  Also a good thing.   BECAUSE we have experience in putting things off until later.  So not a big stretch to think, “I’ll worry about this a bit later.”  I love this.  The things we chastising ourselves about all come in handy.

3. By putting off what we worry about today until tomorrow, we can fill in that sink hole so it’s easier to take steps in the direction of our goals.  Even hard steps. If we can just put off the worrying we can do something that can, strangely, deflate the very worry that was keeping us from our greatest selves.  Can I hear a Wooo Hoooo?

If we are going along fine and then the sink hole opens up. Not a problem.  Just try a few things.  First, see if you can put off the worries for a few more minutes while you just get your ass out of the mud. Still stuck and sinking fast.   Reach for “support” don’t ask for a rope, can’t ask to be rescued.  But you can and should ask for support.

4. Here’s how to get support.  Contact someone you know that has your very best interest in their heart.  NOT the person who’s used to tossing you that rope every time your sliding.  If you don’t have someone you know can give you support. COMMENT on this blog post or  CLICK MY CONTACT PAGE! and write me a note.  I for sure have your back!  I will scream myself horse for you and I don’t keep a single rope in stock!

So just write : Rachel, I want to _______ but I’m in the sink hole and am just sinking fast.  We will find out what you need to do for yourself to get outa that muck.

There’s also this…

5. You can always go ahead and be worried and stuck. Yep.   I would actually strongly suggest you write out everything that’s dogging you.  You might be able to see it for what it is much better this way. You will end up with a list of stuff you can and can’t do things about.  This is a very handy list to have.

To review:

1. First find something you enjoy that’s right in front of you.  A cup of coffee, late afternoon light, the chair you’re sitting on, your old hound napping by your side.

2. Think, why mess-up this thing I enjoy by getting worried about stuff.  I will worry a little later and just enjoy this.

3.  Since I’m not worring right now, what one little thing can I do in the direction of something I want in my life? What one small thing might I be able to do to handle the issue that I tend to worry about?

4. Start doing it.  Soon as you feel the ground giving way, maybe even before, seek support.  Support and rescue are not the same thing.  Ask for a “you go girl” or “go dude” from someone who you know has your best interest in mind.  Do not ask for a rope.  The rope, by the way, might get you out of THIS sink hole but it WILL swing you into a deeper one. Mark my word.  Keep moving.  Worry will have a harder time finding you if you’re in action!

5. But, if you can’t keep moving,  worry, but worry on paper. Write down all your worries.  Then you’ll have a list of what you can and can not do anything about.

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2 Responses to “How To Worry: A Primer”

  1. Rick Ladd August 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Rachel:

    I think the most important point you make here is the relationship between worry and procrastination. In my experience they are like the yin and yang of non-productivity. I’m not a great worrier, but when I have lots of things to do I sometimes keep myself awake at night imagining the consequences of NOT doing any one of the things that are bothering me and fretting over how to approach getting started on them.

    What usually works for me is . . . getting started on them. I think – for most of us – we are generally far more competent than we give ourselves credit for and, like the tacit knowledge we have in our heads that we can’t quite recall until circumstances actually require us to use it, once we start on the problems we fret about, we tend to resolve them and move on.

    You’re also right about worrying about worrying. There’s a psychological sinkhole. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away [apologies to George Lucas]) there was a psychologist on KABC here in the Los Angeles area. This was before talk radio got so damn weird. Anyway, she used to talk about the three Ps, which she characterized as Perfectionism, which led to Procrastination, which then led to Paralysis.

    Perhaps so many of us worry because we think we should have a perfect idea of what needs to be done to tackle the problems we face when, in fact, there’s usually no way that can happen, as doing virtually anything tends to involve dealing with unforeseen consequences and minor roadblocks and detours. It’s that tacit knowledge issue. You can’t always access what you know until your actually in the act of using to perform a task or solve a problem.

    Anyway, thanks for the Sunday Morning thought provoker. This before completing my first cup of coffee. No worries!

    Rick

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