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I worry a lot.
I worry when I wake up in the morning, and I worry as I’m lying in bed to go to sleep at night.
My worries seem to be endless.
The Worry Diary
Knowing full well how complicated things are for me, I got very excited about an idea I stumbled upon recently.
I was reading an article about simple ways to deal with stress. For the uninitiated, stress releases a hormone in the body called cortisol. And that crap is absolute poison. You name the physical condition, and it’s either caused or exacerbated by cortisol. So I was seeking something–anything–that might be able to take the edge off life a little.
The article I was reading had 100 different ideas for how to reduce stress in life, ranging from essential oils to exercise to strolling around in nature. When I find a list like this, I usually browse it until something catches my eye. I then research the hell out of it, and from there I get to watch as my life slowly but surely gets better and better.
The first entry on the list that got me excited was called a ‘worry diary’.
I can’t really explain what a worry diary is, since there is no precise exclusive definition. It seems like many have tried to create a concept that best works for them, and that’s exactly what I did as well.
What’s Bugging Me?
The main foundation of a worry diary is writing down the things that are bugging you, but there is also some level of reframing that needs to take place. Meaning, you can’t just be organizing the things that worry you. What good could that possibly do besides just putting them down on paper? I suppose there can be some benefit of “speaking” them out loud, but this could just be akin to complaining or moaning about your life. Even if it’s mildly cathartic, little has changed. Not in reality, nor in your mind.
My final method of creating my worry diary was as follows: I put a date at the top of the page and I set a timer for three minutes, and I write everything that’s worrying me at the moment. It’s hardly a general master list. Rather it’s the things that are weighing on my mind right now. The things that I fear will make it so I have trouble falling asleep that night, and the things that could make me fall apart at any moment.
I write furiously, and when I began this endeavor, I had little problem filling the page from top to bottom in no time flat.
But then I set the timer for another three minutes, and that’s when I review what I’ve written. I try and come up with practical solutions. I list them out and try and act on them immediately.
That’s super helpful and useful, but not always practical. Many of the things that worry me aren’t going away very easily. And some might just be a part of my life forever.
Time to Rethink Things
So for those items, my goal isn’t solutions. My goal is to rethink things. My goal is to reframe the issue from a different perspective. I try to speak to myself like I’m looking at myself as a trusted outsider, there to guide me and motivate me to look at things through fresh new eyes.
Yes, my blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, and that of course is worrisome and needs real practical solutions. However, is it something that should leave me crawled up in a ball, incapable of handling my day? Is it something that should cause me to lose faith in my ability to improve myself and make great changes in my life?
I need a reminder that I used to weigh 40 pounds more than I do. I need a reminder that despite the high numbers, I’ve still managed to keep those numbers outside a terribly dangerous range, through sheer hard work and a strong will. I can’t just sit back and feel bad for myself when there are countless reasons to feel joy and pride!
And sometimes in the evening, when I’m sitting, jotting down these notes, something hits me. Something earth-shattering.
I had an epiphany the other night as I was furiously writing down my worries, one that might sound simplistic to some. But was life-changing for me.
I want to stress: It’s life-changing… not simple!
My life is infinitely worse because of all the myriad worries constantly weighing me down. And I’ve basically plodded on forward always assuming I need to eliminate the causes of the worries in order to finally reach a state of bliss. If I’m healthy and wealthy and work is great and the kids are great, then the worries will melt away.
But first, it’s unlikely to be true. Not only will there always be what to worry about, but even when there isn’t, the tender mind can always find something else to worry about.
The issue isn’t that I have things in my life that cause me to worry. The issue is the worrying itself!
If I can learn to not let the issues that constantly pop into my life torment me, if I can learn to take my hardships in stride, then it really doesn’t matter if there is excessive craziness swirling around me at all times. I’ll walk through it all like nothing.
How to Cope with Life
I don’t need to figure out all of life’s problems. That’ll never happen anyway. I need to learn to figure out a better way to cope with them. How do I get rid of my worries? I need to stop worrying. It really is that simple…
Even though it’s not at all simple.
If someone has ten dollars in their pocket but feels rich and on top of the world, they are better off than the person with 100 million in the bank who feels likes it’s not even close to enough and there is endless pressure to earn more.
The first guy is the rich one.
Being wealthy comes not with money, but rather without a concern for money.
I want my worries gone.
Like nothing I’ve ever wanted!How do I get rid of my worries? I need to stop worrying. It really is that simple. Click To Tweet