Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Understanding and Banishing Worry by: Willie Horton

Worry is a corrosive form of useless thought - that is all worry is. Yet, it turns mole hills into mountains, conjures up imaginary crises and transforms the small puddles that we have to inevitably step over in life into raging impassable rivers. Instead of looking at life's little hand grenades for what they really are, our sad little minds turn them into weapons of mass self-destruction. Worry is not just a waste of your energy - worry, at best, is stifling the life out of you - at worst, it is the cancer that is eating you from the inside out. Worry removes you totally from the here and now and disables you from doing what needs to be done. 

Think about just how bizarre the act of worrying really is. After all, what sensible person would willingly decide to direct their mental energy into something that they do not want to happen? Yet that is what worry is. Maybe this is solid evidence that there aren't too many sensible people about! I've spoken to plenty of people over the last year who are worried about losing their jobs - not because their jobs are in any jeopardy but because they've seen other people lose theirs and, everyday, they take some perverse pleasure in wallowing in the wall-to-wall bad news that is choking the airwaves. And, in the recent past, I've come across quite a few individuals who are worried about money - who, at the very same time, have bought themselves new cars, comforted themselves with a few designer-labelled garments and, after that splurge, have ended up worrying even more! 

Which is the more sensible thing to do? Worry about losing your job or doing the job to the very best of your ability? After all, not doing your job to the best of your ability increases the chances of you losing it - your worry, as it often does, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And what's the point of worrying about money? It would be far better for you to re-focus your mind on the small but important things that make life truly worth living? Which will lead to a happier and more successful life, directing your energy into what you don't want to happen or pouring your energy into the here and now in the expectation that the things that you want to happen will come to pass? 

Sadly, the normal mind is the author of its own misery. I'm not saying that bad things don't happen - the point I'm making is that, when they do, there are very few people who are mentally fit enough to get on with what needs to be done to dig themselves out of the hole and start afresh. In fact, normal people do quite the opposite - even when all is going well for the normal person, those actively go looking for a shovel! Sadly, there's a mountain of research from the field of psychology that indicates that we are predisposed to focus our minds on the negative. And, as one client told me recently, if he can't think of something negative, his mind will start making it up! That is all that worry is - a concoction of a fevered normal mind. 

So, let's sort your worries out for you. The first thing that you need to understand is that outside events don't worry you - it is you who decides to worry. That decision may be subconscious but it is, nevertheless, a decision on your part. What you have to do it release your subconscious mind from its obsession with the negative. You don't do this by fighting - and giving even more energy to - the negative - rather, you achieve it be consciously paying attention to real reality - the reality of what is actually taking place in this moment. The reality of now is very different from what you perceive it to be. Your perception is warped by your negative subconscious mind - you see nothing as it is. So you end up seeing other stuff - stuff that isn't real, problems that may never arise at some point in the future - when, yet, all you truly have is right here, right now. 

The only place where you can be your very best is here. The only time that you can take the action required to better your life is now. You need to learn how to focus as much of your attention as possible on here and now. When you focus your attention in this manner, you will simply have too little attention left to manufacture the crazy trains of thought that hijack the worrier's mind! Not only will you break the subconscious cycle of worry, you will become more effective by being more focused - even a half-wit - and research suggests that most normal people fall into this category! - could work that out!

So, tomorrow morning, instead of starting your day in the mindless mess that fosters and nurtures worry, take five minutes - it's all that you need to set things in motion. Sit down somewhere where you won't be disturbed for those five minutes, close your eyes and focus only on what you hear. The next morning, sit down quietly again and turn your attention to the physical feelings that you're experiencing in your body. After a couple of days, start focusing on the subtler feelings - you might concentrate for five minutes on the effect that each breath has on your body - your nostrils, shoulders, chest, lungs and stomach. Start getting in touch with what your senses are actually telling you. In coming to your senses, you will understand the nonsense of worry. 

Copyright (c) 2010 Willie Horton

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