Don’t worry be happy

Worry is visualizing the future in a negative way. 
If we do that, we ruin a perfectly good present moment by dwelling on an imaginary possible future. 
Done consistently, it warps a person’s ability to see reality clearly and robs them of their vitality.

 

I must admit upfront that I am a worrier – I always have been.

Although I am grateful that, thanks to my practice, I am learning to overcome the compulsion to worry obsessively.

For me, it helps to remind myself of the following:

“If you have a problem that can be fixed, then there is no use in worrying. If you have a problem that cannot be fixed, then there is no use in worrying.” – Buddhist proverb

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened” – Winston Churchill

I also try to be gentle with myself. 

I know that worry or anxiety is often my first reaction in a stressful or new situation.  But I’ve come to accept that, and stop trying to fight it.  And to stop feeling frustrated with myself.

I now take a moment to breathe, accept that I am feeling worried, and let the feeling dissipate. 

I try to be mindful of my body, and really interested in what anxiety feels like – instead of pushing it away.  I take note of the sensations – tightness and clenching in my stomach, the feeling of adrenalin racing through my body.  And interestingly those intense feelings usually last only 10 seconds or so at most.  Then they pass.  And they always do pass.

Another thing that has really helped me is accepting that sometimes I need to walk away from a situation and come back to it.   

Instead of letting the fear take over, and avoiding the problem (I have been the queen of avoidance in the past). 

I let the initial anxiety subside, then return to what was worrying me, and face it.

Eventually I realised that I cause more anxiety to myself by trying to avoid an issue, than by approaching it calmly and with an intention to handle it with kindness and love.

 

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About istopforsuffering

A page created to help spread love and kindness and positivity. Dedicated to making this world a better place, and making a difference in people's lives.

16 responses to “Don’t worry be happy

  1. “Another thing that has really helped me is accepting that sometimes I need to walk away from a situation and come back to it.” ~~~ EXCELLENT ADVICE. XO

  2. Oh, well…i am a big time worrier too, guess it becomes a part of our personalities…but my personal experience is that i worry because i fail to accept the unexpected before it even occurs.I don’t even avoid it or think of ways to fight it,because that’s what worry does, occupies your thoughts so you don’t think purposefully.
    How i cope with it: Distraction, doing something else in the meantime, to fool worries,and saving our minds from wasting precious hours on worrying.Good books, music, movie, trips or doing anything you enjoy…
    Ultimately, have to leave everything to God,as we are helpless.Praying and meditation helps to believe He will help you if something unwanted happens.
    Worrying prior to any unfavorable event is a blessing in disguise for me.I get time to prepare my mind and heart prior to facing rough times.And now after enough worrying, i have got a grip on my worries,they don’t effect me negatively now.
    Reminds me of Bobby McFerrin’s – Don’t Worry Be Happy 🙂

  3. That is such great advice. And that is something I find works for me also – distraction. I find cleaning really helps – mindful cleaning. Or gardening – getting out in the fresh air and sunshine. It’s so true that when we worry it’s just preventing us from facing whatever the situation is with a calm, clear and open mind. Yes I love that song! :-). I named the title of the post after that song.

  4. I’m lucky I’m not by nature a worrier 🙂 I take what I like to call the Pollyanna view on life – that everything will always work out in the end. It may just not be the end that you imagined in the beginning (it may turn out even better!).

    Sometimes though I am lying sleepless in bed at night & I feel the cold sweat starting – how will I pay this bill? what if my business doesn’t work out? what if…, what if…., what if…..! It always amazes me that when morning comes – all the “What if’s” seem slightly ridiculous & my Pollyanna side emerges to remind me that it will work out – no one’s sick, no one’s dying I just have to have faith and keep working towards my goals. I’m just really thankful that I think my parents instilled in me a very strong sense of self confidence & belief in myself – it’s the greatest gift they could have ever given me 🙂

    • I love your way of thinking Judy! :-). These days I tend to think more along those lines also. And you are right – the times I have stayed awake worrying in the middle of the night, the things I was worried about seem so insignificant in the morning. That’s if I can even remember what they were! And yet at 2am in the morning they seemed so drastic 🙂

  5. I am a worrier too, thanks for this.
    *hugs*

  6. Vilina Svetoslavova

    This is the real truth!
    You are on the right path!
    Lots of Happiness!
    x

  7. Great advice, Megan!! I come from an anxiety- disordered, worrying family. So many of these patterns of thinking we learn by osmosis when we are so young. Anxiety nearly crippled me in my late teens and early adulthood. When we worry too much, we send messages to our kids not to trust in themselves or the universe. Thanks for lighting up a better way!! Hugs!!

    • That is so true. Anxiety and depression run in my family too – my father, my fathers mother, etc. And from a young age I have been taught that the world is a fearful place. I am determined to break the pattern with my own little boy. Huge hugs!! 🙂

  8. Megan, This is really good.

  9. Lots of good ideas here…thanks. The quote “If you have a problem that can be fixed, then there is no use in worrying. If you have a problem that cannot be fixed, then there is no use in worrying.” – Buddhist proverb…that idea has made a tremendous difference in my life…such a helpful way of looking at problems…btw..that was said by Shantideva, also the writer of Shantideva’s Prayer,

  10. Son

    I am a worrier as well and thanks, I needed these words SO much. I am saving this post, so I can reread it at any time 🙂

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