Updated: Apr 15
There is an old Swedish proverb that states, “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
From CEO’s to students at school and University, and from shop owners to working Mums, I have yet to meet a soul who does not worry. It is, of course, an in-built feature of our need to survive.
After all, our ancient ancestors had to contend with a lot of ferocious animals, nasty diseases and natural disasters and all without the modern mechanisms of safety we now enjoy.
In modern life, worry is the sub-text but it is fear that holds the banner headline. It is fear that generates sleepless nights, ulcers, mood swings and deterioration of our health.
We generate fear and all its accursed cousins - anxiety, hopelessness, pessimism, sadness, and unhappiness. It is we that make small matters grow into unmanageable monsters. Fear breeds a belief that what we cannot control, will lead inevitably to calamity.
And what calamities do we feel may befall us? We fear a loss of reputation, income, love, status, customers, control, friends, family and many others. Of course, it is legitimate that we should demonstrate some worry but we must remember that we possess an innate ability to govern our worries. We have more control than we believe.
Here are three tips to gain more control and reduce the worry that keeps giving you sleepless nights.
Don’t feed a niggling doubt – remember how the loveable Mogwai turned into a horrible Gremlin. Don’t be the food after midnight, which invites a worry monster into your life. Use the affirmation, “This thought is not needed in my life.”
The worry involves someone – If you are trying to read the mind of another person or conjuring up their opinions of you; there is a job for you on stage. Go and speak to them and express what you are feeling and be open about your worries.
Vulnerability is the gateway to strength and emotional courage and if nothing else, your fear will be dispelled. Remember: people do not spend a huge amount of time thinking about you and certainly, you will not be keeping them awake at night.
Focus on what you can control – Be in the moment. You have complete mastery of what you think, feel and act upon. Let your motto be to release what cannot be controlled e.g. (others opinions of you, whether you will be made redundant or if you will be rejected) because these are out of your hands.
Fashion another outcome by choosing a different thought, an alternative emotion or deciding on an action to move you slowly forward and out of the worry.