“If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” ~~Walt Disney
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” ~~Erma Bombeck
“Stop worrying about what can go wrong and get excited about what can go right.” ~~Anonymous
I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
Worry is one of those things that just about everyone can relate to. Sure, we joke about it, complain about it, but worry can steal joy, balance and contentment. Sobriety and the continued practice of Statement #5 encourages the release of worry while embracing mindfulness. Here are Five Steps to Worry Less by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
“Five Steps to Worry Less
There really is no way to cure worrying, but we can learn to get better and better at recognizing it and gently guiding ourselves back to a sense of perspective and what matters.
- Soften your understanding of worry: The utility of worry is to try and anticipate and avoid any potential dangers and to keep us safe. It’s the brain trying to protect us and so worrying certainly has its place and time. But often times worrying only serves to ramp up our nervous system and kick us into an unbalanced place that only leads to more worrying. The brain has good intentions, but it leads us down a destructive vicious cycle.
- Allow and accept the feeling of fear: Worrying usually arouses the feeling of fear or anxiety. In this mindful step, we’re simply acknowledging that this feeling is here. Calling it out. We want to do the opposite of resist it, because what we resist, persists. So instead we practice allowing it to be as it is. Here you are just saying to yourself, ‘allowing, allowing, allowing.’
- Feel into worry with kindness: Now we have the opportunity to deepen our awareness and investigate the feeling. Here you may choose to put your hand on your heart or wherever you feel the sensation in the body. This is one way of signaling to the brain a sense of love or kindness to the feeling, which may shift it all by itself. The brain also has to map the sensation of the touch which is inversely correlated with mental rumination, turning the volume down on negative thinking.
Try this simple practice:
-As you feel into worry you might ask, ‘What does this feeling believe?’ Does it believe you are unlovable, unworthy, or perhaps that if you allow it to be, it will consume you?
-Ask the question, what does this feeling need right now? Does it need to feel cared for, to feel secure, to feel a sense of belonging?
-Whatever the answer, see if you can plant these as seeds in yourself. For example, you can plant the seeds of intention saying, ‘May I feel safe and secure, may I be free from this fear, may I feel a sense of belonging.’ Make this personal to whatever your needs are.
- Expand your awareness out to include all people: Whatever the worrying is about, it’s important you know you’re not alone. Feeling vulnerable is part of the human condition and millions of people struggle with the same source of vulnerability that you experience. But when we’re feeling vulnerable with anxiety, it oftentimes is all about us. We need to also impersonalize the experience and get outside of ourselves. You can do this by imagining all the other people who struggle worrying and wish them all the same intentions that you just wished yourself.For example: May we all feel a sense of safety and security, May we all be free from the fear that keeps us stuck in a perpetual cycle of worry, May we all feel that sense of belonging, etc…
- Repeat steps one through four as often as necessary: If you notice, steps one through four spell the acronym SAFE so you can easily remember what it is and what it’s for. As you intentionally practice this over and over again, in time you will notice that you start to become less reactive to the worried mind, more compassionate with yourself as it arises, and even have perspective that this worrying is part of the human condition and you are not alone.
When we’re able to turn the volume down on worrying in our lives, what will be there instead? For many people, it a sense of spaciousness, ease and joy.”
Hi 4C Women,
It is difficult to accept that we are 4C women when continuously stuck in a worrying, negative frame of mind. The exercises to mindfulness are a phenomenal way to create balance and defeat or lessen (depending on the circumstances at the moment) the negative thoughts that question our personal definition of ourselves as capable, competent, caring and compassionate women.
I love the quotes, especially the last one. It seems common practice to ask what is the worst that could happen rather than what is the best that could happen. I’ve had a few situations in the past couple of years that have played into my fears. I recognize the negative thoughts piercing their way into my positive attitude and, as Dr. Goldstein suggests, I have learned to accept them rather than fight them. They lose a lot of power with acceptance. It doesn’t mean the worry or fear is forever eliminated. For me, it means it doesn’t take up permanent residence in my head and life. Sometimes it just stays in the background while I seek support and encouragement. Other times, it runs back with a fury. It is then that I am reminded, I am a 4C women and not alone. It makes such a huge difference to have that love, caring and kindness to lighten the load at the most challenging times. Just speaking it out loud and knowing I am heard without judgment, is the best support I could ask for. I also know these fearful or negative feelings/thoughts are not forever even when it may feel that way at the moment. Many times when I reflect on my life and how I somehow made it through without the insight I have gained and the friends I have made through WFS, I just know that I am deeply grateful for having built this strong foundation. I mean, why would I want to struggle alone, denying my feelings because I believed it was a weakness without a solution (grin and bear it type of attitude). Oh, no, I’ll accept every coping tool, every piece of loving, non-judgmental support WFS has to offer.
I absolutely love the mantra that can be used personally to calm the worry, release the fear and support our 4C identity.
Bonded in knowing we are 4C women with fabulous WFS coping tools and support,
A beautiful 4C woman