Let’s face it, worrying takes energy. I used to hear this saying growing up– that worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere. How true is that?
I used to think that worry was me working out scenarios in my mind, like preparing for what can go wrong. But now I know that worrying is a waste of my perfectly good energy that I could actually use proactively to really get to where I want in life.
Worry is really restless thoughts that are not productive. Restless thoughts are known to destroy our focus and attention. They keep us up at night and drain the energy we could be using productively. An overactive mind can often result in a cycle of negativity that hampers our hope and destroys our efforts in making positive life choices and habits. It can lead to the notion that things are so grim that what’s the use of putting in the effort for change. Something like this might go through our mind, “Since I don’t know how to change this, I might as well give in and give up.” – This can alter the course to our dreams, our healing (both mentally and physically because of the stress chemicals being created in our body).
Would faith help with worrying? It is easier said than done, isn’t it? But did you know we CAN think our way to faith? That’s right. Faith is believing in things unseen. If you can think your way to demise through worry, then you can certainly think your way to success through faith. For example, we believe in electricity. We may not know how it works, but every time we turn on the switch the light comes on. Same with faith. We can think in a certain way to turn the switch on for faith.
When we flip the switch for faith it tends to switch off excessive worrying. And when we aren’t worrying, we can think clearer about what we need to do in the midst of our current circumstance. Our nervous system can calm down because we won’t be in the anxious survival mode but will be ready to think through a plan of action for whatever dilemma we are dealing with. So whereas worry is like a rocking chair, faith is like a rocket ship.
Here are four steps to think your way to faith and build your rocket ship.
Understand that the restless mind is actually trying to keep you safe, but sometimes it can get out of control and start the worrying cycle. Acknowledge that your racing overactive mind is just attempting to protect you by warning you of any possible danger. BUT also realize that your mind is just running scenarios and only guessing what might happen.
A study published in May 2020 in Behavior Therapy tells us just how often our worries come true. Would you be surprised that it is less than 10% of the time? The primary results revealed that 91.4% of the time the study participants worries did not come true. This is evidence that most of the time our distress of what may happen is unfounded.
So how can knowing this help provide comfort when you find yourself worrying?
The biggest step here is observing your mind and becoming aware. If you catch yourself worrying about something, try to distance yourself from your anxious thoughts. Become an observer. Step back and witness what is taking place in your mind. Recognize when your mind is being overactive and creating anxiety or stress. Ask yourself, “how likely is it that the thing you fear will happen?” Then ask yourself is there anything you can do to prevent it? Often, we know there are steps we can put into action, it is just a matter of taking a deep breath and forming a plan.
I realize that sometimes the thought of needing to make a plan can also cause feelings of overwhelm. So now that you know the likelihood of your worry won’t come true and you have thought of how you might prevent it in that case, take a deep breath and focus on the moment at hand, the present here and now.
Pull yourself out of your head and stop the seesaw from past to future. The key in the present moment is focus. When you stop and focus in the moment, your mind is able to gather tangible facts so that you can construct your plan of action in the present moment. This will make it easier to choose your reaction to what may occur in the future. If you feel safe and unthreatened in the present, you will carry that feeling into the future with you.
Having a plan, no matter how simple, helps you let the worry rest. You know what actions you are taking and know that you have prepared no matter what happens. This probably won’t come naturally at first, but even if you are methodically making a list of pros and cons or listing steps to take for “what-ifs,” it gives you a peace of mind so you may be able to lay down the burden of carrying your dilemma. This will help so it doesn’t wear you down mentally and physically. As you see yourself making progress, your mind will calm down.
Back to the concept of faith. Having faith in yourself to do your best is part of believing in yourself. And believing in yourself is a foundation of taking right actions in your life. If you know that most of the things you worry about are unfounded, and that you have the ability to think through the things you worry about to form a plan, then you can believe in yourself.
You can believe that you are always doing your best and can trust that you are taking the actions in your own best interests no matter what happens. We may not be able to control everything, but if we use our energy to do something about the factors we can control, then we are more like a rocket ship in our life rather than a rocking chair.
Remember, tiny consistent actions can be used to conquer your reality in 10 minutes at a time. Keep going, each 10 minutes you spend working toward finding your own answers or path in life is building your rocket ship to take you where you want to go in life.
Hearts & Hugs,
You’ve got this. I have faith in you.
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