Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do You Have A Mind Toy?

I used to be a worrier.  I've experienced various stages of worrying during my lifetime ranging from all- consuming  worries to nagging worries that just camp out in the back of your mind.  As I progressed deep into adulthood, my worry patterns changed drastically.  Here is what I've learned about this subject.

1.  Worrying doesn't help.  It makes things worse.  How?  Well, it makes you a basket case, doesn't it.  Then wherever you go, you take that awfully negative energy with you.  Your friends sense it and wish it would go away.  Your family doesn't want to see it either.  They love you, and seeing you "a mess" makes them sad.  So now we have two unhappy, upset people.

2.  The more you worry, the more you have to worry about.  Ever realized that?  You've heard, "like attracts like".  And you've heard, "what you put out there is what you get back."  We all know about "cause and effect" too.    So however you look at it, the more worry you carry in your mind, the more negativity will find it's way into your day.

3.  Worrying can make things worse.  This is a lot like #1 except it involves other people's worry.  For instance, I've had times in my life when I knew my mother was worrying about me.  I was perfectly fine (in my mind's eye), but in hers I wasn't.  So, did I want to be with my mother during that time?  "No!".  Her worry made me want to go away.  It made me want to be secretive and not share.  

4.  Worrying keeps you from sleeping and ruins your day.  If you don't sleep, the next day certainly isn't your best.  If you start on the "what ifs" list during the night, you have to deal with this monster you've now created all by yourself.  Everyone else is blissfully asleep and they don't want to be bothered.

We all have to find our own way out of the worry-maze and change the habit for ourselves.  I'll share two techniques that have transformed me into an ex-worrier.

If I really have a major problem, then I deal with it.  I don't play games.  I dissect it, research it, get opinions about it from experts, see how my sister, my husband, and my friends feel about it, and take whatever action steps I can to solve it.  When I am complete, I rely on two techniques.  With little worries, I just go straight to the tools below.

1.  Find a Mind Toy.  A Mind Toy is something that brings you great joy.  Choose to think about that.  For me it seems memories work best.  That way I just enjoy wallowing in sweeter times and pleasant details.  It might be wandering the rooms of the house I grew up in and remembering the furnishings, the floor plan.  It might be my first job, or a first love, or a delightful conversation.  But it must be something I love and want to revisit.  I let it consume me ad nauseum.  

2.  Use your faith.  I can't explain this one.  I've had faith all my life.  I just haven't always "used" it as a tool.  I do now.  When worry begins to descend, I say, "God is working in my life."  Or "God is working in Tom's life."   Or whoever I happen to be slipping into concern about.  Why that simple sentence works so well now, I'm not totally sure.  Except to say that I truly believe it. I'm not saying, "Really?".  I don't need to convince myself.   I just need to remind myself. 

So, worrying begone.  It is gone.  I enjoy these tools that fly me away into forays of fantasy or blissful creation, or whatever you want to call it.  It's fun and it transports me almost instantly from potential despair into pleasure.

Are you a worrier?  How do you deal with worry it?  


TV's Take said...

In general I'm not a worrier but I am a thinker. It's easy to turn one into the other but the more I quiet my mind the better I am

Sarah said...

Yeah, I worry sick about my kids, etc., it's a 'gift' for mothers. I find prayers do work and I use it often.

Sandra said...

It's a blessing not to be a worrier in general. At least we are in control of our
thoughts if we work at it.

Sandra said...

Ah, our kids are our achilles heels. If we worry about anything, it is usually them and their well being.

Buttons said...

Hello Sandra yes a worrier here I have worried since I was a child. You are right it just makes things worse.
I find writing it all down makes me relax I guess that is why I love blogging. I sleep very well at night as long as I get it out. It is like vacuuming my brain and starting new. Strange but it works for me. Take care. B

Susan said...

I love the the saying "Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere". Isn't it the truth! Luckily as I've gotten older, the less I worry. I just figure, what will be will be.

Sandra said...

Vacuuming your brain of worry...I like that. And writing it out...I like that too. And I want you to sleep well, my friend.

Sandra said...

Good one, Susan. I think worry diminishes as age increases. At least that seems to be true for you and me.

Galen Pearl said...

I used to be a gold medalist fretter. You would be amazed at the things I could conjure up in my mind (a scary place, as someone once called my mind) to worry about. Thankfully, I don't do that so much anymore. I like this quote from the Dalai Lama. "If a problem has a solution, there is no need to worry. If a problem does not have a solution, there is no need to worry."

Sandra said...

Thanks for sharing that quote, Galen. That Dalai Lama guy was a smart fellow!