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?  

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