Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Overcoming Worry, Anxiety, and attending "The Pity Party"



The last two weeks has been a whirlwind.  We were blessed to sell our home!  That was the good part! But of course, there is always two sides.
  The not so good part has been a comedy of errors when it has come to getting our move completed.  It has been frustrating, caused worry, and has been plain exhausting. 

During this two week odyssey (as I like to call it) I first started out with the infamous statement "why me?".  Each and every time I started to think that I heard an inner voice say "well, why not you?"  Ii  began to ponder that question.  Why should I be so special to think that in this world full of challenges and troubles, why should I be exempt.  I realized that I had to turn it around and focus on what was good and not focus on those things that  would cause me to get into the "pity party" mode.  Do you know what that is? It is the mode when you pull up a chair, take a seat, and pour yourself a good tall glass of "why me" and eat a plate of "poor me"   We, I decide not this time!  I have too much to be thankful for, and too many positive things to ponder on.  It was time for me to leave the pity party! 

Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever felt so sorry for your circumstances that you felt you couldn't move forward, couldn't think of anything positive going on in your life?  I think we have all been there.  The question is what do we do to get out of that mode?

 I have been using these tips and they are working.  I have left the pity party and guess what?  Those things I was so upset about, so worried about, so frustrated about began to melt away in significance.  Overtime they actually stopped being obstacles.  My pity party has become a celebration of what we can do when we turn our thoughts around.
  • Let there be no crisis before its time - we've all heard the saying "tomorrow never comes" Ponder that when you start to obsess over things that haven't happened yet, and stop worrying about putting out fires that haven't started yet. Stop worrying about those things that will not take place until next week, a day from now, even an hour from now. Circumstances change constantly and what may seem like a problems now may be totally changed within in hours, moments, seconds. Stay in the moment - focus on that.
  • Set "pity party" worry limits - we can spend all day worrying about everything - if we choose to.  OR - we can choose not to let the worry overtake us.  Set your worry limits.  Take 15 minutes a day and for those 15 minutes go ahead WORRY!  At the end of the 15 minutes STOP and move on to something else you have to do.  Use a watch, egg times, your cell phone alarm to go off at the end of the 15 minutes. Once the alarm goes off move on to some activity, something that involves your mind.  Schedule your worry time when you know you have to do something else.  When the time is up LET THE WORRY GO.  Give it to the Creator and move on!
  • Keep a"pity party"/ worry journal - I find it quiet helpful to keep a worry journal and write down all the things I am worried and concerned about.  Overtime I have found the list to get shorter.  Sometimes the worries are settled or sometimes they just stop losing enough importance to list them.  Once you start this process when you go back over what you used to worry about you will see the things you worried about actually did not happen or weren't nearly as bad as you thought they were.
  • Stop playing God - You can’t plan for every outcome. So worrisome thinking such as, If this, happens, I’ll do this. If that happens, I’ll do that. If this and that happens, I’ll do this and that, will only drive you up the wall. Truth is, you don’t know what will happen five minutes from now, let alone tomorrow, so stop trying to do God’s job. Acknowledge the Divine is in charge with a prayer. Prayer has a calming effect that can center you and drive worry away.
  • Take control of your imagination - This one is a challenge for me.  I have to constantly remind myself that the things I am imagining haven't happen yet.  I instead dwell on the positive things that have happened and remain prayerful for positive outcomes in all things.  I work on controlling my imagination and not letting my imagination control me! 
  • Practice and Pretend - Pretending you’re not anxious when you are interrupts the worry cycle so you can practice going about your business as usual—uncomfortable but still functioning. After you survive a series of nail-biting experiences that turn out to be nothing to worry about, your mind will say, “See I told you so.” Practice and pretend not to worry. In time, anxieties won’t paralyze you.
Of course getting out of the "pity party"/worry mode does not happen overnight.  It takes dedication and practice.  Don't start to worry about how successful you are in not worrying!  Take it a step at a time, a day at a time and you will see positive results!

based on an article by Allin Zobe Nolan
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