Monday, April 14, 2008

Worry - Part 1

At Al-Anon we learn to try not to worry. As I posted before, there are several things that have helped me from "attempting to predict the future, negatively." This - "Attempting to predict the future, negatively" - is my term for worry - that does nothing but make us upset, causes stress in the present, (the right now), and perhaps, even causes the very thing we are worried about to occur (more on this later).

A worrying consciousness helps create a future of sickness, lack and limitation and even poverty. Worrying is "mind poverty." It is poor thinking. It is thinking in the present about the future in a negative manner.

Problems Thrive In the Past and the Future
As a side note, while worry looks forward about the future, we also have the evil twin sister of worry which is "blame." Blame is negative too. However, blame looks backward. Blame looks backward at the past. Looking backward and blaming someone or something that happened to you, is destructive, because it looks at something that cannot be undone. Blame feeds its sister, Worry, because now, Blame whispers to Worry, "What if this happens again?" And the sister, Worry takes over and begins to project the perceived negative past on to the future.

Take a moment and reread that before reading any more.

Does this describe anyone we know? How about, "anyone you know?"

Crazy when we think about this isn't it? We are spending the present thinking about stuff that hasn't happened yet and thinking about stuff that already occurred that cannot be changed.

Constructive Tools To Eliminate Worry
Here are some tools to help you over come "worry" or negatively predicting the future;
1. Look down at you feet. See that they are firmly planted in the PRESENT. Do what you can and think about - those things you can do right now.
2. Reframe the past. What problems occurred that you can REFRAME to be considered opportunities of learning (a.k.a. lessons learned) that will help you in the PRESENT?
3. It will work out. Remember this one? An Al-Anon colleague said, "It will either work out, . . . or, . . . It will work out." When I say this I am able to stop thinking negatively, and breath a little deeper. It works for me. I hope this works for you.
4. God, or if you prefer, your HP, has the plan. He is going to run the Master Plan as he sees fit, for the advantage and benefit of all involved. If you turn your worry over to him, he is big enough to handle the worry. It's his job. It's a 24 by 7 duty, that he has assigned to himself.
5. We worried yesterday, about what? Have you ever looked back at what you were worried about yesterday? Can you remember a year ago? How about five years ago? Do you recall all those things you thought you could never get through? Now, what about these things today?
6. Practice "constructive worry elimination." This is my term for thinking about worry in a more positive light. Such as; "If I lose my job, maybe I will get a better one, and this will be my chance to do what I love to do." Or, "If I lose this relationship, maybe I will have a chance to meet someone and do some things I would never have been able to do." Do you get the drift? You can even be more specific, such as; "If I lose this account, I know it will be tough for a few weeks, but it will free up two hours a day, to allow me to try and win over these other, better accounts (clients)."

Give up worrying. Worrying is negative goal setting (more on this later - perhaps tomorrow). Worrying has no future in it.

Have a great day!


FrannyGlass said...

Joe, THANK YOU for this post. I read it while worrying about my busy day today. So much truth contained herein (said while staring at my feet).

Anonymous said...


I just finished writing in my journal about switching my mind-set from worrying if my son got drunk again this weekend, to forcing myself to detach from it and think about how I can make today as pleasant as I can for myself those around me.

Thanks for this post. It was just the reinforcement I needed to not worry today.

Anonymous said...

Joe, You really nailed it. "Worrying is negative goal setting". That certainly won't get anyone going in the right direction. I always viewed myself as a goal setter. Now when I catch myself worrying I will remind myself of your quote.

I like the idea of "constructive worry elimination". How many times have we heard "when one door closes, another door opens"? This is looking ahead for the door that will open instead of looking behind at the one which has closed. Thanks and have a great Monday!


Anonymous said...

Good Morning To All,

This post is going on the refridgerator door.... It is oh, so true, and I need this as a daily reminder....

Suzanne's comment this morning on doors..... Brings a thought to mind that if my focus is "blame" relating to my past, "worry", and "fear" relating to my future, how do I see the door that may be open right in front of me in my "present"?

I feel stuck today, a sense of defeat if you would..... I need to be open to listening to my heart, not my mind, to my higher power (god) and what he might be trying to communicate to me, show me, or guide me through.

I find myself in the moment, reflecting back to my childhood. I remember having little, or no fear, knowing that if I jumped, my dad would be there to catch me...

I miss that feeling this morning.

Peace This Monday.


Syd said...

If I worry about something as I used to do, it never did any good. Action in one form or another does away with worry. Or I can just choose to give up worrying about anything and turn it over to my HP which is what I do with people. Stop by sometime at my blog.

Joe said...

Kevin - thanks. Before you attach this to your refridge., let me fix a couple of typos.

And do visit Syd and FrannyGlass - their blogs I mean. Both are excellent.

My Best To You All this WEEK


Anonymous said...

I spent the entire day worrying and now I am exhausted. It is a hard habit to break, particularly having grown up that way. My mother was and is a pro at "Attempting to predict the future, negatively." Any idea you have, she will think of multiple disaster scenarios you need to anticipate.

I learned both traits well and excelled at it. At this point, even my worries have worries. (If I worry less, will I start to let details slide and be less effective in my job?)

But I can feel the impact on my body, and that's not good.

I will try to focus on my feet for a while. Or at the very least to develop a new mantra, Attempting to predict the future, positively.

Wow, now that I think of it, if my mother's hobby was worry, my father's was regret. I work against both of these all the time, to varying degrees of success.