I mentioned worrying in the proceeding blogs. Worries are negative thoughts projected into the future. They are often referred to as “what-if” thoughts. Here are some examples: What if I don’t do well on my math test tomorrow?, What if my plane crashes?, What if my boyfriend’s parents don’t like me?, What if that lump is cancer?, What if my husband gets into a car crash on his way home from work?, What if I don’t have enough money to pay my mortgage?, and on and on and on. Worrying is a very bad habit. For some it is not just a bad habit but an activity with a purpose. That purpose is to feel in “control”.
Clients often ask, “Aren’t there some things I have to worry about?” or to put it another way;”Don’t I have to figure things out?”. The answer is no. The only thing worrying accomplishes is to create anxiety. Concern and planning are not the same as worry. Worry goes around in a loop (the hamster wheel) and is fueled by fear and anxiety. The need to feel in control is also fueled by fear. Concern and planning are NOT fueled by fear and anxiety. Concern is caring. Planning is logistical problem solving.
So the bad news is that control is an illusion. And worrying as a way to get control is futile. The good news is you do not have to worry. Stop calling your worry necessary. Worry takes up a lot of your mental and emotional energy. Call it worry and be willing to let it go. It is making you anxious and you don’t need it. There is freedom in letting go of worry and the need to control. Think about all the energy you will free up.