The stats are that 97% of what we worry about NEVER HAPPENS.
Why do so many of us worry?
It can be mistaken as caring. The brain thinking worry is attached to feelings of caring. And neuroscience teaches us that we worry as a solution to the anxiety we feel!
Sounds strange but the act of worrying is “thinking”. Which turns out to be slightly productive in one sense but dysfunctional over all.
The problem is two-fold. But the basic reality is that the brain becomes misaligned.
- Because we think worrying and caring are the same. Our mind believes us. Forever linking caring and worry with the same emotional attachment. It then becomes natural to worry about everything we care about.
- Worrying is not a productive solution to the underlying anxiety that has resulted from an event or circumstance in our lives
Worrying and caring are not the same at all. In fact… They are completely different.
Caring: Kind, warm-hearted, tenderness
Worry: Anxiety, agonizes, fret, stew and torment one self.
Why is this important? Because it is not the solution for a deeper more serious underlying problem of anxiety. And worrying is negative physiology (stress) and it contributes to inner unhealthiness and an unhappy state of mind.
What is negative physiology? Our body’s chemical response to the emotions we engage in.
Why else is it important? When engaged in repeatedly, it can become an addictive cycle! Yup, you can become addicted to worrying. Again because of an internal mis-alignment of the brain.
How initially worrying as a solution creates a flush of dopamine that actually makes you feel good about being such a good worrier. But then the worrying becomes a habit. Dopamine no longer flushes. We no longer feel temporarily ok. We just drop into a habit of worrying. An ingrain unconscious response!
But the real truth is that its’ unhealthy and a huge waste of your beautiful day. And would be really really good for you… if it changed.
So how do we change? You need a little shift. A ripple effect that shifts attention from the worry pathway into a new productive and effective neuro-pathway.
How do we begin? Awareness! Notice when you engage in worry. Acknowledge what you are feeling. By identifying the emotion, a cool shift has happened. You have switched brains!
Where before you were “feeling” the emotion inside your Limbic Brain, Now your thinking about what your feeling.
You’ve moved beyond pattern emotional thinking and engages your neo-cortex. Simply and easily by asking yourself what you are really feeling. GO even further, after identify the feeling, write it down. Writing is a cognitive function, engaging your brain again in a positive action while removing attention from “feelings”.
And then, look for a positive alternative to your worry. Find the positive within. What you’ve learned. Experience and wisdom, growth and development. Adaptation and resilience. Being grateful for what is positive.
I am not suggesting ignoring what is, but make a conscious effort to overcome your tendency to worry.