Just like that, you’re frozen. You don’t know what to do or how to move forward. Your thoughts circle like vultures, waiting for your inevitable demise. It’s only a matter of time.
Worry has a way of derailing everything about your day. Using mindfulness, though, is a quick, easy way to get things back on track.
Stay in the Moment
You begin by taking a step back to examine the worrying thought, starting with the acceptance of the thought itself. This is the heart of mindfulness. Trying to ignore the worry only makes it worse. By giving the thought your attention, and then placing a label on it, you take power away from it. For example, if you’re worried about money, you might start by telling yourself, “Yes, I am worried about paying the bills this month.”
Find the Emotions
Once you’ve labeled your worries, identify the emotion accompanying it. Once you’ve got this, ask yourself honestly, what do these emotions make you feel like doing?
Kill the Worry with Normalcy
Instead of avoiding the worry, pay mindful attention to it and remind yourself this worry is normal. Do this every time it comes up. Eventually, it will seem less threatening.
Look for Patterns
Do these worries creep up at certain times? Using mindfulness means you’re paying attention to your thoughts in the moment. Understanding your triggers is a great way to keep the worrying thought from happening at all, as you’ll find yourself catching those damaging thoughts much faster and will be able to shut them down that much faster.
With mindfulness, you’re very much aware of the worries the moment they begin. This also means you’re capable of taking control of those thoughts and spinning them around onto something else immediately, putting your attention there instead.
Allow the Emotion to Play Out
Worry comes with a slew of negative emotions. Mindfulness means you’re aware of what you’re feeling right now. If you discover yourself falling into the fears and anxiety coupled with worry, let them play out, watching them as if from a distance, rather than suppress them, allowing them to dissipate naturally rather than escalate.
Flip it Around
Worried about trying something new? Rather than avoid it, try it anyway. By reacting to worries you know are irrational with action, more often than not, you’ll find you really had nothing to worry about in the first place. A word of caution? Sometimes worry is there for a good reason. Be careful which ones you challenge.
Remember, the whole point of mindfulness is to be in the moment and pay very close attention to what’s going on both internally and externally. Worry really doesn’t bear up under such close scrutiny. The act of simply paying attention will change the game significantly.