Some people worry about little things, some people worry about big things and others worry about everything. Sometimes worry can be a tool used to prod you to do your best at a task, but constant worrying is a problem because it holds you back by keeping you stuck in negative thoughts and emotions.
If you don’t deal with worry, it keeps your stress levels up and this can lead to health problems. You can develop anxiety and it can affect you physically by causing a lack of appetite or insomnia.
Worrying can cause a pattern of behavior to develop. It can also lay the foundation for an addiction because it can drive you to try and find a way to get some emotional reprieve from the worrying.
Worrying often goes unchecked because we don’t know how to identify it correctly. You might worry about your job because you’re worried how you’ll pay the mortgage or put food on the table if you lost it.
You might worry about your loved ones becoming ill or losing them. These what-if thoughts aren’t the foundation behind the worrying that’s built up in your life. What you think about situations in your life is where the worrying first begins to develop.
From there, it becomes a pattern or a habit to worry. What causes you to worry is the thought that something bad or unfavorable toward you is going to happen. When you experience these thoughts, your emotions kick in with the response of fear or anxiety.
These worries are over things that have never happened and have a strong probability that they never will. But what worriers have a tendency to do is to create scenarios in their mind of these probably future situations.
When you create a scene in your mind, your brain sees these thoughts as a mental image. It views this image the same way it would if you viewed a negative situation in a movie.
It sees the vivid details and then your body experiences things like anxiety when you watch a scary or dramatic movie. Those are the same results that you get when you paint scenarios in your mind that haven’t even happened.
Your mind registers this as something that’s occurring. So then you feel afraid and anxious. This thought pattern can make you anxious, irritable and untreated can turn into a chronic and devastating anxiety disorder.
Mindfulness can set you free by showing you how to stop these thought patterns in their tracks. When you have a worry thought, take a moment and redirect your focus back to the present rather than allowing your mind to be projected into what isn’t even happening.
Don’t give the worries any power within your mind. Give the thought the title of what-if and then release it. Mindfulness will help you learn to recognize those what-if thoughts and understand that they’re not reality. They’re not happening. By taking away the power, the fear dissolves and the worry is gone.