For as long as I can remember, I have always worried. It was something that was part of who I was, and what I did. My mind would wander off to the worst possible scenario. Even when writing on my blog, I would worry about how I would be perceived, who would take me the wrong way. Sometimes, I would worry about if I would be taken too serious, or not too serious enough. These thoughts plagued me all the time.
Here are just some insights that I’ve realized that helped me put my worrying into perspective.
I wanted absolutes
One of the things I struggled with was not knowing. I wanted to know every detail of the procedure. Every bit of knowledge of anything that was bothering me until I’ve exhausted all materials I could find. The problem was, I was looking for absolutes in a world that is not certain.
No one can promise today, or tomorrow. I worried about preventing things. From helping my family out, to making sure that I’m doing everything I can health wise for them. Honestly, I can just do the best that I can. I do what I can (and afford) for my family, and then leave the rest up to God.
I can’t say that I stop researching information–I think that’s just hardwired in me to do now. However, I’m not obsessed about it. When I feel like I have received the answers that I was looking for, then I start applying what I have learned.
Separate what I can do from what I can’t
A lot of my worry was about situations that I could not control. I can’t control how other people are going to behave and what they are going to say. I can’t even control my own children’s behavior. Actually, I’m very thankful for that! This has caused me to look at each situation for what it was.
There are things that are in my control–like how we plan to spend the afternoon. However, there are things that are not in my control–if we actually get to follow through with all the plans. I learned to stop worrying about the events that I cannot control, and just deal with them as they are. That doesn’t mean I have to like it–many times I don’t. However, I just have to deal with since that’s the issue that we’re facing.
Letting Go of Control
I don’t know if it is my personality, or just the way that I’m hardwired, but I can sense there is a control streak in me. I want things done the way I like all the time. This is even annoying to me! Why do I waste so much energy trying to control things–things that I’m not even responsible for, all the time.
One thing that I’m eternally grateful for is having children. Quickly, they pull you out of your comfort zone, and remind you that you don’t have control of anything. I used to stress myself about the slightest things, and that honestly didn’t make a good Mama to be around. I wanted things to be perfect-but I didn’t have a standard of what perfect was.
This lesson is what I’m still going through (painful as it is), but I know that it will bear fruit in the future.
Fixing my nutritional needs
When I switched my diet, and started to pay attention to what I ate–it had a huge effect on my mood. I started to look up the causes of anxiety, and if there were any nutritional things I can do to help. Turned out that magnesium has a huge role to play with my anxiety.
I had to find the right supplement, and the right dose for me, and I’ve noticed that things that bothered me, don’t bother me any more. I know when there’s going to be problems, and instead of worrying about them, I just figured that we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. That is a huge game changer for me.
Yes, the goal is to get as much magnesium as I can from the foods that I eat, but we all need a little help, and that is where the supplements come from.
Finding a Hobby
My family laughs at me, but I’m on a hobby search. It’s a shame I don’t have more time in the day, but I truly love my hobbies. I’ve written about having a hobby here, but let me tell you how it has helped with my worrying.
Anxiety is worrying about the future. So instead of worrying about things that hasn’t happened (or ever will), I’m focused on what keeps my blood pumping. I’ve talked about knitting, but I also crochet. I’m getting into sewing and embroidery too! There is just a huge surge of “Wow, I did that!” when I look at a finished piece.
There are times when I think a simple stitch is just simple, but then I show it to someone who doesn’t do this for a hobby and they are just amazed. Ultimately, my hobbies are for me, but my family gets a huge benefit from it as well.
Appreciating the present
Seriously, I truly lost count of how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds I lost worrying about a far off day. I’ve wasted so much time that I can truly see the importance of living in the present. Everyday is different for me. I may do the same things (mostly) day in and day out, but how I do them is not the same.
I’m more focused on giving my children the attention they need. Listening to their stories that they made up, or just sitting and knitting while they are watching TV. They are just enjoying the fact that I’m actually sitting for once. I try to be more mindful of my words and actions. I constantly think if it was my last moments, how would I want them to remember me by? So focusing on “the end” actually helps me appreciate the present.
How can I give you what helps me without mentioning prayer. This is a game changer. So many people believe that they can change the world on their own. I have no intentions of huge plans. I just want to change my inner world as much as I could.
Praying has helped me acknowledge that I cannot do it alone. There is no shame in asking Him for help and then letting it go. I don’t know what the future will hold–but who does? I can say–with full honesty, I’m not remotely worried about it anymore.
Keeping the focus off ourselves can help us manage our anxiety and worries. By doing something else, we no longer have the moment to ruminate over our problems or situation. I’m not going to say that these things will help everyone, but it can sure be a starting point for anyone.
What have you done to reign in your worry bug?