Learn to take life’s ups and downs in stride

Focus on these three Cs — calm, collected and confident

Faith WoodToo often, we’re exposed to the energy-sucking power of worry. What a waste. But you can do something about it.

When I was a young mom, I worried about making mistakes raising my children. I was so concerned about scarring them for life. It seemed that every article I read eluded to poor parenting as the root cause of missteps children make when they reach adulthood. I wondered if I had the insight and wisdom needed to avoid all those future problems.

When I was an employee, I worried about not being effective or capable enough.

When I bought my first home, I worried about how I would cover the payments and what would happen if there was more month left at the end of the money.

As a solo entrepreneur, there’s still a relentless supply of things to worry about: strategies for finding gigs (that actually pay), attracting new clients, taxes, cash flow, marketing and social media … yikes!

The only time I’ve ever found worry to be useful is in focusing ahead of a presentation, and only if I used that worry energy to actually prepare.

Has worrying changed or improved anything for you?

Worry creates stress and frown lines – not attractive qualities.

Sadly, like laughter, worry is also contagious. It can easily spread to all those around you.

But what do you do about it?

It’s time to start taking life’s ups and downs in stride. Confront that worry and plan for what you’ll do if the thing you’re fretting about happens. Playing the what-if game through to its conclusion can be measurably helpful in gaining control over your imagination.

Many worriers find that their thoughts are more troublesome right before they fall asleep. All those worst-case scenarios wiggle around in their mind when things get quiet.

If that happens to you, there’s something you can do about it, with some practise and diligent repetition. Whenever you become aware of the presence of a worrisome thought, immediately replace it with a more resourceful or positive thought.

Stressful events happen. Things might be said or done that are hurtful, but imagine yourself remaining calm and composed in spite of them.

It’s time to realize that the situation is going to be what it is regardless of how much time you spend troubling yourself about it. So invest a little time in visualizing yourself as someone who doesn’t get rattled by chaos. Trust that you have the solutions (or will find them) to any real problems that you face.

When you feel stress, tension or anxiety, take a deep, relaxing breath. Imagine exhaling the negative energy – imagine it sliding off Teflon coating.

Focus on these three Cs — calm, collected and confident.

  • Remain calm because there’s no point in worrying — that won’t resolve a thing.
  • Get your thoughts collected in your mind.
  • Be confident that your mind will find a solution if there is one.

So tonight when it’s time for sleep, drift away to a special place, and leave all those worries and cares behind. Dream that you’re tucking your worries into a drawer or a cupboard where you can pick them up in the morning or at a more appropriate time. Or send them away on a big black cloud — that cloud that’s been hovering over you. Just visualize sending your worries up there and invite a big gust of wind to just blow them far away.

As your attitude becomes more optimistic, you’ll be able to creatively think of new and fun ways to dispose of worry.

Troy Media columnist Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications. 

© Troy Media

overcoming worry

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