I often wake up with songs in my head. This morning, I woke up singing Francesca Battistelli’s song “Fear You Don’t Own Me.” Probably because I distinctly remember thinking about the words while I was taking a bath last night.
Had the song been in my head all night, weaving its way through the tangles and folds of my brain? Maybe. Not a bad song to have up there pushing today’s buttons. It caused me to pause and ask myself what, in the scope of today, did I fear? Then, I became curious about how much time people in general spend worrying about life?
Anyone else wake up with all these thoughts in your head? I don’t need coffee, I need a journal to untangle my thoughts.
Anyway, according to an article in the IOL, we spend almost two hours of the day worrying. That’s a lot of time to me. I don’t have two hours to waste on something I know is unproductive, but I do it anyway. So, I asked myself what about today causes a niggle of concern inside me. Here’s my list:
- My adult kids
- The future
- The novella I’m working on
I won’t go into details about why, but suffice it to say they’re a huge part of my life. Still, do I need to worry over them? Is worry necessary? According to an article by Ambafrance, the need to worry is a lie we tell ourselves. If I don’t “worry” about my kids, does that mean I don’t love them? If I don’t think about the future and constantly plan, am I being irresponsible? If I don’t keep to a strict word count and deadline, am I lazy?
In the article, the writer asks several questions that show how we influence our worry. We’re basically asking ourselves the wrong questions. I find this somewhat true. Here’s an example: When I think of my kids and envision them having a good, safe day, then I feel good. But, I have no way of predicting what their day will be like, so why would I choose to envision them having a bad day versus a good day?
How do we stop worry and change our frame of mind?
According to an article by Anxiety Culture, we’re conditioned how to worry at a young age by the people we spend most of our time with.
If worry is a learned behavior then positive thinking must also be learned, right? We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking. There are far more articles on that topic than there are on worry and fear.
I love this line by Kendra Cherry on the Very Well Mind website. “Learning to think positively is like strengthening a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it will become.” And also this: “By taking a moment to analyze the event and ensure that you are giving yourself the credit you are due for the good things and not blaming yourself for things outside of your control, you can start to become more optimistic.”
You can read her article in full here, which I highly recommend. It’s brightened my day for sure.
I decided to take her advice to try and turn off my worry and think positively by doing these four things:
- I wrote down my concerns about my kids, my future and my novella
- I wrote down what I can control and what I can’t control. In doing this, I noticed my worry over those things outside of my control are based on assumptions
- I gave myself permission to set those worries aside
- Then, I made a list of how I can positively impact the lives of my kids, my future, and my novella today.
That’s all I can do for now. I found this exercise empowering. It reminded me that I’m in charge of my life. I call the shots and determine who I want to be today and in the future.
In the words of Francesca Battistelli. [Fear] “There’s no room for you here, yeah I’ve had enough, the no vacancy sign on my heart is lit up.”
And it feels like it’s going to be a great day. I hope yours is too.
How do you handle those daily nagging worries? Have you found a tip or trick that works for you?