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Being a Worry Wart. Is it in your DNA?

Are you a worrier? Do you come from a long line of worriers? Maybe overprotective parents and grandparents?

Here’s the good news: it’s not biological. There is no “worry” gene. What it is, instead, is a learned behavior. Nurture ousting nature.

Worrying is actually a socially acceptable way of saying you live in fear of what may happen in the future. Most likely, you also lack present moment consciousness.

Worrying is a form of anxiety, causing a host of stress-related physical and psychological problems.

But don’t worry, my nervous Nellies! There are some things you can do to stop the needless nervousness!

Two of my favorite tools, which help improve your present moment awareness, are:

  1. To allot 5 minutes a day to worrying. If you find catastrophic thoughts creeping up at another time, remind yourself you cannot think about these until your designated worry time. Go back to focusing on what is happening RIGHT NOW. (When you get to your worry time, are you even able to remember what it was you were worrying about earlier? Most likely not.)
  1. Take your worry down the “Then What” highway. Imagine the event you are concerned about actually happening, then ask yourself, “then what.” From that point, ask “then what.” Keeping going until you have reached the end of the road. When that highway dead-ends, you will see that the fear is much bigger in your mind than what could actually happen. This exercise gives you a realistic perspective. It also gives you the opportunity to see how much time you wasted worrying about what MIGHT happen rather than spending your valuable time on what is ACTUALLY happening.

Allow yourself to step out of fear and into freedom. The only moment you are guaranteed is the one that is happening right now. When you project into the future, and a dismal one at that, you miss your life as it is happening AND draw the perception-turned-reality of misery toward you as you resonate on that energetic frequency.

I have been through many traumatic and scary experiences in my life from cancer to raising teenage sons. Worrying about them would not have changed how I handled them; it would only have robbed me of moments that I would not get back.

Worrying and preparing are two different things so do not confuse the two. I am not saying be unprepared, I am only suggesting that nothing productive comes from worrying.

Let’s get honest and share. Are you an excessive worrier? What triggers your worry muscle? What tools have you discovered to yank you out of future tripping and back to the here and now?

I hope you have an amazing, worry-free week, and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love

Terri

*Photo by loco’s photos.

14 Comments

  1. I was blessed to have grown up in a family with a very anxious, worrysome mother who actually (through her example) taught me NOT to worry. I would see how her worrying shrunk her life down, often immobilised her to do anything, and she also gave her power away because she couldn’t make decisions (due to worrying so much). I decided I couldn’t live like that, and kicked worrying to the curb.
    I think something what helps me on the occassions where I do feel worried is to think ‘is this life or death’? Perspective is so useful. Most decisions we make are not going to lead to death or injury. We have to trust in ourselves that whatever the outcome we can handle it. We also have to remember that we can’t control the future even if we’d like to, so being int he present is all the control we really have. Thanks for sharing your tips Terri! A great reminder to stay present. Anything else leads to overwhelm and fear! x

    Reply
    • Sarah-
      I love the lesson you learned from you mother. So powerful to see exact what you do not want to happen in your own life and have the insight and strength to make it NOT happen! Keep up the amazing work and as always I appreciate your insightful and inspiring comments <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  2. Unfortunately, the things I worry about ARE almost always life or death so the “and then what” exercise inevitably has a tragic and terrifying conclusion. What works better for me, when I can remember, is not to get on the worry train when it first enters the station — I just say, “No, that’s not my train, I’m going to just wait here for my train and let this one zoom by.”

    Reply
    • Great advice Erica!
      Thank you for sharing it here with us <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  3. My grandmother was a terrible worrier and I tend to go there at times. Thanks for the tips. When I worked with cancer patients I used to get them to try the alloted time- most of them scheduled it in their diaries and when the time came they actually couldn’t recall what they were so worried about. Love your tune up tips, they make my week ;)

    Reply
    • Thanks Yvonne! So glad you are here with us sharing your light <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  4. Thank you Terri for this post, i can definitely relate to it!
    I have never been a worrier, until recently. For whatever reasons, in the past year, i started worrying for a lot of things….probably for everything. Of course, this is causing me a lot of stress and mainly, i am not feeling myself anymore!
    I am now trying to overcome it, so thank you for your tips!
    Have a wonderful week!

    Reply
    • Clara-
      I am so glad this post resonated with you. YES to getting back to being worry free. We are here to support you so come back often <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  5. Thanks for this! I am a worrier striving to be a warrior! I will use these techniques to help me along the way.

    Reply
    • YOU my dear are a warrior who is KICKING the worrying habit! YAY YOU!! Keep up the great work <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  6. Terri-
    I have recently got out of a one year relationship and it has thrown me for a big loop. I live in a mountain town, work seasonally, and constantly live in fear of what might be and what has happened in my life. It is truly debilitating at times, I find myself unable to make conversation and feel as if I am constantly trying to coast down the path of least resistance. It blows my mind right now just how much this consumes my day and keeps me from setting goals in all aspects of my life. I find myself just self medicating and coasting through day to day. I know that this relationship change has been a sign to “wake up and live” but even when I do the things that I enjoy, i find myself consumed and not even enjoying those activities. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Joe,
      Great to hear from you. Get help is my advice. Therapy saved my life and I am still in it today. Self medicating dulls the life you are meant to live into an unrecognizable shadow of want you want it to be. You have ruminating fearful thoughts that need attention so YOU can run them not the other way around. I stopped drinking many years ago but have an addicts mind so I know the drill. I have a close friend, Patty Powers who is an expert on this so check out her website and you can also ask her advise there http://pattypowersnyc.com/. You can do this <3
      love love love
      terri

      Reply
  7. Great thoughts on all this Terri… very useful stuff. My Mum was a great worrier and I think that’s been passed onto me a bit. Thanks for all your help :)

    Reply
    • Adam,
      I am so grateful that you are here with us. It is so helpful to be with like minded positive people transforming our lives one thought at a time ;)
      love love love
      terri

      Reply

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