Joy Ignites Success

Kicking the Worry Habit

By - Monday, June 29, 2015

In my last blog post, Why Do We Worry?, we looked at how false beliefs keep us stuck in the habit of worrying.
In the body, when we worry we create tension and havoc. We are living in fear and the body contracts in response. Cortisol goes up (the stress hormone), making it difficult for the immune system to do its job, resulting in inflammation and illness.
Here are some tips for breaking the worry habit:
1.    Dissolve the resistance- most people are aware that they are excessively worrying and tell themselves to stop. While this might seem like a good idea, it often backfires. What we resist, persists. Instead, I suggest you give yourself conscious permission to worry. In fact, you might want to throw a worry party and let it get out of control. Make the party so big and ridiculous that even you have to laugh at yourself.
2.    Notice what picture you are holding in mind when you are worrying. And then, simply ask yourself “Can I let go of expecting that to happen? Can I drop the picture?”  Since it’s not an image of what you do want, the conscious mind will easily let go, and the body will also release.
3.    Remind yourself that you are competent to handle what life presents. When you worry, you are basically sending a message that you won’t be able to cope with certain scenarios. In truth, that is not so. Worrying undermines your confidence. Instead, be your own best champion.
4.    Let yourself notice what’s happening in your body when you worry. Feel the tightness and contraction, and breathe into those areas of the body where it is most pronounced. As you open inside and let your body relax, your mind will follow.

5.    Wonder about the hidden benefits you think you get from worrying. Perhaps you feel closer to one of your parents because they worried. Or use worry to control or manipulate another's behavior (I know, not you!). Or, believe that worrying keeps you safe. Give yourself permission to wonder about the truth of these arguments. Ask yourself what would happen if you let go of that belief.


Melanie Smithson is the author of Stress Free in 30 Seconds: A Slightly Irreverent Approach to Navigating Life’s Challenges and the e-book, Reclaiming an Adult Relationship to Play. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, Certified Sedona Method Coach and co-owns Smithson Clinic, Inc. \with her husband, Gail in Lakewood, Colorado, where they live with their supreme playmate, the four-legged Beatrice. Melanie offers workshops and trainings throughout the world.

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About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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