Monthly Archives: April 2013

6 Key Tips To Help You Overcome The Worry Habit – Part 2

You may have a struggle with the emotions of worry and anxiety.   You’re not alone as you face this difficulty in your life.  There are many people who have this challenge in their lives.  

There are, of course, different parts of our lives that we can worry about.

For instance, you may have worried about your job, your finances, relationships, or health.

If you look back on many of the past events in your life, you’ll likely notice an interesting pattern with the ones you worried about.  You’ll note that most (if not all) tended to work out.

I believe that we all recognize that the emotion of worry does us no good.  We think of that after a situation turns out alright.  In such an instance, we may ask ourselves “Why did I bother worrying about that?  I got through it!”

And yet, the very next day (and even the next hour), we’ll find another upcoming event or circumstance to fret about.

In part 1  of this blog post, I discussed three negative effects or consequences of worry.

In today’s post, I’d like to provide you with three valuable tips and ideas you can practice to help you overcome this unproductive habit.

I’ve learned about these tips through my own trials and errors in life.  You may also have some excellent ideas, tips, and suggestions that have worked for you.

My hope is that these ideas will inspire and encourage you – and that you’ll gain a few good insights that will help you each day.

Visualize Your Future in Terms of the Rewards of Success rather than the Penalties of Failure

This is one idea I wish I had practiced long ago.

A few years ago, I purchased an excellent book of quotes from Brian Tracy.  It’s called “The Great Little Book on Personal Achievement.”

Here is one of Brian Tracy’s quotes:

Think continually in terms of the rewards of success rather than the penalties of failure.

When you think about the future in general (or many of your upcoming events), do you think and visualize your potential for success?  Or do you think that you are somehow “doomed to fail”?

If you can honestly answer “yes” to the first question, you likely approach things in your life with a sense of anticipation and optimism.  If you think that you’re somehow “inadequate” to face a future challenge, you likely battle with worries about failure.

At the end of a day, what approach to the future will serve you better?  Which perspective will contribute to your well-being?

It’s a good reminder for each of us to be careful about the things we think about, focus on, and visualize for our lives?

Your thoughts about the future and your potential affect you today and in each moment.  Why not make them work for you instead of against you?

Remember that the Thoughts that You Dwell Upon are Your Choice

This has been a difficult piece of advice for me to follow.

I have often thought of myself as a “victim of circumstances.”

You can see this type of thinking in many people’s lives.

Many of us tend to blame our past grievances, our present circumstances, or our future uncertainties for our unhappiness and battles with fear and worry.

You may have heard others say: “If only the economy wasn’t so bad, I would have a better job.” or “If only this person hadn’t rejected me, I would be happier.” or “If only this company hadn’t scammed me, I would be more trusting of others.”

It’s taken me quite a bit of time to recognize that a worrisome or fearful thought doesn’t have to dominate or rule my life.  I don’t need to dwell upon it, give it undeserved attention, or allow it to affect my overall mood.

You may not be able to control any worrisome thought that occurs to you.  However, through practice, you can make the better choice to focus on those thoughts and ideas that will help you succeed in life. 

It will likely be a difficult habit to develop, but through patience and consistent practice, I’m a firm believer that we all can develop a quality thought life – one filled with optimism and enthusiasm for our goals.

Practice Faith Instead of Fear and Worry

You may have your own set of spiritual beliefs.  The goal of this post is not to really advocate one belief system over another.

Develop faith in your ability to succeed, and that you can experience a better quality of life.

If you don’t believe in your abilities, worth, value, and significance, you won’t have the faith to step outside of your comfort zone – and then give yourself the chance to succeed.

In the past, I have used the deflating phrases “This won’t work” and “I can’t do this.”

I would become worried about the potential consequences of trying new things.  Worrisome thoughts would occur to me.  ”What if someone disapproves of me?  What if I appear foolish?  What if I don’t succeed?  What if I can’t handle the success?”

When we practice fear and worry in our lives, we tend to talk ourselves out of so many things that we could be, have, or do.  

Giving in to our fear and worry is a sad decision.  Our lives become uninspiring, predictable, ordinary, and boring.

When you practice faith in your life, it’s like developing a muscle in the gym.  What you focus on becomes stronger.  If you decide to focus on your fears and worries, they too become stronger.

Which one would you rather practice in your life?  Which one would give you the best results?

My hope is that you make the wise decision to begin to develop greater faith and optimism in your life.  It would be a choice that you would never regret – and one that could help you overcome the fear and worry that you’ve been battling on a daily basis.

Your life and your goals are well worth pursuing (no matter what others may try to tell you).  My hope is that this post has inspired you to go after your goals today.

I like the quote from the image below, which says “Worry is the darkroom in which negatives are developed.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

worry and negativity 6 Key Tips To Help You Overcome The Worry Habit   Part 2

6 Key Tips To Help You Overcome The Worry Habit – Part 1

Worry, fear and stress are unfortunate companions in our world today.

There are many things that we can fret over in our lives.

This morning, I did a Google search on the terms “habit of worry” and “the worry habit.”

I was quite surprised to see over 300,000 results for each term (in quotes).  As you are most likely aware, this means that there are over 300,000 websites covering these search terms.

It would be a fairly safe assumption to say that worrying is a common habit among many of us today.

In today’s post, I’d like to address three detrimental effects of the worry habit – and tips you can use to overcome them.

Remind Yourself that Worry Depletes Your Mental, Emotional, and Physical Energy

Think back to the previous times that you worried about something.

Did it affect your mood, feelings, productivity and health?

I’d be safe to say that your answer would definitely be “yes!”

The habit of worry adds nothing to our lives.  When you go over a lot of “what if” types of scenarios, your mental and emotional energy gets diverted to things that will likely never happen.

For instance, I have battled with a fear of flying.  I’m not as tense or anxious as I used to be, but I have to admit that I’m a bit apprehensive when I fly.

When I think of a bunch of scenarios that are not likely to happen, I start to worry.  I’ve worried about the plane crashing.  I always get a window seat, as I feel like I’ll be more “prepared” if something happens.

Years ago, I would often be unable to sleep before a flight the next day.  All kinds of scenarios would enter my mind.

We can’t kid ourselves.  Worry does deplete our physical energy.  It doesn’t add a single benefit to our lives.

What would be the likelihood of the plane crashing?  Statistics show that it would be very remote.  I would have a better chance of winning the lottery.

When you’re tempted to get onto a treadmill of worrying about the future, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the possibility of my biggest fear actually happening?  
  • Is it truly worth giving my time, attention, and energy to worry about the future?
  • Is it worthwhile to focus on my regrets of the past?

You can use these questions to break a thought pattern that leads to needless episode of worry.  These ideas are helping me to begin to overcome this habit.

Remember that When You Worry, You Focus on Things in Life that You Cannot Control

In my research this morning, researchers have indicated that between 85 and 92 percent of the things we worry about never even happen.

That means that only 8 percent, according to psychologies, are worries that we could call “valid concerns.”

With many of my own worries, many of them have been about my regrets about the past, and my concerns about the future.

When you think about it, you can’t change the past, and you won’t build a great future by worrying about it.

Why spend time thinking about things that you cannot control in life, such as the economy, the weather, other people’s opinions (which are about as changeable as the weather), whether you have “what it takes to succeed”, or whether other people will like you, approve of you, or will be supportive of your goals and dreams?

Rather than get caught up in your regrets of the past, or your worries of the future, consider each moment as a gift.

Life truly is a gift.  There are, of course, moments are circumstances that are difficult, painful, challenging, happy, and joyful.

Consider this present moment to be a gift.  There is no guarantee that you will still be here five minutes from now.  Life offers no guarantees.  Learn to develop the “attitude of gratitude” in life.  Focus on the things that you can control- such as your attitude, your willingness to set and achieve goals, and the things you choose to think about in life.

Worry Paralyzes Your Ability to Take Action Now

Here is a question that I hope will help you:

In the past, when you worried about an upcoming future event (such as an exam, a business presentation, a social function, or a job interview), what did the activity of worry help you accomplish?

If you think back to your anticipatory anxiety about the event, you likely felt distracted, stressed out, and nervous about how things would turn out.

Worry is such a futile activity.  It’s very unproductive.

This morning, I did a bit more online research on this subject.  I found a great blog post from Doug Rice.  The post is entitled How to Stop Worrying and it is relatively brief but well worth reading.

Doug included an image that appears to be a worry flow chart.  His post and image is very good.  No matter what your religious perspective may be, I am sure you will find it practical in your own life.

When you feel inclined or tempted to worry about the events and things happening in your life, please begin to remind yourself that you can’t change anything by worrying.

Bring yourself back to the present moment – and focus on taking action now.

This is advice I wish I had followed years ago.  I would rather not admit how much time I have worried about things in my own life.

When you think about it, the quality of your life really depends on how you respond to the challenges you face, and the choices you make.

Taking action on the things you can control is one wise choice.  A second wise choice is to not worry about the things you can’t control in life.

All the best to you as you apply the things you learn each – and as you pursue your goals and dreams today.

In part two of this post, I’ll provide three more action steps that I’m taking to help me overcome this negative emotion.

I like the quote in the image below, which says “Worry…often gives a small thing a big shadow.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

worry image quote 6 Key Tips To Help You Overcome The Worry Habit   Part 1

Develop a Strategy To Combat Anxiety Effectively

Do you have a strategy or plan to effectively combat anxiety in your life?

For much of my own life, I allowed circumstances to dictate how my day went.

Yesterday, I had issues with the computer.  I was trying to figure things out, navigating through all kinds of forums and website information, getting rather frustrated and anxious because I couldn’t access my account to post this blog.

I went off to work and tried to figure out a solution to my computer issues, once again, frustrated that things weren’t working out as planned.

I try to have my mornings organized enough to get certain things done.  If things don’t go as planned, I can get rather stressed out and anxious.

How do you handle things when they don’t quite meet your expectations?

When your plans don’t quite work out, how do you react?

I’ve begun to understand more and more that I do need a strategy to be able to handle the stress and anxiety I experience.

My hope is that today’s post will give you a few ideas that will help you face the inevitable moments when we’re challenged, confused, and, if we’re not careful, stressed out and anxious.

Recognize that a Strategy or Plan will “Set the Course” for Your Mood

I have started to learn this lesson through much trial and error.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I would often allow my circumstances to determine my mood and well-being.

If I saw someone friendly at work, it would be easy to be upbeat and positive.

If I ended up interacting with an unhappy or disgruntled co-worker, I find it easy to be influenced and affected by this type of person.

I think it was Jim Rohn who said that if you don’t begin to set your own agenda, you’ll soon be “buying in” or accepting the agendas others may try to impose on you.

How do we go about setting a strategy or plan for ourselves?  That’s what I would like to get to on these upcoming three tips…

Make the Use of Affirmations a Daily Habit

I am fortunate enough to be able to use an affirmations CD.  Lately, I started using it in my car on the way to work.

I’m glad that I made this choice.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’m not overly “fanatical” about using affirmations.

In the past, I often thought of people who use affirmations to be a bit bizarre and extreme – shouting out positive statements to themselves, trying to convince themselves that they are “something they are not.”

I have a few favourite ones that I have loaded into my computer.

I now think of my affirmations as positive and affirmative, present-tense statements that encourage and motivate me.  They have definitely improved my mood and overall well-being.

I strongly encourage you to give them a try. They have worked for me.  I’m sure that they will work for you if you give it a chance.

Monitor Your Thoughts Carefully

I have started to recognize that my initial thoughts of fear lead into anxious and stressful moments when I allow these thoughts to “get out of hand.”

Years ago, I attended a personal development seminar.  I met some great people at that event.  Several months afterwards, many of us still met and corresponded with each other.  It was an experience I am glad that I had.

In this seminar, I was able to really think about many aspects of my life, along with the things I believed.

It really made me think about the quality of my thoughts and beliefs.  I started to recognize how my thinking was often centered on “just getting by” with my life.

Have you ever considered the quality of your thought life?

If you often feel anxious or depressed, take some time to write down some of your thoughts.  You will be surprised how your negative thoughts affect your mood, attitude and well-being.

If your thoughts are filled with past regrets, and the things that “might have been”, you’ll feel gloomy and depressed.

If you have worrisome thoughts about some upcoming event, I can guarantee you that you will feel anxious.  It’s amazing how connected our thoughts are to our emotions and actions in life.

We can’t really control our initial thoughts, but what we can control are the thoughts we will focus on.

Recently, I had to “re-visit” a good website article I saved on “Unhelpful Thinking Habits”

Unfortunately, I recognized that I have some of these habits myself.  The key is to recognize my thought distortions, challenge them, and think of the events in my life in more of a realistic manner (if that’s the right way to put it!)

Here’s a link to the site:

http://www.get.gg/unhelpful.htm

My hope is that this article will help you improve the quality of your thought life – and the overall quality of your life.

Take Action on the Things You Can Change in Your Life

It might not be grammatically correct for me to underline a word in my title, but the word “can” is worth emphasizing.

Many of us try to do too much in life.  We take on too many things, and end up stressing ourselves out and think “my goals or to-do list is too overwhelming.”  We often try to change or control things and other people in life.  We need to start focusing on the good things and the changes that we can make.

What if you decided to take action on one thing you’ve learned this week?  How would your life improve?

What if you decided to make personal development an important part of your life?  What if you decided to learn all you can about the topic of anxiety?  And what if you decided to really follow some good, solid and sensible advice?  How would your quality of life improve?

These questions are well worth thinking about.  I recognize that I have often settled for the “status quo” – thinking that I couldn’t make good changes in my life.  I recognize that I often need to learn, grow and take action in my own life.

Do you have a personal development or a personal growth plan?  I have started to develop one for a few courses that I’m taking, and it’s starting to work.

I’d like to encourage you to develop a good action plan for your life.  In one week, one month and one year from now, you will be glad that you did.

This afternoon, I read a really good quote from Brian Tracy, who wrote:

Most unhappiness is caused by a lack of clear meaning and purpose in your life.

I like the quote from the image below, which says “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

fear and the mind Develop a Strategy To Combat Anxiety Effectively

Confront Reality As You Overcome Anxiety In Your Daily Life

Fear can, of course, both a healthy and an unhealthy emotion.  It all depends on the circumstance.

As I’m driving down the road, I would have a natural fear of crossing a railroad track with a train approaching in the next few seconds.

It’s natural for us to fear things that would be dangerous – such as making contact with a live power line after a storm.

Our unhealthy fears often result in ongoing anxiety and worry.  When you begin to focus on your fears and worries, it negatively affects your mood and energy level.

Confronting that anxiety is a problem is important.  Anxiety is a reality in today’s world.

Only when you admit your anxiety, you can begin to take steps to overcome it

This is a critical first step.

There are a lot of people who won’t admit that they feel anxious or insecure.  It’s unfortunate that there seems to be a type of “stigma” for this negative emotion.

I have often felt that admitting my anxiety would be a sign of weakness.  As I acknowledge this emotion to others, I have felt reluctant to do so because I would appear to be weak and inferior to others.

There’s a certain amount of fear that we will all face in life.  I like a book from Susan Jeffers called “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.”  In her second chapter of this valuable book, she discusses five truths about fear.  One of the truths that is most helpful is “The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.”

In my own life, I’m recognizing a bit more of a difference between fear and anxiety.  Fear seems to be an initial apprehension to a new situation, in which I think “I’m afraid to do this.  I’m not sure that I’ll be able to handle things if it doesn’t work out.”

Anxiety, on the other hand, seems to be an ongoing uneasiness about life.  It feels like fear that gets out of hand.

Yesterday, I decided to do some research for this blog post.  I read an interesting article that discusses the distinction between fear and anxiety.  You can read about this article at the following psychologytoday.com website:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-dance-connection/200910/fear-vs-anxiety

This article from Dr. Harriet Lerner provides us with a good distinction between fear and anxiety.  It’s something I have often wondered about.

It’s not easy to admit and acknowledge that we feel fearful or anxious.  However, this acknowledgement is important as we begin to make changes in our lives.

I like a quote I read from Dr. Phil McGraw, who wrote:

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

I have a couple of books from Dr. Phil.  I’m not sure if I agree with all of his conclusions, as I haven’t read through all of his writings.  This quote is definitely true, though.

When you don’t have solutions or answers in life, you can begin to ask questions and truly learn

As I have developed this blog, I’m in the process of providing free content that will hopefully provide you with great value.

It is also my goal to make a living somehow online with my work.  I’m not sure if it will be with this blog, or with some other line of work.  I hope to continue with my posts on this site either way.

We face many questions, issues, and challenges in life.

I hope I am developing some good qualifications to run this blog and online business.  Time will tell.  I can only do the best I can.

In the past, I have often been worried and anxious.  I’ve asked “How can I make this work while I work at another job? Will I make it?  Is this going to work?”

I have needed to get the advice, support, and help of other people who have succeeded in the things I’m trying to attempt.  It hasn’t been easy, as I don’t like to ask “dumb” questions.  I’m learning more and more that there is a great value in learning from others, and in not trying to be a “lone ranger” in life or pretend to have all the answers.

No one can claim to have all the answers or solutions in life.  We’re all in a stage of learning.

When you’re facing issues with anxiety (or with any great challenge in life), are you open to learning all you can?  Are you willing to take steps to improve the quality of your life?

I hope you are.  Your life and your goals are too valuable to be cast aside because you feel anxious, fearful, or worried about an uncertain future.

Life is too short.  Don’t allow the things you don’t know to intimidate you.  If you face any challenge with fear or anxiety in your life, give yourself the chance to learn what you can, and then apply what you learn.

The Reality of Fear or Anxiety does not Define Your Personal Worth

I used to feel like “less of a person” because I felt fearful or anxious.

My fears turn into anxious thoughts when I allow them to.  Being fearful or anxious in life is an indication that my worrisome thoughts get out of control.

If you have difficulty with anxiety, don’t personalize it or downgrade your personal worth about it.

Confronting this reality is not a sign of inferiority or weakness.  It takes courage and strength to admit this problem, ask questions and discover solutions, and then take action on the things you learn.

I am beginning to do so in my own life, and I would tell you in person that it’s beginning to work in my own life, as I face different challenges each day.

My hope is that you will act on today’s tips – and that your own quality of life will improve.  Invest in your own personal learning, growth and development.  You will never regret it.

I like the following quote from Edmund Burke in the image below, which says “No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

fear and power to act Confront Reality As You Overcome Anxiety In Your Daily Life