Tuesday, 9 February 2016

kicking the "worse case scenario" habit

don't worry - be happy (kicking the worst case scenario habit)

A week or two ago I watched a short video clip of a family eating dinner and what was said and what was thought - and how a simple comment sets our brain off on the worse case scenario journey. I related to it so strongly that I couldn't help but laugh and think that I could probably apply for the position of 'Queen of Worse Case Scenarios'!

I am completely aware of how debilitating this can be in my life and in my marriage and slowly but surely I am working on myself and my tendency to worry every little thing to death. I have reached a point where I can at least acknowledge that this is a trap I fall into and need to avoid - and that's a good start on the road to worrying less. It is amazing how easily something can escalate from a passing comment and turn into a full blown drama if you let worry get a grip on the situation.

The video clip has the husband mentioning that his boss spoke to him, from there it escalates to the wife imagining him unemployed and having to sell their house and live with his mother. I couldn't help but smile because my husband has changed jobs a multitude of times and each and every one of those changes has resulted in me imagining us living under a bridge with all our worldly possessions in a cardboard box!

After all those ups and downs and changes, we are still living with a very pleasant roof over our heads and woe and misery has not descended upon us. All the worry and stress was for nothing - I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble by remembering that worry changes nothing - it just sucks the joy out of the day and moves your focus onto the worst that could happen rather than on the positive possibilities.

Worry has obviously been a problem from time immemorial - Jesus talked about it in the bible and he wouldn't have bothered mentioning it if it wasn't something that was a common malady. I love how he could be speaking to us today - especially about our concerns with food and clothing - not much changes with each generation.

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

It's really easy for people to say "don't worry" but for those of us who like to worry, it is a really hard habit to let go of. It takes a conscious effort to make myself stop and not escalate things to the next level. I remind myself each time that it probably won't happen - and if it does, then we'll fix it. With age comes an assurance that you can handle most of what life throws at you. We've weathered many a storm and come out the other side. All the worry in the world changed nothing, so I am doing my utmost to leave things in God's hands and going with that catchy song that is now stuck in my head (and if you listen to it below it might even get stuck in yours too - you're welcome!) Don't worry - be happy!


27 comments:

  1. It IS really humorous about how much we can blow things out of proportion by our worries! Hope you don't mind, I linked and featured you at #MyPostMonday!

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    1. thanks so much - I feel like I've won an award :)

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  2. I've also seen the video you mentioned Leanne! It was so funny how quickly it escalated. I have to say that the quote from Jesus made a huge impact on my because in effect he is saying that worrying is not a productive action. It is only something that takes up your time but it does not help the situation. Once I realized that, I stopped worrying so much and decided to take action if I could or just not think about whatever was bothering me so much. It has made for a calmer less anxious life for me at least. Other family members act out but I ignore them. lol.

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    1. I'm getting better at it too Mary - I've gone from worrying about everything to choosing to let a lot of stuff go - still got a fair way to go but I'm not escalating to living under a bridge anymore so I'm getting there :)

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  3. It can be hard to stop imagining the worst if that is your habit. It's great that you are aware of it and trying to work on it. Have a great week!

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    1. you too Deb - I always admire people who are able to just let life happen to them and take it one day at a time - that is my goal!

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  4. I am a world class neurotic, so I totally get what you are saying. I inherited that gene from my mother, I'm sure! I am also trying to overcome it as it can be limiting, for sure.
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/maui-coffee/

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    1. I think it's a genetic thing too Carol (mine's from my father!) but you get older and wiser and realize you can actually choose not to get quite so hung up on things.

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  5. It's amazing the unnecessary stress we cause ourselves sometimes, but I think being aware is the first step to controlling it. I am not a big worrier but my husband is so I am constantly having to help him manage this, so I totally understand. Thanks for sharing #abitofeverything

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    1. Our relationship works the opposite way - my husband is the one who has to remind me that it "probably won't happen and we'll worry about it if it does"!

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  6. Hi Leanne! Yes it is human nature for our minds to go to "rumination" (a fancy word for worry!) whenever we are faced with a potential threat (real or imagined.) I think we all know people who are completely addicted to worrying and just can't be talked out of it because they are convinced it is the only thing that keeps you safe. But as you say, it's really just a habit that saps our life energy out of us and does ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD. Thanks for the reminder as I head into my day. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy - it's something that we all have to get our heads around - it doesn't keep us safe - it just stresses us out way more than we need to be!

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  7. I love how you say 'we like to worry'. If it's any help I always find that it's a precursor to something better coming along and a greater feeling of contentment. I had a sleepless worrying night last night, I knew it was madness but when it comes, I just go with it and think 'hey you'll be gone tomorrow'. It has and I'm ready to go. Be sure to dismiss worry as just that and not worry about worrying. Nicky (could only post as anonymous!) x www.notjustthe3ofus.wordpress.com #abitofeverything

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    1. Thanks Nicky - I like the idea of letting the worry just wash over us and then moving on from there. It's so easy to say "don't worry" but not quite so easy to let it all go - this is a good middle ground :)

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  8. Is post is making me think what thoughts we at the dinner table. I try not to worry too much. Thanks!

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    1. I'm notorious for having us living under a bridge by the end of a meal time conversation Sherry!

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  9. The worry spiral is just easy to encompass all of us. Good for you to take the reins!

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    1. It's taken me waaaayyyy to long Haralee - but I'm getting there slowly. I thought it was something out of our control, but that's rubbish - everything can be dealt with if you want to.

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    1. I think we all do Patrick - learning to chill out is very high on my to-do list!

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  11. I would give you a run for your money in the quest to be crowned Queen of Worry Leanne. But, like you, I have recently been trying to be more conscious of my knee jerk reaction to situations, and at least keep my thoughts to myself!

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    1. I think it's something that we just have to gradually chip away at Susan - you don't stop being a worrier overnight but you can certainly progress away from it if you consciously make an effort :) We'll be princesses before we know it!

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  12. What a great post, Leanne! You have said it so well. I am an over worrier too and I worry about EVERY thing. But hey I am still here, aren't I? Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

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    1. we worriers are a breed of our own aren't we? I envy people who are so casual about life - I'm working on it though!

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  13. I think a little bit of worrying can be okay, as long as its not too debilitating. Otherwise if we didn't worry, we wouldn't have a filter for certain things and people would potentially do crazy things!

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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  14. I've grown to realize that worry doesn't solve anything and have worked to help my clients see this as well. Thanks for these words of wisdom at the Over the Moon Link Party.

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  15. I love this, Leanne. One, because I can go to the nuclear option myself on everything...everything. Second, Matthew 6:25-27 are two of my favorite verses. (Matthew is definitely my favorite chapter.) Thank you for sharing!

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