Monday, 18 July 2016

STEP #7 ON THE JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS ~ STOP WORRYING

Step #7 on the Journey to Happiness - stop worrying and overthinking

BEING A WORRIER

Worrying and over-thinking are two of the biggest bugbears I have had to deal with in the pursuit of finding happiness again. All of my life I have been a worrier (I'd prefer to be able to say I've been a wArrior but no, it's wOrrier). I've held the belief that if you plan out every possible contingency then it will make sure things can't possibly go wrong.

CONTINGENCY PLANS

Really? Really? I cannot believe I honestly think worrying is going to stop bad stuff happening......but something inside me clings tightly to that very belief. I worry about my kids, about my husband, about life in general and about all the little things that can go wrong during the day. And you know what? It changes absolutely nothing!

All it does is keep me in a constant state of low level anxiety and stress. Needing a plan for every possible outcome is ridiculous. My mother says she never worries about anything - her theory is "worry about it when it happens". That makes perfect sense, but 50+ years down the track and I'm only just starting to grasp how to do this one simple thing.

OVERKILL

I don't think I've made a single decision in my life that hasn't been overthought to death and back again. I had a list of what I wanted in a husband (I made that list when I was NINETEEN!) I planned when I wanted to have my children - down to the month I wanted them born in (although I did allow a window of a month or so either way!) I research and plan even small decisions like the daith piercing - I even belong to a daith piercing group on facebook so I could stay super-up-to-date with it all. 

I seem to be totally incapable of leaving anything up to chance - because you never know, it might go wrong, or not how I thought it should go, or it may even be better than I thought but then I could be pleasantly surprised instead of just surprised. I feel like I should be in OPA (Over Planners Anonymous)......my name is Leanne and I plan EVERYTHING to death! (btw I have my funeral already planned in my head too *sigh*)


Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

LEARNING TO LET GO

I know myself well enough to understand that I am never going to be that casual, laid back, bohemian, peace, love and vegetables kind of gal who goes with the flow and never thinks of tomorrow. I will always need to have some sense of "control" over my life. What I am coming to see though, is I can let go of a lot of things and let them take care of themselves.

My children are adults and are quite capable of running their own lives without me worrying about them, my husband has managed to get through life despite my concerns for his health, work, social life and whatever else comes to mind at the time. All the storms of life have been weathered and we've come out the other side in one piece. Putting a little thought into it is one thing, worrying it to death is another whole different story.

WORRY IS IMAGINATION

Things are going to go right or wrong regardless of how much thinking and worrying I do beforehand. I read somewhere that "worry is just imagination" and when you come to think about it, I have much better things I could be doing with my imagination than wasting it on worrying about stuff that will probably never happen. Taking away the fretting and the over-analysing leaves a lot more room in my head for happy thoughts and positive stuff - and that's what I'm focusing on now days - so far so good!

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Step #7 on the Journey to Happiness - stop worrying and overthinking

22 comments:

  1. I am a wORRIER as well, I think about all possible scenarios and hope that it falls somewhere in the middle.

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    1. I still have a feeling inside me that it's good to be prepared Jennifer - I think I need to work on that so the worrying gets put into perspective.

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  2. Great! I too can overthink things to death to the point of exhaustion. Right now, I'm focusing my worrying over a family situation onto Christ and everytime I begin to fret about it, I hand it over to God in prayer. Some things in life are just to big for me to handle. I have been enjoying these little tidbits of yours lately and they always speak to me right where I am. Would love for you to link this to my healthy living them on Thursday's Party at My Place linkup. Many will relate to your words here.

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    1. I'll definitely pop over and link on Thursday Michelle and I'm glad you're finding them good to read. I think being able to hand our cares to God is one of the loveliest things about being a Christian - just to know you have God on your side and in control is so great.

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  3. "You never know" ..... "What if ....." ..... This is me too! Conditioned to head off the next calamity!. Anticipating the worst case scenario! I'm learning to step into the future without that past baggage. Life is good! :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/

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    1. Life is VERY good indeed Mary Lou - we just have to stop waiting for the train wreck that we're sure is coming and rest in the satisfaction of a good life and a good day.

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  4. I think you are on your way with thinking the over worry energy can be imagination redirected to a more creative outlet.
    I did not know what daith piercing is and if it works let me know. I once had an acupuncture needle nested behind my ear for weight loss that din't work for me but I am open for alternative means and suffer the occasional migraine.

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    1. If I could have a piercing that made me lose weight I'd be in it like a shot - it would probably have to be one that joined my lips together :)

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  5. I use to be overcome by the worry wart. Sometimes I still falter, but I'm learning to redirect the energy into positive energy. Usually the positive wins out!

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    1. I'm getting better at focusing on the positive too Glenda - it is a much more proactive way to go through life!

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  6. Leanne you aren't alone! I am a worrier and so was my Mum - is it in the genes I wonder LOL:) I am trying though to improve and not stress about the little things - not easy but at least I'm trying and blogging about positive things actually helps. x

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    1. I completely agree about the blogging part Sue - writing about positive stuff does have a flow-on effect to making you see life more positively. BTW I think I get my worry gene from my dad!

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  7. Worry is imagination. What a great line and so true. A good imagination is a double-edged sword. You can imagine every wonderful thing, but then every horrible thing as well. Its hard to keep this wild horse on course. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. I can't believe how ingrained it is to imagine every possible worse case scenario and try and plan for it - it's an exhausting way to live when you think about it. I'm trying really hard to move past that these days Laurie :)

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  8. I'm glad I found this post... very inspirational! I'm a worrier too and it makes the situation worst especially when I'm in a middle of a family crisis. I love that quote, I just need to breath and have faith and hope everything will work out for the best. #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and all I can say from a sort-of-reformed (well in the process anyway) worrier - it achieves nothing and just takes away any momentary joy. Look for the joy and leave the worry for later :)

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  9. I am also a preparer of note and worry if things are not planner down to to the nth degree, i will join you on the support group :) #waywow

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    1. I think Worriers Anonymous would be a great success Lindi - there are a lot of us who would benefit from it!

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  10. LeeAnn, this is so spot-on. I have been a worrier all my life. To the point where it has damaged my health. The onset of my autoimmune disease and my stroke were brought on by high stress levels for too long of a time. I also have anxiety. Blend those together and I was a mess inside for far too long. On the outside I was taking care of things and making sure that we were all okay. But on the inside I was always Imagining the worst that could happen and barely hanging on. There were days I wanted to scratch off my skin so that the anxieties could leave my body it was such a physical feeling. It took years, but finally I am at a point where I can pray and attempt to let things go. I may not stop worrying completely but it is a low-level worry not an anxiety-inducing level. What a waste of time worrying is. They say 90% of the things we imagine never happen. But I spend most of my time, or I used to, on the 90% of the things that never happened. Ugh!

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    1. I was exactly the same Nikki - how many days, months, years have we wasted planning contingencies for stuff that never happened? It's a sobering thought isn't it? I plan on keeping the worry to a much lower limit now - it's so much more refreshing to live that way.

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  11. I think most of the time I don't worry enough about stuff. I call it 'seat of my pants' planning and action. It's not a bad thing to be a worrier. It's just keeping it in perspective.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. the trouble is keeping it in perspective Sally - we worriers always take it a step too far - it's exhausting at times!

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