We are at war. Everyday. We are not even aware. We wake up and try to smile at the day ahead. Almost immediately our dutiful brains remind us of challenges, old debates and grudges we continue to hold. Tapes begin to play in our heads. We are not even aware of them. We dress to disguise any trace of unrest, and get on with the day.
This worry, no matter how short-lived within our days, takes it toll on our bodies: our muscles, bones and organs; our blood pressure, blood sugar and ability to fight off infection. Often we engage in worrisome thoughts, emerging from one worry to another. We think this is life. We think we are destined to be concerned. This is the adult thing to do. But worry is a state that keeps us from our true happy selves. Worry is a state that damages our body. Worry is the war we need to win. Here are five ways to replace worry with confidence, smiles and general, overall happiness.
- Look in the mirror every hour.
You can use a mirror or your iPhone/iPad/computer camera. Look carefully. Each time you use the restroom, look, really look at your facial expression as you pass the mirror. It may surprise you! Where’s your smile? Where’s your ease? Where’s the person you think you are? The answer is, probably lost in some concern or worry. Easy enough fix! As soon as you recognize the worry, let it go and turn it into a smile.
Hi there! you say to yourself as if to a best friend. How’s it going! I sure love you!. Now that will get you smiling because you will feel foolish at first, but it will work. The more you become friends with yourself, the stronger, more confident you will become.
Put your timer on and do a spot check every hour for the first week or two. See if things won’t turn around almost immediately.
2. When you catch yourself worrying, give it a category.
It is thought that there are three ways to handle worry. One: see if you can change the situation. Two: see if you can set yourself apart from the situation. And, three: accept the situation and go on.
Once you hear yourself lost in a concern (and you may see yourself faster than hearing yourself, so use the mirror every hour), decide how you will proceed. Stop the tapes immediately. For example. You see a worried person in the mirror and ask what is going on. You’re thinking about a water bill that just came in the mail. You decide to categorize the worry. You choose to change the situation by going to your checkbook or computer and paying the water bill. You have freed yourself from worry.
But what if you do not have funds for the water bill? Then you will need to dig a bit deeper and see what situation is causing this. Once you identify the situation, (perhaps you spent all your money on a party last week), then you need to change your way of living in the future to make room for your expenses. You can forgive yourself for being human, call the water company and ask for an extension and then pay the bill. If your situation is more complicated with lots of months or years of making decisions that cause you worry, then you will need to take one worry at a time and sort them into categories and act on each worry, one by one, until you find peace.
3. Do something out of character.
When you live within the same situations every day, it is hard to find solutions for your worries. Give yourself a new character when you find yourself worrying. Put on a crazy hat or shirt. Put your plates where your drinking glasses are, and your glasses where your plates were. Change things around and get your brain occupied with something other than chewing and re-chewing your current worry. This is especially important when you have chosen to accept the situation or person who is causing you worry. Put on some music and even listen to a type of music that you seldom hear. Let the light in! If you don’t wear shoes in the house, wear shoes. If you don’t dress up in your house, dress up. Do anything out of character and you’ll see an improvement. The part of your brain previously sending feelings of worry, will stop sending the worries and pause long enough to listen for a different directive.. This is enough time \ sort out your worries in a happier state. Quickly solve your concern and move on. Life will all of a sudden become fun.
4. Let nature calm you: take a walk, stroll, or drive
Nature is a free gift that is everywhere. Nature waits to calm you! It’s just outside your door. Sit with a flower, bush or tree. If you are quiet enough, nature will speak to your heart and in no time at all you will be feeling great. If you want to tell nature all about your concerns, go ahead. In moments you’ll be putting them into the categories and feel 100% better.
Walking is good for your body and good for relieving stress caused by worry. A walk a day can keep the doctor away!
5. Forgive yourself and others daily
Once you start thinking about the process of forgiveness, you can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunity it provides. Letting go of resentment is a powerful tool toward letting go of worry. Resentment imprisons us. Worry provides us with feelings of resentment. It compares our lives to others and resents that we do not have the surplus of funds that seems so available to our friends. Resentment goes on and on. It provides us with a zillion reason this is so unfair. We are lost and victimized through resentment and the worries continue.
Forgiveness is an often misunderstood and therefore under-utilized. Lose the resentment of others when you perceive you are being threatened or disrespected. Lose the resentment of perceived situations resembling hard times. Lose the resentment of self when you do not measure up to what you perceive you should be. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Be generous in your for-giving!
When you are doing your hourly mirror checks, take a moment to forgive whatever is going on in the moment. Forgive yourself, others and situations and you will become stronger, able to achieve more and happier.
Practice these five methods to decrease worry in your life. I hope they help you and I hope they help to make a better, happier world. I welcome your comments.
I have been hit by the creative spirit addiction! Weekends are now spent with stylus or even my fingers racing around the screen of an iPad or bamboo tablet. Don’t get me wrong, this is most enjoyable. Last night I could not sleep. I had my handy iPad close by and I began to design whatever came to my mind. ….nothing serious. ….nothing pre-determined. I just went with the flow and the flow took me for a fine ride. I ended the time spent with the idea of creating cards with sentiments written within as the ones I would send.
So my newest store, Rascality, set up by Zazzle is coming along nicely. I like their setup, page design and their support in making things look pretty organized. If you are interested in putting your own “middle-of-the-night” creations up for all to see and even maybe purchase, go to Zazzle.com. The service is free to you. And if you are extraordinarily ambitious, you can embed your products on your own website and if someone purchase your goods, you’ll receive an additional 15%. –at least that is my understanding. I will have to see how this works as I go along. I am happy, though, that I have a location to place the results of this new onset of creative energy!
I am linking my Rascality store if you have time today to visit. Thanks for your support.
Best to you,
Be your best, happy friend. That may sound a bit funny to you, but it holds some great advice. We all know that deep, quiet satisfaction is the very stuff we are made of.
Peaceful happiness is available to us at all times. There is never a moment that it is not available. Everything you need is in the quiet of you.
One of the tools for locating the happiness within is to listen to the sound of each breath, become aware of your heartbeat. What a loyal friend is your heart! Consider your age. How many years has your heart been beating? It is estimated that over an average of a 66-year-lifespan the heart beats 2.5 billion times.
The heart beats and your lungs exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen to nourish your blood supply whether or not you think about it. These systems are available to you free-of-charge throughout your lifetime. So is peace, joy and happiness. Happiness is always available to you, free-of-charge. There is no external thing, like a new house, a new job, new clothes, a new friend or loved-one, that can bring you happiness because you already own an unlimited supply of happiness. It is the fabric of who you are. You are the energy of happiness!
You can restrict your flow of happiness with negative thoughts just like you can cover your airways to prevent oxygen to enter your body. If you cannot experience happiness simple remove the clamps of negative thinking. Pay attention to each breath and realize there is more to you than you ever imagined. Take a moment to still all thoughts and reach inward to your best friend, you.
Let go of the negative concerns, strategies, pseudo-defences that restrict your happiness. Let go, become aware of your breathing until you can sense the happy energy that wishes to bubble up into your day’s reality. Ask yourself often today, “How do you feel?” . As you practice each day, you will become aware of the negative impediments you have placed on your well-being. Little by little, remove these restrictions and get to “Happy” in “Real Time.”
Today I am offering two ideas for a more pleasant day. Audio Blog Available.
Number one: Plan your day as if it has already taken place.
This exercise might seem a bit strange at first, but it packs a powerful punch. Instead of getting up in the morning and hoping things will turn out, imagine the actions of the day as already having taken place, as if you are watching a movie. Imagine you are finished with the day. Imagine how you feel because of the day’s events.
You can rise in the morning with enthusiasm, or you may dread the day. The first thing you can do is be thankful for your bed, for the body you are in, for your surroundings and for the people in your life. The best days start with appreciation for what you have. The second thing you can do is to plan for your day. See yourself talking to your co-workers in a happy environment of sharing. See yourself completing your tasks at work with ease and enjoyment. Imagine all sorts of good surprises for yourself. And, top it off with the thought, that all of your dreams have already come true! Imagine you are getting ready for bed tonight and enjoying the memories of the actualization of your dreams.
As I said, this may seem a bit strange at first. But don’t give up! It will bring about happier situations throughout your day as you perfect your skills. You are beginning to achieve the skill of objectivity. You are beginning to see yourself and your situations in a new light and gain power over your daily life and situations. You are in touch with your core of happiness.
Number two: Be your greatest fan
Have you ever heard yourself singing or read something you wrote long ago and been surprised that it was you singing or writing? Have you ever come across a project from work that gave you an amazing feeling that it was you who accomplished that project? If so, you have a rare opportunity to be your greatest fan.
Self-love is the beginning task for all of us. To the extent you love and admire your true self you will be able to love others … and not a speck more. Take time today to find out more about yourself and see if you can be proud to know yourself the same way you would be proud to say you know a rockstar or politician or actress or boss or anyone you admire in your life. Are you proud to know you? Are you proud to be you? That is powerful stuff.
Many people are taught to love their neighbor as themselves. They may work hard on charity events only to find themselves unhappy and in conflict with those they work with. They wonder how it is that they can be so charitable and so irritated at the same time. Of course, you know the answer. You cannot give what you do not have. Love yourself and loving others becomes a natural response.
Perhaps today you will take time to express yourself in art, writing, singing, playing an instrument or creating an audio book. Tomorrow, enjoy what you have created. Don’t worry if you have not received any feedback from anyone regarding how great you are. Take time to enjoy and admire who the person is behind the creation …. you! Allow yourself to admire yourself and you will experience happiness and peace because you will be coming in contact with all that we consider important.
Just like a canvas, this empty box of nothingness is just waiting to be filled with typewritten words, ideas that have never been put together in quite the same way. All artistic expression comes from nothingness and mysteriously emerges into something-ness! It is what I am doing right this very moment.
The same can be said for each morning. With awareness, there is always an opportunity for new expression, greatness.
I’ve often wondered why we require sleep each day. What is it that takes place when we are unconscious? You can answer by giving me a lot of scientific and biological reasons why sleep is required, but I believe there’s more treasure in the answer. What is the deeper reason? Is there a hidden opportunity for me? Am I not given a clean slate in life each day to express whatever I like?
Right now I am rested and ready to take on the adventure of the day. What opportunities to learn new things, meet new people, solve new puzzles and challenges await me? I am filled with hope upon awakening every day. Today will be a most wonderful memory tomorrow!
Here are two ideas for making each day a new beginning:
- Wake up with the idea that your job today is to find three happy surprises. Decide whether your surprises will be discovered at play, at exercise, at work or at home. Know that you will need to write down the discoveries at the end of the day in order to win this game of life. Can you feel yourself getting more enthused about the day? And, so you should, because you definitely are in for three happy surprises and you don’t want to miss them!
- Wake up knowing that today is different from any day you have ever lived. First feel your feet and notice how different they feel to you. Stand on the floor and walk from heel to toe and become aware of the fact that you can walk. Decide you are going to walk with a new awareness today. Make a plan to walk to three new places that you have never walked before. That can be a walk around the block at lunchtime, or a walk around your house with a new awareness of gratitude for your surroundings, or even a walk through a store with new insights into the amazing choices that are awaiting you down each aisle.
With a slight positive slant on your day, you will find your day filled with wondrous experiences this very day! Each day you are given a clean slate with which to enjoy and to express whatever is within. Go ahead. Dance through today with a bright, new attitude of expectation!