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Ep. 135 How to Stop Worrying

by Claudine Sweeney
June 29th 2022

It happens to us all. Worry is just one of those parts of life that we face on a day to day basis. If we're not careful, the worry can take over and make our confidence, hope, and peace nearly obso... More

This is episode 1 35. How to worry less. You're listening to the rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and shine podcast. Welcome back listeners today. We're gonna be talking about something that we all do, which almost all our podcasts really are topics like that. But according to a new survey conducted in the U. K, the average person spends more than five years of their life doing this. If you're wondering what it is, it is worry. We're going to talk about worrying today and it's funny that you and I had chosen this topic and this morning I was with my husband, we were talking and knowing that we were going to talk about this, I said it's so interesting in our world today.

We have so many things to be worried about, right. I mean yesterday the government spiked interest rates at a higher rate than in decades. Um, We have a war still going on, although we certainly don't see it on the news as often. It is still going on. We have articles, news articles talking about possible food shortages in California here we're reading articles about how the colorado river which supplies a lot of our water is very low. Um what else, gasoline I just filled up this morning and it was like $6.49 a gallon. Now granted I didn't go to my local Costco to fill up. I just, I was really low. So I had to go to a little quick mark. But there's a lot of things to worry about, right? I mean legitimate things. And this study revealed that the average adult loses about two hours a day worrying about issues like things I've talked about, but also their love life, their finances, their health getting old and job security. So apparently we have a lot to worry about.

This was a UK study and I want to say that, I think as americans we probably worry more. I could be wrong, but I think we worry more five years of our lives. Can you believe it? Two hours, two hours a day worrying. No, this was just adults. Yeah, absolutely. Especially as an empty nester. Oh my goodness. I think most of my worries and concerns are with my adult Children that now that they don't live under my roof, there's this, I have no control, right? I can't control. Yes. And I don't know what they're doing. And two of them currently live out of state and one of them lives in another in southern California, which feels like another state because it's so far away, so mike. Yeah, definitely. But you know, you seem at peace. Yes. Yeah. Yes. Well that's why we're doing this, that's why we're here because I have learned the tools and um, the principles that have really helped me transform my life, I think I probably worried more than two hours a day.

I had so many things to worry about. I had kids at home job insecurity for sure, shared many times. We're both full time real estate agents, both lost our jobs at the same time, um, all kinds of things to worry about. So I would say I was a professional warrior. I was really, really, really good at it. The problem is, it didn't take me anywhere I wanted to go. And I think that saying worries like a rocking chair gives you something to do, but nowhere to go. So I like that you said that because right here in my notes, I say worry is unproductive and it's a waste of time. Yeah, it is, that is a conclusion I had to come to because again, I would worry all the time. I would worry, especially about my Children and they're 10 and 11 now, but when they were younger, I would worry a lot worry, am I doing things right? Are they reflection of me? Are people gonna judge me? Are they going to make a choice is as they get older, who are there all the things right, we just worry and it's unproductive.

It doesn't help us if we just sit there and stay in that place. However, if it motivates us to find solution, if we're able to Hallelujah, right, That's the great. But I like this definition when I looked up worry, it said to allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles and I like how it says allow one's mind because it implies that we have a choice and we have control. And our last episode we were talking about taking our thoughts captive. So worry is a great follow up to that because we do that a lot. We worry a lot. Men, women, you know, married single mothers, we all worry. It's a very human nature characteristic. But recognizing that how far am I allowing it to go? And I just dwelling in that place? Am I using it to help me find a solution? And I also, if I can't find a solution and my surrendering to okay, I don't know what to do and I'm going to be okay with that or am I going to just sit there and keep doing this doing and ruminating on all the things that I worry about because as we said in last episode, you will feel a certain way when you fixate on a certain thing.

You are fixated on worrying and those worrying thoughts are just cycling through your head. You're not going to feel great, you're easy, you're going to feel maybe fear, you're tired all the things and that's one of the reasons we're doing this, because worry will keep us in a state of constant threat, right? If we're thinking about problems and like you said, it will lead to stress and lack of energy, pessimism, discouragement, lack of motivation. It's really hard to rise up and shine when you're feeling all of those things. And there is the reason the scripture tells us not to worry, unhealthy worry, which is the constant ruminations. Like you talked about, um sitting in that place of panic and tendency to blow things up is so unhealthy for us, mind, body and soul. And even though our brains are wired to keep us safe and survive, they're constantly scanning for threats, right? We're constantly unconsciously, I say consciously or unconsciously, our brains are scanning for threats.

And when we stay in a loop of worry, then we start perceiving everything as a threat. And we can be hyper stimulate, our amygdala takes over and now our prefrontal cortex are higher brain, the one that can reason and make, you know, smart decisions. It's hijacked by the amygdala. So worry is a really important thing to take care of and take captive in our life, which it is a thought, right? It is a thought. So we need to learn how to take captive of this. So, and one of the reasons we want to do that is because we want to know and learn and be calm and peaceful despite our circumstances, right? Like all those things, I talked about, there's a lot going on in our world right now in our state? Um, we're also having another influx of Covid around here, it seems like I know at least a dozen people that have recently been um tested positive, but luckily they're all mild, but still, it's just there's a lot in our lives that are legitimate, legitimate concerns, right?

Illness, Children finances all of it. I think the root of worries in fear, right? It's absolutely rooted in fear and we know that perfect love drives out fear. And I think about trust when we trust in God, when we trust in ourselves, when we trust in others, it's also rooted in love and love and trust will drive out fear and worry every time. So actually, let's share some practical about how we can do this. How can we be calm and peaceful and not worry despite legitimate concerns that are going around all around us. Yeah, well, first off, as we mentioned last episode, as well as the awareness, right? So taking that position of the conscious observer and it just observing what thoughts are coming up in my head, that is huge, because if we're not aware, we can't change anything, we don't know what to change, but we just know, I just don't really feel great. I feel maybe a little anxious and if we're not careful, worry will lead to anxiety, anxiety.

Um but if we are observing the thoughts that are going on in our head as well as observing what inputs, like you said the news, what are we filling ourselves up when we're aware of that, then we can understand, I think these things might be causing me some worry a little more than I should be or you know, that's good for me and be just becoming aware, just becoming aware of those worrisome thoughts that are popping up and some of them are subconscious, I think I've shared this before, but we have a pretty significant homeless population here in northern California and there were times when we were having financial difficulties when our finances were really strained and I had a lot of worry and a lot of it was unconscious, I just lived and worried not even aware of it, which is why this practical number one is so helpful. And I remember we drive by like these little mini tent cities and I would tell my husband well I would live by the river, it's like why are you talking like you're going to be homeless?

And I was like, well, you know, in case we lose everything. Like it was just so funny, but subconsciously there was this underlying current of worry over our finances and actual fear. And I started looking at tent cities and going well I would live by the river, so I'd have access to water. My husband is like that's just not good thinking like why are you even thinking that way? Like it's not even logical, you know? But I hadn't even been conscious of it, but saying it out loud and saying it to my husband, he was able to like, oh do you hear yourself? I was like, oh yeah, I probably don't need to think about living in a tent city anytime soon, right? Planning like I put my tent by the river anyway, it's just so funny. But I was unconscious of these thoughts that I was thinking and when we are conscious we can rewire and transform our thoughts in our minds and we can change the neural circuits of worry and the anxiety that can take us over and it can become automatic.

Like we talked about last time, a lot of automatic thoughts and I do think that there are chronic warriors, I think you can be a really good warrior and you'll find something to worry about. Like there's always something to worry about. I mean, we live in a fallen world, there will always be something to worry about. It will never end. So absolutely be conscious of those thoughts, get that awareness of what you're actually thinking. The second practical that was really helpful for me is divide what you're worrying about, things that are in your control and things you can't control. So there's a lot of things in the world out there that we can't control, but there are things we can control, Like I can make financial decisions today that helped me in a better place, right? I can live in a way that some of these things they don't have to affect me, we can you know we have this big vegetable garden we're growing and so we're we're reading an article on food shortage and I was actually actually someone sent it to me, they saw it on twitter or something.

They're like do you think this is real? It was with a you know with a a bit of worry and I was like well I'm not sure if it's real or not. I think it was they were saying stuck up on cans of tuna and beans, did you see that? And I was like well I have a big vegetable garden to the side of my house so I don't know that I have to worry about a food shortage right now, although probably wouldn't last a super long but but in all seriousness there are some things we can control and there's some things we can't I have no control over any other human being. I have finally figured that out cannot. It is freeing. It's scary too, but it's also freeing but I cannot control anybody else's behavior. I can't control how you think about me know how you feel about me or your mood. No, I wish I could be a great power or bewitch the twinkle of the little nose. Could you just That would be a great superpower. That would be my superpower of choice.

Yes, I like that. You said that what you can control what you can't control. I would journal this. I did this for quite some time and I drew a line down the middle of the paper. What I can control the other side, what I can't control. There were a lot of things on the things that I cannot control, but when I put it out on paper out of my head, it was really helpful because it's not just these random things floating around in there. I can look at it objectively and just see, okay, there's a lot of things filling up my time, filling up my thoughts, my mental space, even again, my physical energy that I don't need to worry about. I can't do anything about it and pray about it. I can just surrender and no God will work things out but surrender to it. But the things that I can control, okay, so it takes some of the pressure off, there's less things on that side or what I can do for me about me, right?

Like I can control my reactions. I can control how much time I'm on social media, I can control what I put into my body, I can control what I'm watching or listening to. Um and just choosing the things that are going to best help you, right? So that is a very simple practical, but so, so powerful because it really changes things when you can look at it objectively. And it's interesting. One of the things you said, which is our third practical is trust, You said surrender and let go. But in order to surrender, you have to have trust. And that's our third practical to really trust. Trust in God, Trust in ourselves that we can get ourselves out of whatever problem or situation. I mean, the truth of it, it was we were having real financial difficulties. That was the truth. And I did have control over it, right? We could cut our expenses and we could increase our income, right? It's not rocket science. That's how you get some financial stability and security. So, um but I had to trust, I had to learn how to trust myself.

There was a part where it is and I trusted in God, I felt like I had faith, but then I had to learn to trust myself like that we could get through this, that we were going to come out of it on the other side and be stronger and better for it and just really learn how to trust bigger trust more, right? You know, it's a hard time, but it doesn't right? And it's a muscle, I feel like it's a trust muscle and I needed to exercise mine, I needed to let it grow so that it could conquer that it could replace the worry because worry was easy for me like that. I worry to me is like being flabby, like that's easy, right? It's easy to be flabby. At least for me at my age, it's really easy to be flabby. But trust requires diligence and practice. I have to exercise intention and then it grows and then it takes over and then you're not flabby anymore. Then I don't worry because my trust has grown. So that's the third practical really grow your trust muscle trust bigger will. Yeah.

Now you have to actually go to the gym and do sit ups. I'm figuring that out. But you know, again, like I said earlier, I'm really, my body is desiring it now. The fourth practical, I feel like I'm on a roll here, so I'm just going to keep going actually. It's really important. This is a big practical to set your emotion aside your worry emotion when you're making decisions because when we are in a worry state, like I said earlier, amygdala takes over, right? It's our emotional center and it's part of our primitive brain and it hijacks our prefrontal cortex which makes the highest and best decisions for us. So set the worry side and make decisions from what's highest and best and I know it is so easy for me and so many other women to make decisions from emotions right? And then sometimes at the end of it, we look back and go, oh well that didn't quite turn out the way I thought that wasn't the best thing to do because we let our emotions make decision and we don't want to make decisions out of a worry state, that's not right.

And And it's more again, it's more out of fear and survival and that usually isn't going to take us where we want to go, it's not living life to the full, it's more out of survival, it's surviving, not thriving. So that's practical. # four. Set your emotions aside, don't make decisions out of a worried state and that just takes some time to process what you're feeling, allow yourself to feel what you're feeling and then be able to just kind of move forward. Um last practical fifth and final Get Support. We cannot stress enough, especially as life coaches, we ourselves have gotten support, We have gotten life coaches, we've each done individual therapy, but getting support someone you can talk with, who can help you through you're worried because a lot of times what happens when we're in that state of worry, it can be very hard to get ourselves out of it because we are stuck in that emotional space and if we, depending on how long we have just ruminated, I know for myself specifically, I have just ruminated to a point of depression and anxiety and that could be a hard place to get to pull yourself out of.

So if you have someone that you can get support from and again, please reach out to us, please reach out to Claudine or myself as coaches. This is what we help you do. We are that friend, that advisor, that mentor that helps walk through with you and can help you discover what you might be worrying about. What of those thoughts are kind of dominating your mind and your life right now. It could be your kids, it could be um work, it could be maybe a fear of failure or not Reaching your dreams or anything in your relationships, your finances, your health, any of those areas, even your spirituality, your spiritual life. We talk a lot about that in our programs. Um so please reach out, we have resources on our website. We also have a place where you can connect with us to book a Discovery Call, a free Discovery call again with Claudine specifically with empty nesters and myself with stay at home moms.

But reach out we are here, we would love to support you on your journey. All right listeners, well, I'm going to leave you with this quote from Mark Twain, which says I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never happened. So I hope you have a worry free day today and until next time we'll see you here take care. Alright everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and shine podcast if you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.


Ep. 135 How to Stop Worrying
Ep. 135 How to Stop Worrying
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