ZIAM Episode 24: Worry is a Habit Not a Reality
What do you worry about?
Are you constantly thinking about things you have to do or can’t forget? Do you have a concern about paying your bills? Have you been worrying about your children? Do you have a health concern?
In today’s podcast, I’m going to tell you how to get to a place where you can put worry to bed FOREVER.
Have a strange, odd, or interesting worry right now? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Do you worry? Are you a worry wart? I mean really, seriously, whether it be a constant gnawing of things that you have to do or you can’t forget in the back of your mind, or maybe it’s a concern about a bill hitting, or about your children, or it could be a health concern. Well, I’ve got some pretty interesting information about worry that I’m going to share with you today that will help you bring it to a place in your life where you can let worry be put to bed forever.
Oh, my goodness. I have to say that worry is a very interesting aspect of the way our brain operates. Over the years in working with thousands of individuals, and coaching them and teaching them how to use their internal guidance system, I’ve discovered some pretty powerful things about worry. Number one: I want you just to connect for a moment with your own worry, whatever it may be, that thing that just won’t let go of you, even when you get to the place where everything is fine. Finances are a great one. A lot of people worry about finances. What I’ve found is that even when things are going well, there is still that niggly worry. It doesn’t matter whether I’m working with multi-, multimillionaires or working with people that have nothing at the end of every month and are scraping by, worry exists for everyone. Here’s the reason why.
Worry is a habit. It is not a reality. It is a way in which your brain is trying to keep you safe. What happens is you noticed as a little kid the things that the people around you worried about, and you picked up their worry. “Well, if that’s what they’re worried about, that’s what I need to worry about.” You’ll even find that you’ll worry about it in the same way. Well, what happens is your mind has made that a thing that is basically like this: “If I just stay focused on this thing and I’m concerned about it, it will stay away. I will somehow make it not happen.” I know that’s not what it feels like for you. It may not be what it feels like for you. I just want to let you know, in really digging into worry with a lot of people, it really does come down to that. If you think about it for a minute, you may be able to connect with that thing. In my line of work, I’ve had a lot of people come to me for worrying. The thing is that once we get there, they get afraid to stop worrying. There’s a part of them that’s like, “If I let this go, I may not be safe.” It’s an irrational thing, but it’s the truth. I’m just here to let you know, first of all, your worry is a habit, not a reality. Think about all the things in your lifetime that you’ve worried about that have not come true.
The second thing is that your internal guidance system is closed when you’re worrying. Now, if you don’t know what your internal guidance system is, go to zeninamoment.com and feel for yourself, using a simple, little exercise that I do with a video you can watch…very simple, short video, simple, little exercise…where you can feel your internal guidance system for yourself. There is such a thing as an opening, which feels like an expanded feeling in your chest, or a closing. A closing feels like a lump in your throat, a tightness, or anxiety, or fluttering in the chest, or a sick feeling in the solar plexus of your stomach like a rock, or a hardness, or a fluttering. Those are the areas of closing. When you’re closed, that means what you’re thinking is not true or not going to happen. Now, closed is also what I call stress.
Stress is comprised of worry, fear, anxiety, overwhelm. All four of those comprise worry, depending on where you are in your worry factory. Some people are more worrisome; some people are incapacitated by it; and others, it’s just a light thing happening in the background that’s destroying them being able to be present. For me, I have a worry around finances that’s always in the background, no matter how much money I have in the bank or how many things are all set and figured out—colleges and retirements and all that. There’s still this thing of, “What if I don’t have enough?” I know exactly where I got that from. I know other people who have concerns around their health or around the world at large. I know a lot of people, right now, it’s an overarching doom worry that they picked up. Something bad is about to happen. Something bad is going to go wrong. But they’re closed. Closing means that what you’re thinking is not true or not going to happen.
Here’s the interesting thing. There’s three different areas of your internal guidance system. There’s so much to learn about this. If you want to learn more, go to zeninamoment.com. There’s lots of great stuff there as well as all of our podcasts. Feeling a lump in your throat means one thing. Feeling a tightness in your chest is the thoughts you’re having in the present moment…Should I do this? Should I do that? When you’re thinking about your past…show up in your chest. When you’re thinking about something in the future, it shows up in your chest. The stomach where the solar plexus come together, that area where the rib cage comes together…There’s a triangle there…that’s the solar plexus. That’s your belief system. When you feel a tightness or a sick feeling there, a tightening there, that means that you have a belief that is not true. That is your worry central area, folks. If you feel something in the solar plexus area that’s a tightness and an unpleasant, sickening feeling there, unease there, that means that number one, you are worrying about something and number two, that what you’re thinking is not true. It’s a belief system. It’s a belief system about how the world works, and it’s not true.
I have people who come to me, and they say, “I don’t know how to tell the difference between my closings and my being worried.” Worry is closing. Whatever you’re worried about is not going to happen. If it was going to happen, you would open. If you have an unpleasant or fearful thought and it’s true, it will open you. You will feel a release, an expansion, a sense of solidness and openness, a calming. I call it being in the flow. You’ll feel light and open, and you’ll feel wise, like you need to take action. I have opened when I held the thought, “I’m not going to have my rent.” The multitude of times before that…That’s what my brain used to do when I was younger. “I’m not going to have rent…” it would close me. I’d feel a tight, sick feeling. One day I thought, “I’m not going to have rent,” and I opened. I thought, “Oh, my gosh. I’m not going to have rent,” and I opened bigger. I was like, “Oh, my goodness. Okay, this is the first time this has happened.” I thought, “I need to contact my landlord,” and I opened again. I felt an energy surge in my chest, a light, little energy. I thought, “Oh, my goodness. Well, I’ll be able to catch up next month,” and I felt a closing, meaning no, I am not going to be able to catch up next month. I thought, “Oh, my God. I’m not going to be able to pay rent for two months?” and I opened.
Now, it doesn’t feel like worry when you open. It feels like something you need to manage. It feels like something you need to jump in and do. If you have a thought that’s fearful or worrisome and you open, take steps. You need to get on it. If you open at having a health problem, make the doctor’s appointment. If you open that there’s something going wrong with your kid… Most of the time with our kids, we make all these assumptions in our head, and they close us. We’re worried. We’re stressed out, fearful, anxiety. That means none of that is true, folks. If you open, “My kid is on drugs,” and you feel a certainty, an open feeling, a calm, centered, open feeling, you need to check in with your IGS and start holding thoughts about, “Do I need to do something? Do I need to bring in somebody else?” If there’s something that’s worrisome and it opens you, action will follow.
The thing is this. Every time that you have a worrisome thought that closes you and you keep on the worry pattern, you are reinstating that habit of worry over and over again. You are telling your brain, “Yes, I want to keep thinking these thoughts. I want to keep suffering and worrying every day.” When you drop in and go, “This isn’t true. I’m closed,” that means what I’m thinking is not true. These worries are not going to happen, you’ll feel that lightening. When you hold the thought, “These worries I’m having it’s not going to happen, it’s not true, it’s just a software program, it’s just my mind,” you’ll feel an opening. When you feel that opening, you’re creating a new neural pathway. That new neural pathway is super important. That is the way to eradicate the habit of worry. You don’t keep feeding it. You starve it. You find the opening, and the opening starves that neural pathway. It’s a practice, folks. I totally get it. I just want to let you know, for us worriers out there, you don’t have to live with worry for the rest of your life.
This is Zen in a Moment, the podcast that helps you worry less. I am so grateful you’re listening today. Please comment below. I like to find out what you worry about. Everyone has different worries. Give me the strange ones. Give me the couple of strange worries that you have that you think nobody else has. I want to have them in the comments. I like to know, because it helps me coach people. It helps me be a better teacher. I’d really love to hear about your strange, interesting, odd worries. In the meantime, I’m so grateful for you. Please share, share, share these podcasts. Seriously, this work makes a difference. You’ll notice that the more you listen to this work, and doing the podcast exercises, and listening, listening, listening, you’re going to start seeing a big difference in your life. I look forward to hearing from you, and I look forward to our next session together. In the meantime, I’m sending you love and blessings.
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