We live at a time when worry is rife. Finances, loneliness and future perspectives are all compelling things to worry about, and at some time in our lives one or more of these factors exists. We bring this worry into our daily lives, and then try to "overcome" the worry, focusing all the time on the hurdle jumps of our minds that have to clear the heights of our worry. This approach has the curious effect of being tiring, for in a world where "overcoming" is the usual approach to dealing with problems, there is little time made for proactive moves that do more for us than remove worry - they create peace. How can we create peace instead of remove worry, and what are the implications of this?
Peace is a steady state of mind. It is attention unperturbed and a brain where the different parts of it talk to one another in a coordinated manner, not unlike Irish step-dancing or couples figure skating. When we are worried, how can we create this peace and what strategies are helpful? Below is a list of some suggested ways to create this peace.
(1) Watch the worry: Rather than identifying with the worry, watch it, the way you might watch a raging sea on a stormy day through your window. Often, people watch their worry with even more worry and with words. Eyes are the enemy of worry. Worry watched is worry lost.
(2) Ride the worry: Change your mentality from road-warrior to rodeo rider. At times, you have to get above the worry to control it. To do this, you have to know that you signed up for a rough ride and hat the rough ride will be over at some point.
(3) Throw in your anchors: When you are worried, wait-out the storm. You can anchor the boat and go down into the cabin and read a book until the worry disappears. What are the things that anchor you on a day-to-day basis? Practice these.
(4) Imagine a life or event without worry and with peace: What would happen if you did not need to worry? What if you accepted your worry rather than judged it? How does worrying help you? Does it really bring you what you want? Spend a segment of your day not worrying and then worrying. See what is different about each.
(5) For each part of your day, develop an attention fixing exercise: By fixing your attention, worry can be reduced. When you fix your attention without listening to reason, worry actually disappears.
(6) Schedule peace in your life: Whether it is meditation, prayer, video-games or television, schedule peace in your life so that you can cultivate this habit.
(7) Change your focus: Shift your attention away from your expectations. Focusing on the here-and-now can significantly help worry. Long-term perspectives have a time and place. Don't make them your only mode of thinking.
(8) Switch from thinking to feeling: Contrary to what people think, worry is more thought than feeling. Place your emotional awareness on the thing you are worried about. Do not entertain thoughts about this.
Each of these eight simple tips can help you empower yourself more. I would suggest that you examine each item more closely to see what you can start practicing today.
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