Are you wondering how to stop worrying about COVID-19? Has it turned you into a chronic worrier?
There seem to be endless things to worry about when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic – from our own survival and well-being to that of our loved ones, to the overall trajectory of the global economy.
Not only does all this worry come at a high cost to our health, but it’s also a symptom of a bigger problem.
It affects our health, our mental well-being, and our ability to live in a positive mindset.
Constantly worrying about the pandemic is not good for us. First, worrying dramatically suppresses your immune system.
You could eat the world’s cleanest diet, but if you worry all the time, you’re basically saying, ‘No, thanks, organic veggies, and fruit – I’m choosing the greasy burger joint down the street.’ That’s what the stress of worry does to our bodies.
But also, worry is just another word for fear, and fear keeps us from being fully present. When we’re not fully present, we’re disconnected from our primal power, which is love power, and that means we can’t be our healthiest and happiest selves and have a positive influence on those around us.
But this isn’t a new revelation – it’s rooted in the ancient wisdom of the 4,000-year-old Tao Te Ching – considered one of the wisest books ever written.
My book The Tao of Influence (pre-order available now with free training on www.KarenMcGregor.com) speaks to the practical implementation of the Tao in today’s worry-full world.
The bottom line: Even right now – especially right now – we need to break the bonds of worry and create a healthier, happier life. You can consider it your pandemic project. Here’s how.
How to Stop Worrying
First, understand why worry happens.
Think about why people worry, and about why you worry. Are there certain things that trigger your anxiety? Are there certain situations that cause you to stress?
When I’m speaking at an event, I emphasize the fact that worry is a mechanism of the mind that is designed to keep you exactly where you are. By mulling over a situation without a solution, you are not changing and not acting.
This is the mind’s nature; its job is to keep you safe from perceived harm. While that can serve its purpose if we are in imminent danger, the reality is that it blocks us from creativity, productivity, and following our dreams.
Over your lifetime, your mind has created patterns to keep you safe. These patterns have been with you for so long that they are automatic.
These patterns are deep-rooted and lead to behaviors that cause stress and anxiety. They are harmful to our well-being and our health.
Do you ever notice yourself automatically saying to people the same response when asked a question like ‘how are you?’ This is what your mind does. It is on an automatic worry ‘channel.’ The good news is you can break these patterns and change the channel.
2. Tune In
Tune in to the channel you’ve been listening to (probably for years). Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and see if you start to notice a pattern.
This takes self-reflection and an understanding of your thought patterns and triggers.
At the heart of your worrying could be “blame” or “judgment.” It could be your need to be right or your need to be a victim to your circumstance by repeating the same story of injustice to anyone who will listen.
It could be your need to withdraw from others and say, “No way, I know better” and live out a pattern of withdrawal and entitlement in which the world owes you something.
It is crucial to take yourself out of these types of negative thought patterns. Everybody deals with stress differently. What’s important is to understand the reasons behind why you react to certain things, and why you react to these things a certain way.
By tuning in and really paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and reactions, you can better start to notice patterns behind your behaviors. This will allow you to focus on how to change these patterns.
Dismantle your channel.
You can do this simply by becoming more and more aware of how you worry.
Does your victim power pattern take hold so that you say things like, “I can’t recover from these losses”?
Or do you pull away from everyone (a sign of the Withdrawer power pattern) and then say, “I’m in this alone; I have no support”?
When you are aware of the channel you are listening to, you can watch your worries simply float on down the river of thoughts. You don’t have to hook into them.
You can observe your thoughts joining millions of other fearful thoughts that are swimming around the globe every single minute.
When you observe, you’re not worrying.
By observing your thoughts, you give yourself the opportunity to not react to them. You allow yourself to better understand that thoughts are just that – thoughts. They have no power over you.
By sitting back and observing your thought patterns and behaviors, you can learn how to not let them affect you. This will do wonders for your mental and emotional health.
This will allow you to better deal with hard situations and how to overcome these situations and not let them affect you.
Remember: holding on to negative energy will prevent you from growing and being your best self.
Holding onto negative thoughts throws us off balance and lessons our life force. This is why it is crucial to release and let go of these types of thoughts (I go into this more in here).
Focus on solutions. Each time you become aware of a worry-filled thought, ask yourself ‘So what am I going to do about it? ’
You can stay helpless by feeling overpowered by worry, or you can take action. At the very least, your action will help you feel less helpless, and at best it can help you shift into a healthier state of mind.
An action-oriented solution may be to sew homemade masks to mail to friends and family. It may be to sign up for an online class that makes you more marketable after the pandemic ends. Or it might just be to go for a midday walk to get some fresh air and sunshine or to turn on some festive music and cook a beautiful meal for your family.
Focus on solutions that can help you overcome any negative or helpless feelings. This will help you overcome these worries and get into a more positive state of mind.
Create a new language. Language is powerful, whether we are saying those words out loud to others or simply thinking them to ourselves.
Replace your go-to “worry words” with words that empower and generate passion and enthusiasm. Remember, you are always influencing yourself and others, so get serious about using empowering, positive language.
Try to create a positive mantra that you can use to bring positive energy into your everyday life. Make your new language a positive one.
Instead of saying, “I can’t recover from these losses,” replace those words with, “I am creative and have the support I need to learn how to earn more than enough income.”
Rather than, “I am so busy I can’t keep up,” say, “My life is wonderfully full as I serve the world with my purpose.”
Worrying doesn’t fix what’s going on in the world; it only hurts you. We’re all facing challenges due to the pandemic, but we don’t have to let worry make them worse. Be gentle with yourself and start making healthier choices. You’ll immediately notice a shift in your outlook. That’s true now, and it will be true long after the pandemic is over.
If you are struggling with how to stop worrying, invite you to get in touch with me to continue conversations about how you can work through the worries of this pandemic with a positive outlook. You can also take a look at the programs I offer that can help you start recognizing your own behavior patterns.
For more information and to understand how to create a more positive impact and influence in the world while tending to your inner world and personal power, please visit www.KarenMcGregor.com and pick up a copy of my latest book, The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs.
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