“Worry is like going around in circles with one foot nailed to the floor.”
– Women Who Do Too Much Day Calendar (February 11, 2015)
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
Worrying can seem like a very useful activity because it always gives us something to do. It is a way to stay (or just look) busy when our time is not otherwise occupied doing something else, like completing that task we keep putting off. As a writer of the philosophy for the January 1, 2015 page in the Women Who Do Too Much, page-a-day calendar wrote, “[Worry] is a great way to occupy and fill up our time.”
Indeed, worrying is a great way to avoid actually facing a possible negative outcome to a project we started. For example, if we keep so busy fretting about how to actually accomplish “x” that we inadvertently somehow manage to miss our deadline or opportunity at least we won’t have to face the embarrassment of a possible failure. Right? Wrong.
Similarly, when we worry that a prospective romantic partner may not reciprocate our interest or feelings in a relationship we want to pursue, we often pile on so many negative thoughts about our self-worth to “prepare” ourselves for possible rejection. Instead of cushioning what we believe is an inevitable emotional blow such negative “chatter” more likely sets us up for disappointment. For one thing, we are more attractive to other people when we exude self-confidence and, yes, self-love: It’s as if we are sending out a beacon that says, “Of course I am loveable/desirable/interesting.” If nothing else, worrying that the other person might reject our romantic overtures can ultimately undermine the opportunity for creating a strong emotional connection with that person because fear has prevented us from making that initial contact.
While I was completing my hypnotherapy certification at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, one of my favorite instructors, the late Marc Gravelle often warned us about the perils of “toxic worry.” Basically, toxic worry is the trap (never-ending circle) of wondering “What if X happens…?” and then even worrying about being worried about that dilemma. And still, nothing gets solved or resolved except increased anxiety and distress. This training and my experiences as a hypnotherapist have taught me to re-adjust my attitude and expectations about situations that previously would have sucked me into that whirlpool of toxic worry. These days I can quickly activate the reasoning, logic, will-power and decision-making faculties in my conscious mind to determine whether I can do something productive to change or improve a challenging situation—and then take that positive action. If there isn’t an opportunity to make this kind of positive change, then I can choose to not worry about it and move on to something (or someone) that will offer an opportunity for positive self-growth that I desire.
For more information about toxic worry, check out my blogs titled Toxic Worry and Hypnotherapy and a Different Perspective.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.