Don’t worry, be happy

Worry refers to negative self-talk that often distracts the mind from focusing on the problem at hand.

by Irene Conlan — 

Many of us are into positive thinking these days. We repeatedly hear statements like: “We are what we think about,” “What the mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve,” “To change your life, change your thinking,” “Thoughts are things and create your reality,” and “If you want to know what you were thinking 10 years ago, look at your life today.” Knowing this, every day I try to read something that feeds my mind and my spirit and keeps my thoughts positive.

Currently I am reading Esther and Jerry Hicks’ book, Ask and It Is Given, which I highly recommend. It is an easy read with a lot of good information, and because I’ve been working with their material for a number of years, most of this book is a wonderful review. At least I thought it was until I was slapped in the face with the following sentence: “Worrying is using your imagination to create something you do not want.”

It hit me right between the eyes, just like in those V8 juice commercials. Why did not I think of that? I am into manifesting. I manifest much of what I want, but then at times nothing seems to come my way — especially when it comes to finances. What am I doing to keep me from manifesting it all? Hmmm.

Looking back, I have always been a worrier. It was a way of life at our house, and I proudly carried on the tradition. My grandmother worried; in fact, she was the Queen of Worry, and my mother came in a close second. I had great teachers and am a fast learner.

When I was young I worried about my grades, my looks and whether people liked me. As an adult, I worried about my job, my looks and whether people liked me (some things don’t change). When I became a mother, I worried about my boys, and when they were old enough to drive, I redoubled my efforts. I worried about my mother. I worried about my husband. I worried about money. I worried about the weather. I worried about my health. I worried about my weight. I didn’t obsess, necessarily, but I did worry. And now in my older years, I worry about my children and grandchildren, my health and finances. Thank goodness I no longer worry about my looks and whether or not people like me, although some people probably think I should.

I read from several sources that to manifest, it is important to focus on what you do want rather than what you do not want, and yet, I never equated that with worry. Duh! Worry refers to negative self-talk that often distracts the mind from focusing on the problem at hand. So not only do I obstruct manifesting but I also seriously impair doing anything constructive to solve the problem. Worry carries a double whammy. Furthermore, worry, when coupled with emotion, results in anxiety. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/worry.)

If worry refers to negative self-talk, then the solution is to change my self-talk. Right? Let me provide an example from my own life, since that’s what I know the most about.

I have been focused on the sale of my condo and manifesting more income. In between doing my manifesting work, I have worried about how to pay the bills until the condo sells. It’s like fishing — as soon as I cast out the line of what I want, I reeled it back in by worrying about what I don’t want. The results? No fish — no condo sale and no increased income.

My remedy? Change my worrying to thoughts of appreciation. When I begin to worry I try to switch my thinking to all those things I appreciate right now. It goes like this:

  • I appreciate the work of my real estate agent.
  • I appreciate the condo because it was and is a wonderful place to live.
  • I appreciate the beauty of the grounds surrounding my condo.
  • I appreciate the person who will buy it soon and love it as much as I did. I appreciate that I will receive the full amount of the listing — a bargain, indeed.
  • I appreciate vendors who let me use their goods and then send a statement for payment. Use now, pay later. What a deal!
  • I appreciate my wonderful house that gives us a yard for my grandson, and space for my son and me to live independently from each other.
  • I appreciate the funds that flow in and out of my bank account.
  • I appreciate the fact that everything continues as well or better when I don’t worry.
  • I appreciate the lovely neighbors in my new location, as well as the ones who surrounded me at the condo.

If I run out of gratitude about the condo and my finances, I think of all the other things I appreciate. There are so many great things in my life that I can get emotional about them, and this is a key ingredient in creating what I want. I appreciate with my mind and with my emotions.

While I have not sold the condo (it has only been a few days since I started my “rampage of appreciation”), I have noticed a significant decrease in my stress level and a lovely increase in my overall feeling of well-being. I hadn’t anticipated such a sweet corollary.

So what do you worry about and does the worrying help you? Does it help anything? I would guess that your answer to both questions is “no.” To begin the process of change, write a list of things you appreciate and you will begin to change your thinking. Put emotion behind the appreciation. Look everywhere you go for things to appreciate. Make it a habit.

If you only create a lovely feeling of well-being for yourself and decrease your stress level, then isn’t it more than worth the effort? Bobby McFerrin had it right, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

 

Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist at The PowerZone in Scottsdale, Ariz. www.theselfimprovementblog.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 2, April/May 2008.

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