I couldn’t quite understand what was happening inside of me as I pulled into the ski resort. It was an unexpected feeling of anxiety that I rarely have. Today was my first day back snow skiing after an injury. I had worked nine hard months of diligently rehabbing my knee to make this day happen, and now I was beginning to question whether it was a good idea. I desperately needed some tips to embrace and manage what was going on.
You see, I love to snow ski; it is my place where I commune with God, clear my head, and find peace. Snow skiing fills my soul and gives me a much-needed rest to tackle the unexpected that shows up in my life. We all need a place like this. Right?
But here I was after two bad falls that left me with a constant ringing in my ears and missing cartilage in my knee; I wasn’t so sure I should love it anymore.
As I struggled to latch into my new bindings, I kept thinking maybe this was a sign that I should quit this sport. Thoughts and questions were whirling in my head-
What if I got injured again?
Does it really bring me that much joy?
Why would anyone risk falling again?
Step by step I inched towards the lift. I kept saying to myself; I am not a quitter, so I will at least take one run. Then the troublesome thoughts would flood my mind. Then I realized –
I WAS IN FULL BLOWN WORRIED MODE!
I had consumed myself with the “what if’s.” I was miserable! I needed to make a choice. Would I choose to spend my day in worry and let it rob me of the joy? Or would I find a better way to manage my worry?
Worry is a choice!
So I chose that day to use the five tips below to embrace and manage my worrisome thoughts.
TIPS TO EMBRACE AND MANAGE OUR WORRY
1. Identify Worry Behaviors
Most people do not even realize that they are worried, so you will need to look for the behaviors to determine if you are worried. The most common worry habits are avoidance and procrastination.
Wow, I thought my method of pushing away all of my worries worked well. I prided myself on the ability to have mind over matter, yet I did have that eye that twitched all December and the time I got extremely sick when it was unexplainable
Pushing away worry only works in the short term and comes back with a vengeance later on in all kinds of ugly ways.
Some other worry behaviors to look out for might be seeking a lot of assurance in relationships, superstitions, compulsive behaviors and much more. What are your worry habits?
2. Notice and Name Your Thoughts
Instead of trying to push away your thoughts, take a moment and notice what you are worried about? Then name it aloud. Do not get too attached to the thoughts, just notice and name them as if they are floating down a river.
3. Accept Your Circumstances
All the worrying in the world is not going to change what is happening. Trying to convince yourself that you are not worried is also not going to make the worries go away. Accepting it will allow you to manage it. It doesn’t mean you like what is going on or agree with it, but you recognize –
It is what it is!
This one took me by surprise. I am all about accepting one’s circumstances to bring about peace and change, but accepting that I am worried seemed counterintuitive. However, it works and after practicing it makes sense.
4. Be in the Present Moment
You only have this moment. It is a waste of time to worry about what has already happened or what might happen. We can’t change the past, and we can’t predict the future so look at this moment and see all it has to offer. If it is a painful moment, which some are, at least you will only be suffering only the one you are in and not the moments before or those that are yet to come.
5. Let it Go
Letting it go is different than pushing it away. You can’t let something go unless you have accepted it first. Letting it go is crucial to your well-being. Worry will hurt you.
One has to find their own way to let it go. For some people, they write it down and put it in a worry box or bury it. For me, I give my worries to God. I put my complete trust in him and remind myself
GOD IS IN CONTROL, NOT ME!
Of course the more personal the worry, the harder it is to manage. Be encouraged to strive to manage your worry – it will be worth it. Start with small things to practice on and eventually you will be able to tackle managing the big worries in your life. These five tips to embrace and manage our worry take some practice; so do not give up.
Please share below in the comments any tips you use to manage your worrisome thoughts. Together we can learn from each other. If you would like prayer for a worry you have, please add that to the comments. I would find it an honor to be praying for you this week.
Books I have read and Dialectical Behavior Therapy inspired many of the concepts I have just shared with you. The resources can be found here. If you missed last week on Fear, Anxiety and Worry you can click here to read it.