Forever Worried?

NLP techniques

Are you one of those people who is forever worried?  Perhaps not, but if you are reading this page I suspect that if you are not there is someone close to you who is.

Forever Worried? - NLP techniques

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow;

it empties today of its strength.

Corrie ten Boom

About what?

It is clear from the number of people who read pages on this website about fear, mental blocks, hesitation, overcoming worry, anxiety and other related topics that there are very many people in the world who are dogged with worry.

It was brought home to me particularly today when, together with my wife, we sat down with eight other friends and acquaintances for a lunch which one of them was hosting. 

It follows, therefore, that some of them we knew rather better than others but they are all lovely people. 

I spent some time sitting next to a particularly pleasant man who I shall, for these purposes, call Philip.

He has been an acquaintance for a considerable number of years, and although I have met him a number of times on similar occasions and enjoyed his company, I could not say that I know him deeply.

Forever worried and always had been

As lunch progressed, it was evident to me that Philip was a constant worrier.  

Indeed, when I raised it with him he admitted he was.  In fact, he went further:  he said he had always been a worrier and it was just the way he was.

He told me he was worried about his children – although they were adults and had children of their own, and they were not worried.  

He was worried about what was going to happen tomorrow.  He was worried about old age.

Forever worried about things outside of your control

I wondered why he was so worried about all of these things that he could do nothing about personally.  

I suggested that it was really a futile waste of his life and energy and it was just as silly as worrying about something a rather noisy tin pot dictator on the other side of the world might or might not do.

His response was:  “But I am worried about him and what he might do.  

"I am also worried about the way the banks have behaved and what happens next and a whole load of other things.” 

Forever worried and unable to sleep

It was at this stage that Philip admitted to me that he had terrible trouble sleeping at night and hadn’t slept properly for years.  

What do you think the reason for that was?  Because he lay awake at night worrying about all the above and anything else he could think of.

Furthermore, he was kept awake by the chatter in his mind – the sort of self-talk we all have:  what if this happens?  Or what if that happens?  Or what if some other unforeseen event happens?

To listen to Philip you would think he lived deep in the jungle with no food or shelter, and that he might be devoured by any passing hungry animal.  

Nothing could be further from the truth.  He is retired, lives in a pleasant area, has all the basic necessities of life, a happy family and good friends.

Forever worried is not living in the present

Philip’s primary difficulty appears to be that he is not living in the present moment.  Sure, it is OK to have regard for the future and to make plans, but it is not OK to dwell there.

Philip’s attention is not in the present; it is in some imaginary future scenario. He has nothing to fear but fear itself, and if this is the way your mind is working, neither do you. 

If you are forever worried, let me tell you this.  It is not because you are that way or because you have always been that way.  

Neither is it part of your make-up and nor is it in your genes.  It is a behaviour.  None of us are born that way. 

Forever worried is a learned behaviour

Some way along the line you have learned to behave in this way and it has become a habit.  

It may be you picked it up unconsciously from the way somebody else close to you was behaving, or it may be that some other traumatic event sparked it off.  

Now you may not even be able to remember it.  But you were certainly not born that way.

Babies are born with only two fears:  the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling.  

All other fears are learned.  Therefore, if fear or worry are learned and have become behaviours, they can be changed.  That is the good news.

Exercises if you are forever worried

If when you lay down at night you have a little voice in your head constantly chattering, try changing the tone of the voice.  

Make it sound like Mickey Mouse or some other comical cartoon character.  Experiment with it and make it funnier.

Slow the voice down.  Make it really slow.  Make it yawn and speaker slower and slower.  Tell it to go away in the most emphatic language you can imagine!

If you are making bad images about what might or might not happen – and you must be because you cannot think without imagining – mentally push the pictures away from your face, drain the colour from them and spin them off into the distance until they are tiny dots and you can see them no more.

Then pull the pictures back and repeat the exercise at least five times until you can no longer see the picture even when you want to.

Now replace those pictures with good ones.  Think of those people and events which are dearest and happiest for you, particularly times that made you laugh.  

See those pictures through your own eyes (that is, without seeing yourself in the picture). 

Make the pictures large and colourful.  See what you saw.  Hear what you heard.  Feel what you felt.  

Forever Worried? - NLP techniques

Make the pictures brighter, the sounds louder and the feelings more intense and let that feeling build up inside you.  Then double the size of the picture and double it again.

This exercise enables you to disrupt the neural pathways and replace the worrying thoughts with positive, happy ones. 

Read about NLP anchors and investigate what other articles can help you.  There are very many of them on this website and they won’t cost you anything.

You have every reason to be happy and to live in the present.  Make every day in your life count.  

The past is not real.  All you have is your memory of it.  The future is not real.  It is just an imaginary concept.  All we truly know is now.

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