Are you fighting the Worry War? By Karin Bauer

7 Steps to Worry Free Living - Crash Course!

It’s not a good feeling to worry about things, whether it’s about the past or the future. Worry can rob us of energy, sleep, and peace of mind. It can even ruin our relationships and joy for living. So is there an effective way to get out of the worry rut? The good news it, that yes there is, and it entails seven easy steps. These steps have proven to be very helpful when I have had worries on my mind.

Step Number One: Stop – Classify – Be Honest

Acknowledge that you are worrying about something. Often we are going in circles with our thoughts, and we become "mindless" about the process. Stop the on-going rambling thought process and identify it as what it is. You can do this by classifying the worry as either a "relationship worry", "situational worry" or a "me worry". Ask yourself these questions: "Can I do anything about this right now?" Maybe you can, maybe you can’t. So, if you can’t do anything about the situation, the relationship or yourself (maybe because it’s 3:00Am), ask yourself this: " What payoff am I getting for worrying about this problem right now?" Be honest! Do you really want to stop worrying about it? Does it make you feel more powerful or more powerless to worry needlessly? Is loosing sleep really worth this problem? What do you really want? Take a piece of paper and pen and write down some of these answers if possible. Hey, if you have time and energy to worry about it, you’ll have time & energy to write about it.

Step Number Two: Breathe deeply!

Most of the time when we’re laying in bed awake worrying, we forget to breathe deeply. We get so focused on an issue we take shallow, short little breaths. That way we don’t get much oxygen. Take time now to focus on your breathing by inhaling long, deep breaths, into the belly, hold for a moment, then release by blowing out the air. You can release the air gently and slowly, letting the air flow out and imagining that the breath is cleansing you. Sometimes it helps to push the air out with more force, with a will to drain the negative energy out of your system and letting the positive energy fill you. Take at least ten focused breaths or more. When the mind wanders back to worrying, breathe and remain with the focus on breathing. Exhale all your worries from your mind.

Step Number Three: Universe

When you are having real struggles with something that you can’t seem to let go, it’s time for a little help from your creator, the loving energy, the universe, your higher self. (If you don’t believe in this then just pretend for a moment as if there was). It’s an exercise that can really make a difference, immediately. This helps you remember that you have an ally, you’re not alone and you are connected with everyone and everything. Practice saying the following to yourself: Universe, I have tried all I could, and I just need a helping hand. I now willingly admit that I need some help in letting this worry go. I now give it up to the universe and know that what ever is supposed to happen, will happen at the right time. I know I have done what I needed to at this time. I surrender my worries to you for you to take care of them. Then imagine a heavy weight lifting off your mind, off your shoulders, off your heart. Imagine yourself in save keeping.

Step Number Four: Visualize

Now in your mind, picture yourself drawing ¾ of a circle. In it you will place the people that you may have been struggling with that caused you to worry. When all the people are in the circle, close the circle with your imaginary pen. They are now inside the circle, not in your mind. Now draw another circle in your mind, this time you place all of the situational problems, difficulties, disagreements, voices, feelings, inside. Again, close the circle. Realize that now the people in the circle are separate from the problems, which are in the other circle. Put the circle with the people aside for a moment, in a safe place. Now take your circle with all the problems and difficulties and shrink it down to a little circle. In your mind, see it shrinking until it’s barely visible. Now have some fun. Bounce the little circle like a basketball, dribbling, shooting some hoops, bouncing it around. Tell the circle with the problems it isn’t going to have any power over you any longer. Then take the circle in your hand and throw it into the universe with such energy that it surpasses the moon, lands in the sun and gets burned to nothing. Know that you have the power to do it.
Now take your circle with the people. Sometimes it feels good just to bounce this circle around for a while, too, knowing that inside the circle the people may get a bit dizzy, but overall it’s not about revenge here. It’s helpful to just simply get them out of your head, shrink them down to bug-size, and gain back your own power. Remember, they are just people, only human, with their own learning lessons. Take this circle and hold it in your hand. Blow pink colored "love energy" into the circle. Imagine the people feeling the love you are giving them, appreciating it. Send love to them no matter how much you want to push them away – this may take some practice. The more angry you are with them, the more love you will send, until your anger disappears. Once the circle is filled with love, set it free: blow it off your hand gently, so that it floats freely and flies into space. Send your love and say good-bye for now. Imagine yourself free of the problem and the people and breathe!

Step Number Five: Forgive yourself

One of the most important steps in letting go of worry is to forgive your own mistakes, short-comings, and flaws. Most worriers take on overly much responsibility and they start to feel everything is their responsibility. Is that helpful? No, usually not, but it’s about taking control for them. Many worriers would say: "I know I shouldn’t worry, it wouldn’t help to worry, if only I could stop worrying so much…"
If you use the words "should, would, could" in your vocabulary, forgive yourself for those should(n’t) have’s right now. Let it go. Breathe. Stop the self-torture and be good to yourself. Realize that any situation, or person in our lives is there to teach us something very valuable, no matter how difficult it may be. Then say the following to yourself: "It doesn’t matter about before or after or tomorrow. All that counts is right here, right now. I forgive myself, I trust myself, and when I forgive myself I can then forgive others also. I let it go. I live. I learn. I love. I am love." Breathe. Say it until it feels very real to you.

Step Number Six: Love yourself

You have done great up to here. Now comes one other very important exercise, one that will become your daily practice. While you are there in your bed, awake, give yourself the gift of unconditional love. Give yourself what no one can give you. Wrap your arms around yourself now, and squeeze – hug yourself and hold yourself. You are lovable and deserving of love. Breathe in love and exhale doubts. Allow yourself the gift of love. You can also imagine this hug if you can’t hug yourself, but imagine you giving the hug to yourself. Feel the love, deep inside. Feel your heart growing bigger and filling with warm, golden light, filling your insides with absolute caring and positive regard for you. Breathe slowly and calmly, deeply and purposefully. Feel yourself immersed in love like a warm bubble bath soothing you all over. Take a mirror and look deep into your own eyes. Connect with what’s there. Welcome emotional and soulful intimacy with your own spiritual being. Reach out to yourself and feel the joy of being alive. Say "I am Love. I give and receive Love freely". Breathe!

Step Number Seven: Finish with Gratitude

What am I grateful for? What lessons have I learned? What new and important things did I learn about myself through this? What needs did I discover I have and must fulfill?
Give your sincere gratitude and thanks for all lessons. Say: "Thank you, universe, for this lesson. Thank you for being alive. Thank you."
Allow yourself to drift into sleep lovingly. Promise yourself that anything left over that still needs attention will be dealt with in the morning. Have a good night’s sleep!
In the morning: When you wake up, take a piece of paper or journal and write down any thoughts you may have left over. Write about your feelings and the process, and what it was like for you.