Worrier to Warrior

If you worry often, you know that it’s a confusing blurry process, like a blender in your mind, just churning thoughts and mish-mashing them into a mixed pulp. This doesn’t bring clarity and can easily lead to anxiety and unresolved feelings. I have always been labelled an ‘over-thinker’, which is usually a kinder word for a ‘worrier’. And in my attempt to genuinely change this habit, in one of the tasks for Deepak Chopra’s  ’21 days of Abundance’ process, it came to me! A simple process to clarify any worry into a step-by-step process.

Make sure you write things down – digital or hard copy – your choice. Ask yourself a series of these questions and write down the answers. It’s important to write them down, so that the thought doesn’t keep gathering moss and merge into other worries. 

Question 1: What is bothering me? (Describe the incident/experience/feeling/sensation, etc.) Make sure there is only one worry or a set of related worries listed at a time. Try not to list unrelated ones. 

For example: I am worried for my health during this Covid crisis and I keep thinking I will get Covid. (Unrelated worry: if I get Covid, I will lose my job, have to get a loan from a bank, etc. The related worry here is health. You can do this same process for the other worries.)

Question 2: Why does it bother me? (Describe the negative feelings/sensations. What undesirable feelings does this worry cause me?) Try not to get caught up in whether this is a legitimate fear or not, because it will lead to brushing it under the carpet. If you’re worrying about it, it is a legitimate issue.

Example: The fear of getting Covid is making me feel scared, helpless, panicked, and is affecting my daily life. My sleep is disturbed, I feel paranoid about what I touch, eat, how I bathe and I feel scared to leave my house.

Question 3: What is/was my contribution in making this worry a reality or feeling these negative feelings? (It’s essential that you be honest here. No one else needs to see this but you, so it’s best to be real with yourself.)

Example: I choose to believe that the worst will happen to me. I read only alarmist articles about the Covid crisis. I allow myself to internalise others’ fears of the Covid crisis when they call and tell me how bad the situation is.

Question 4: What is the worst case scenario? (What happens if all the negative feelings and fears about this issue come true. (It is important to play this out to the worst possible scenario. What it does is brings the fears into clear focus. Often the way we deal with fear is to let it remain somewhere in the vicinity of our minds without even clearly looking at it.) Most important note: YOU WILL NOT MANIFEST YOUR FEARS BY LOOKING AT THEM.

Example: I fear that Covid will put me in a pathetic desperate situation in a govt hospital where resources are limited and it will ensure my death. I am afraid I may die alone with no one to care for me. 

Question 5: What is the best possible scenario? (This is equally important to play out. Make sure it is not going into a fantasy world and staying in reality).

Example: The best case scenario is that I don’t get Covid and I can return to life as normal, or as normal as can be where I am not living in fear. I am able to eat, sleep, exercise, socialise digitally in a healthy and productive way.

Question 6: What can I control about this situation? (This will involve doing the opposite of everything listed in Question 3 and adding things to achieve the answers from Question 5, in order to avoid everything happening in Question 4).

  • I can stop reading alarmist articles
  • I can read informative articles about both the pros and cons.
  • I can refrain from speaking to people who only spread fear. 
  • I can meditate before sleeping.
  • I can enlist a neighbour’s help to divide the outdoor duties, or offer to help them with indoor chores in exchange for not having to step out just yet.

By now, you’re focusing on what YOU CAN DO, as opposed to what MAY HAPPEN TO YOU.

What you can do is in your control. It is EMPOWERING. and what may happen to you is not. Worry is nothing but a feeling of loss of control, i.e. helplessness. Finding a way to help yourself puts you back in the driver’s seat. 

Now make sure you attempt all the things answered in Question 6. Be patient and see how empowered you feel!