4 Simple Steps to Release Worry
As we watched the sun set over the countryside from the lookout of Horseshoe Mound, I paused to snap a few photos to remember this trip by. Though grateful my husband was able to maneuver his schedule for a little day trip to one of our favorite nearby escapes, I'd felt a buildup of frustration and resentment compiling. Layer upon layer of unresolved emotions and the pressure of parenting and business ownership topped with an incomplete home renovation led to less peacefulness than ideal within my mind. Yet as we took in the beautiful views, our one year old rapidly scaling the rock ledges while our five year old flew her Pegasus figurine around the mound, I felt myself become more present in the beauty of the moment.
My husband maneuvered the telescope mounted near the "Summer Solstice Sunset" stone to align with the waning crescent moon and excitedly motioned us over. After observing the clarity of this incredible view of the moon's surface, I stepped back to admire the telescope itself and how clearly it helped us focus in on a particular point of beauty. Snapping a photo, I was hit with a strong, one-worded message.
Yes, this word was inscribed to indicate where to adjust the focus on this telescope... but in this moment it meant much more. Too often we point our mental telescope in the direction of the little details of our life that are not working as planned. Those unfinished projects, the attributes about loved ones that are irritating us, the flaws we see within our own selves. We fixate on these things that allow us to ruminate in the unhappiness and keep us feeling less than, when our reality is much more expansive.
It's simply about where we place our focus.
Our brains have been programmed to repeat certain patterns of thought. Too often these patterns become cycles of negativity, doubt, and worry. They take us out of the present moment and put us on a skipping record. As Dr. Wayne Dyer shared, "It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized."
Every day, every moment we have a choice. We can focus on that which keeps us immobilized... the things we have no control over, such as other people's thoughts or actions. Or we can choose to adjust our focus to that which brings us feelings of joy, peace, and empowerment and the things we do have the power to change.
By focusing on that which we CAN control (our own thoughts and actions), we grow our sense of inner strength and self-confidence. We are reconfiguring the pathways in our brains, programming our minds to repeat patterns of vibration-raising positivity instead of the old cycles.
Sounds great in theory, right? But how do we actually go about doing so? Here are four steps to help you release worry:
Recognize when negative thought patterns take place. What are they triggered by? Why is this something that begins this neurological cycle? Becoming aware of when these patterns occur is the most powerful way to begin this shift.
Honor the thought or feeling that arises for what it is, accepting that you've begun worrying because of past experience. Then replace it with the belief you know to be true. For example, if your self-doubting pattern of thought began because of something a peer said to you, allow yourself to separate from your thoughts enough to see this pattern of thought with your mind's eye. You can tell yourself, "I understand this feeling arises because of how I've learned to think about myself in the past, but this is no longer true. I believe I am capable, strong, and kind (or whatever inner truth applies)."
If you notice a worry, self-doubt, or fear continuing to return ask yourself, "Is this something I can control or cannot control?" If it is something you cannot, visualize yourself releasing it from your physical body and choose a form of movement you enjoy to help move it through somatically. If it is something you can control, decide what simply action step you can take in this moment (think baby steps if you must) to help you feel movement in the direction intended.
First thing in the morning and last thing before you fall asleep, repeat the affirmations you most need to hear to help shift your focus toward the positive. As worries arise, visualize yourself moving the telescope to focus in on all you are thankful for that is going well in your life... at the very least, the opportunity of being alive!
May these steps remind you of the power you hold to shift your focus, allowing your soul to rise into all you are here on this earth to be.