“Setting Boundaries For Your Worrisome Thoughts” written by Bren Koger.
Have you ever had worrisome thoughts?
I’m sure you have… I get them often. It’s human nature. The trick is not to be controlled by those worrisome thoughts.
When the going gets tough it’s very easy to get into a pattern of thinking “what if this happens” or imagine the worst case scenario. This can be a vicious cycle because it saps the precious energy that you need to move through those rough times.
How to Manage Your Worrisome Thoughts
Worry leads to anxiety and poor health.
And then you find yourself worrying about worrying too much.
Is there a way out of this vicious cycle?
Awareness Is the First Step
Notice the worrisome thoughts coming in and don’t judge yourself harshly for having them. Life can deal some harsh blows so your thoughts are normal. Don’t try to judge or suppress the thought. Just postpone it until later. That way it’s not running the show.
I think of these thoughts like a toddler always wanting your attention. “Mommy, Mommy pay attention to me. look at me”……
it’s up to you to set healthy boundaries on your toddler thoughts. Let them know you love them and it’s not punishment or judgment but that you can’t give them your full attention 24/7. In order to give your worrisome toddler thoughts 100% of your undivided attention you have set aside some special time to spend with them.
Throughout the day journal the thoughts you worry about the most and you will see a pattern. This way you can tell which ones need the most attention.
Then Set aside about 30 minutes a day when you can take the time to sit with your thoughts (make sure it’s not too close to bedtime so that it keep you awake.)
The next step is to take a look at your list and ask yourself are these problems something I can work on.
Am I Taking Actions Steps Toward Resolving Them??
What small action steps can I take every day to solve this problem? It might mean stepping outside your comfort zone to make phone calls or reach out to people.
You might have worrisome thoughts that are out of your control. Something that involves someone else.
- Is the thought helping them? How will worrying about it help them and how will it hurt them?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at this situation?
The serenity prayer has been a huge source of comfort to me at times.
Stay Focused On The Present
My next tip is to stay focused on the present. When you are in a negative thought your breath becomes more shallow and your body tenses up. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, and as much as you possibly can bring your attention back to the present moment.
Using mindfulness meditation to stay focused on the present will it take some practice.
At first, you’ll probably find that your mind keeps wandering back to your worries. Be patient with yourself start out slow. Each time you draw your focus back to the present, you’re reinforcing a new mental muscle that will help you break free of the worry cycle.
Final Thoughts on Setting Boundaries For Your Worrisome Thoughts
Everyone experiences worrisome thoughts, everything from finances to health and relationships. What separates an anxious person from a calm one isn’t the content of their thoughts, it’s how they react to them.
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