“There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live here.”
Worry is something we all experience from time to time while some have a habit of worrying more than others. What sets worry apart from other emotional states is the extent it pollutes the emotional atmosphere around us. This emotional state can release negativity and stress-inducing vibes that negatively impact our lives. When we worry, we feel irritable, grumpy, cranky and on edge. Our tolerance gets lower and we are much more likely to be bothered by minor frustrations which we ordinarily shrug off. It surges our stress hormones and makes us sensitive and reactive to everything with a threat in sight. Worrying seriously effects your personal growth. It is self limiting and sometimes holds you back from taking up life changing opportunities.
What is worry?
Reduced to its simplest form, it is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit. The destructive quality of worry is further indicated by the fact that the word itself is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “to choke”! It is like what you do to yourself by long-held and habitual worry. Studies reveal that many cases of illnesses are brought on directly by fear, aggravated by worry and a feeling of insecurity.
How to manage your worry
Worries fall into number of domains like health, work, finances, fear of future, lack of confidence or a myriad of other issues.
Worrying most of the times is unnecessary and doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t change things and certainly doesn’t fix them. It only increases your stress and makes things seem worse than they already are.
We tend to acquire worry as a habit. As we can change any habit and acquired attitudes, we can be free of this habit too.
A direct action is essential to eliminate any undesired habit. So is to break the worry as a habit. Here are few ways to break worry as a habit.
Figure out the source
The best way to reduce worry is to figure out what is making you worrisome. Consider what might have caused the worry. Most of the times the issue that triggered the worry might be simple. It is often simple things that cause worry and the solutions can be sort out. Reflect upon things and disengage from the possible causes. Be honest with yourself about what is bothering you. Simply acknowledging can make you come out with plausible solutions. Don’t concern yourself with things you can’t do anything about.
Be conscious of worry thought patterns
Worry most of the times is illusionary. It creates “What-if” scenario or a scenario that doesn’t even exists. This false scenario is created with no clear explanation about how or what might happen. One reason we get worrier is that we saturate our minds with apprehension thoughts and gloomy thoughts. Most of the times we worry about things that never actually happen. It is important to address this worry thinking pattern. When a worrying thought arises, simply be conscious and aware of it, question how far it is true and then deal with it. Don’t fall prey to worry’s false scenario. Replace them with positive and faith producing thoughts. After you have done your best to deal with a situation, avoid speculating the outcome and go on to the next thing.
Avoid complicated thinking
“worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”- Swedish Proverb
If your mind is too full of complicated ideas, take a moment to clear them out. Live with simple and positive attitude. Your distrust of others, doubts, or being emotional or trapped by inferiority complex may be the causes of your worry. Everyday many things happen that could be either seeds of happiness or seeds of trouble and anxiety. Try to keep rolling without worrying or dwelling too much over the tiny problems or disappointments. Think of the problems as opportunities for action.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Many worry that they are not clever or luckier in comparison with others. Some rate their own abilities too high. They feel that they could have done better than they are doing now, but in actual fact they are unable to keep up. The pain of jealousy and discontentment can become the cause of worry. As long as they compare themselves to others, they will not ultimately be winners. Their struggle for primacy becomes their worry. Rather than worrying being better than others, it is better to look at your own efforts. Evaluate yourself by reflecting and refining your own abilities. Evaluate yourself by assessing the growth and progress you made compared to an earlier period from your life.
Embrace your weaknesses and shortcomings
Many worry that they lack intelligence or other qualifications and abilities. Intelligence does not necessarily lead to success. You should not end up regarding them as absolutes. If you feel you are lacking in one area, you will find that you are gifted in some other field. People bemoan their lack of innate ability. If you worry about your innate ability, just remember in the final reckoning it is the amount you were able to grow, your rate of development, and the degree to which you exerted yourself that matters. Accept imperfections and focus on improvement.
Free yourself from expectations
Most of your worry springs from not being able to get what you wanted. This might be the pain of not being loved by others or of not being appreciated. The reason is that we cannot change the way others think and feel about you and if we focus on this too much it results in worry and frustration is born being unable to achieve the desired appreciation. It is you yourself who create your own worry by craving recognition and expecting others to acknowledge. If you have this tendency, make an effort to overcome it and practice self-appreciation and self-love.
Worrying involves a negative state of mind and curbs your further potential. A lack of something, be it a relationship, confidence, self respect, happiness, career, or money causes discontentment and dissatisfaction. Focusing on what you lack is a major cause of worry for many. Gratitude creates positive state of mind and reduces worry. Do not take things you have for granted. Next time when you feel stressed about what you lack, be thankful for what you have and the things that are going well in your life.
Face your fears
The process of mind drainage is important in overcoming worry and fear thoughts, unless drained off, can clog the mind. Fear is just a comfort zone which needs to be broken. It is just a self limiting thought. Many of us paint scenarios about what could happen and what could go wrong. Each time you face the fear, the comfort zone is broken and you can come out of this negative state of mind. Fill your mind with thoughts of faith, hope and courage. You became a worrier by practicing worry. You can become free of it by practicing the opposite.
Finally, If you are worrying about something right now, take action by doing what you need to do to stop worrying. Shift your focus onto your goals and your purpose. We usually worry about things about future and often simple things. Remind yourself of the larger picture and things for which you can be grateful and reflect on your abilities and achievements.
Follow these simple steps to break your worry habit and you will start to see change.
“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles..by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”- Mark Twain
Being happy is something we all want. What makes you happy?
What are the factors that can lead to happiness?
Many of us correlate it to friends, relationships, prosperity, appearances, success and so on. But these are all external factors which all of us have no control upon. So they cannot be considered as permanent factors in creating happiness. Paradoxically our aim in pursuing all these factors is for happiness, but many times what we say we want and what we do is never in alignment with each other. We say we want to be happy, but we make choices that bring opposite of happiness.
The ability to feel happy is something which is innate. Two people living in the same world with the same set of circumstances can experience life differently just by the way they think. ‘Happiness’ or ‘misery’ all depends on how you choose to respond to these circumstances. What you pursue in your mind is what you get out of life. In a way, your attitude towards life and your thoughts determine your happiness quotient.
“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Certain facts about happiness you need to know in the pursuit to make it a habit.
*Your happiness is not dependent on others. what people say or think and the situations around have no hold on your happiness index.
* Happiness is fundamental natural state of mind. We are all happy beings born with natural state of joy, compassion, and kindness.
* Accumulations and appearances do not result in happiness. Material things come and go, appearances change, but beneath all remains innate secret of unreasonable happiness.
* Fear and happiness cannot co-exist. The unhappiness producing process always feeds on your fears and worries.
* Unhappiness is self-created. You are the own creator of your thoughts and you have the power to create your own happiness.
When we understand these facts, we can change our thinking from ‘I want happiness’ to ‘me is a happy being’. It is necessary to cultivate happiness habit to drive off the thoughts which create unhappiness and to replace them with happy ones.
Turning towards happiness is a valid goal and you have to make a conscious decision to seek happiness by cultivating the habit of happiness.
Certain obstacles you should look for in the pursuit of cultivating the “Happiness Habit.”
The moment you become judgemental about others, you get into unhappy modes such as anger, resentment, ill-will, etc., which not only takes you away from your natural state of being, but also blocks further happiness.
Tip: Accept the differences in opinions and views. Develop appreciation and awareness and change your perception of others.
Another hindrance in the pursuit is keeping expectations. Expecting what others would say or how they behave is like expecting their future. In a way, you are expecting them to match with your belief systems and when they don’t, you begin to feel let down or sad.
Tip: Do not base your happiness on the outcomes as having expectations from others and meeting people’s expectations, both will fluctuate your happiness.
Dwelling on past and future.
Reminding or thinking about past hurts or unpleasant events becomes a major obstacle in the cultivation of happiness habit. Thinking about future causes worry and stress.
“You can do nothing to change the past and future will never come exactly as you expect.
Tip: Focus on your ‘Now’ and whenever your focus drifts off to other places and times, map back.
Stress is a result of negative programming we have imbibed. Stress is created by feelings of fear, anxiety, or worry. Unease caused by imagining a bad outcome to a present or future event or situation.
“Stress comes from the way you relate to events or situations.”
Tip: Recognise that happiness is not contained in events or situations. It is up to you how you respond to them and you always have a choice to choose stress-free thoughts.
How you perceive challenges.
Happiness a lot depends on how you take up the challenges or obstacles. It all depends on how you face and overcome them. Treating the challenges as be-all and end-all situations will block happiness and causes depression, and discouragement. Take them as work out situations
Tip: Use the so-called problems or obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow more stronger for your future endeavors.
Developing certain personal factors or inner characteristics can lead to happiness. This can create further inner transformation and can be achieved by regular practice and repetition of new thought patterns. Here are some practices to cultivate “Happiness Habit.”
You feel good physically, mentally and emotionally by focussing on positive patterns of thinking. Substitute unhappy thought patterns with positive happy thoughts. “The happiness habit is developed by simply practicing happy thinking.”
Practice virtue of patience.
It takes time to cultivate all the qualities that create state of well-being and happiness. We acquire many unhappy and negative mental traits over time. So you need to develop patience in order to address and counteract each one of these negative traits.
“Happiness is the state of being centredness which is here and now”. Keeping your awareness and concentration in the present moment and letting go of past can be achieved by practicing mindfulness.
Practice simple living.
“ The secret of happiness is not in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
Happiness is equal to your contentment. We have basic needs and endless wants. Know the difference and practice simple living.
Finally, base your actions and attitudes upon basic principles of happy living by choosing happiness. Some of the basics are that of caring, gratitude and good will.
As parents we all want to raise our children as happy and successful individuals. We try to fulfill our function as parents by doing all the right things and the best we can for our children. The role playing of parent makes you believe that by doing more and more you make yourself complete. But even doing the best we can is not enough if we neglect Being. If parents honor only the role they are playing but neglect being, they fail at making an authentic relationship with children.
You become successful at parenting when you genuinely recognise your child from the realms of Being and not by merely role playing.
The five things you need to stop doing in order to practice conscious parenting.
stop conversing only in the form of doing or evaluating.
Most of our coneversations with our children on a daily basis are mostly to do with doing or evaluating. These are necessary in day to day activities, but that’s all there in your communication with your child, then you may be missing a vital point in your relationship as parent with your child. When you have conversations, try to be completely present in the moment. looking, touching, listening and helping them with their work will create a healthy environment where they can also share their experiences and opinions. Cultivate connection such as being loved, understood, and wanted.
Stop fault finding.
Constant cmplaining and fault finding only creates negativity and a sense of separation between parents and children. This in a way affects the confidence of the child. Finding faults with them will only makes them feel wrong and you to be right. We cannot expect them to learn everything overnight. Children always long for recognition, not on the level of performance but on the level of being. So it is important to leave your habit if complaining and bragging.
Stop being supeṛior.
Many adults play roles as parents instead of being. Many times they talk down to the child and don’t treat them as equals. Because of this role playing, parents come in the grip of ego, which makes them believe that they know more. The fact that parents know more or that they are bigger makes the children feel that they are not equal. In a way parents try to establish a fact that I know what is best for you or what I know is right for you. This will only make them feel inferior. Stop being superior and give them freedom to make their own choices and decisions.
Parents define their role as parents by constantly controlling and telling them what to do. They cannot let go of this habit even when the child grows into an adult. They are afraid of losing their identity and in their desire to control or influence the actions of their child, they will start to criticise or show their disapproval. In an attempt to preserve their role they make the children feel guilty and not worthy of. Train yourself to reduce your expectations on how their life should be. For your child to be successful, they must feel valued. Value their choices and help them in taking their decisions.
Over a period of time, looking after their needs and preventing them to getting in danger becomes overemphasized and takes you over. Excessive need to provide what they want turns into spoiling. It may be tempting to grant their every wish, but this will drive them to have unrealistic expectations. They need to explore things on their own in order to develop resilience. They will make mistakes, but they will turn into their experiences. Give them space to be.