5 Laws That Will Train Your Brain to Stop Worrying So You Can Be More Productive
Do you hear that?
The loud thumps coming from your heart. The butterflies in your stomach run wild. Your mind races.
As soon as you lay your head down, thoughts start rushing in.
Bills to pay. Work to do. Foods to prepare. People to deal with. Enemies to ignore. Pretensions to act.
It keeps going on and on.
Instead of conquering your wildest dreams, there you are, nervously biting your nails. Drowning in mental and panic attacks from things beyond your control. Staying in a mental prison without a clue on what to do.
Your days and nights are consumed by random, negative thoughts.
It’s all because of one word.
You feel it every day. You think about it when you drive.
Whenever your laptop lights up, you think somebody hacks you. And your secret and riches are exposed forever (though Equifax made this possible.)
Now, nobody wants to spend time with you.
They’re afraid you’re going to say something negative again. They’re afraid you will spread unnecessary fear. They’re afraid of your paranoia.
They don’t understand you don’t like feeling it too.
Instead of fighting it, you cower in your safe space. You bury those thoughts pretending not to hear them. You drown yourself to sleep, thinking it will all come to pass.
It’s sickening right?
It’s not good. It’s counterproductive. It’s annoying.
And you wish you can do something about it.
The More You Hide, The More They Seek You
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” — Charles Spurgeon
Did you ever play hide-and-seek?
As soon as the seeker starts counting, you and others rush to different places to hide.
You tuck yourself in while holding your breath, making sure no one hears you. Tiny droplets of sweat start coming out on your forehead. You cover your mouth to prevent yourself from laughing. You’re confident he’ll never find you.
Seconds pass and the countdown is over. All you can hear are footsteps.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
You can sense he’s coming already. You tuck further in your hiding place. You hardly breathe. You freeze.
Just when you gained the momentary peace, you saw his shadow. Before you know it, he already found you.
Bam! You lost. You’re the next seeker.
Irritating isn’t it?
He found you after your desperate effort of hiding.
That’s how worries are.
They hunt you, and you think you can hide from them. The more you seek your hiding place, the more determined they are to catch you.
How Worries Affect Your System
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” — Soren Kierkegaard
Few months after I migrated, I remained inside the house almost 24/7.
I watched TV most of the day. There’s one show I was obsessing. I would watch it when I wake up, then watch the rerun before I sleep.
I got fascinated by the latest technologies and methods shown. I like the thrilling effect of solving murder cases.
My adrenaline rushes as they try to decipher the case and find out the culprit. My mind marvels as I see different processes and instruments such as mitochondrial testing and pyrolysis gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer.
I felt like a genius as I go along the trails of evidence and give my own guess of who the killer is.
Watching it every day became a habit. A habit that eventually chased me.
I started having nightmares. I woke up almost every night with all the images from the show. I would hear gunshots inside my mind. I had heavy heartbeats and sticky sweats while I imagine the pictures of the killers.
It was horrible.
Going to the bathroom alone became an impossible thing to do. Every time my husband leaves, I gather all my things including my food to prevent going out of the room.
Every time someone knocks, I become paranoid. I type in 911 and ready to hit dial if something unexpected happens.
I refrained from going outside. I refused to receive visitors. I hid from my neighbors. I stopped being productive.
Worries ate me, and I allowed it to dominate me.
I don’t blame the show.
Because without that experience, I wouldn’t be able to understand how worries can affect me. I wouldn’t be able to know how a person can be powerless when worries and fear overtake him.
Maybe yours are only small worries.
Whatever it is, worries can affect our performance. They will chase us when we let them pile up.
Five Ways To Confront Your Worries
Worries are poisons to our body. If you don’t stop them, they will spread and suffocate us. Here are the five laws you can use to stop the negative effects of worries:
Law of Recency
“What is learned most recently is remembered best.”
Our brains respond best based on the recent information. The information that reaches the subconscious influences our thoughts.
When someone tells you a recent story, you will likely remember it as opposed to a story mentioned months ago.
Do you constantly have nightmares?
What keeps you up at night?
Do you struggle thinking of random things before starting your work?
Prescription: Feed Your Mind With the Right Food
To minimize your worries, you need to identify the trigger. You need to uproot it, so it doesn’t grow too much.
What object do you associate with your worries?
Identify it. Write it down if you must.
When you focus on your negative triggers, they will remain in your subconscious which can lead to possible nightmares. These will leave you up and awake at night without enough rest.
Introduce your brain to energizing thoughts.
Read an inspiring book that will leave positive imprints in your mind. Keep your mind busy with things that would help you forget your triggers.
Law of Attraction
“Whatever thoughts a person focuses on attract the same type of experiences.”
To achieve experiences you want, you need to produce similar thoughts that match them. This law is more of a mind power technique where you use your mind to get results you want.
Your inner self pays you back based on what you send to it. To change the outcome of your thoughts, you have to be willing to change the origin.
When you worry about certain things, you attract negative energy that makes you worry more. The negative energy circulates around you and affects your mind and body.
Prescription: Declare Positive Energy
Your mind is cluttered with various things you want to attend.
Some of these things are immediate — those that you can solve with action. Some are beyond your control, and that’s where worry comes in.
Accept that there are lots of things beyond your control. No matter how much you try to solve them, the outcomes will not always be the way you want them.
Instead, focus your mind on the present things that you can deal with.
Choose to reframe your worries into a positive experience. Start declaring positive thoughts into your day.
If there’s a specific issue that makes you worry, face it with a positive attitude.
Treat yourself as your own best friend and give it a cheerful talk to face whatever circumstance you are in.
Of course, it all sounds simple in theory, but you have to apply it to see if it works for you. It is not a magic formula but helps to rewire your brain to something positive.
Law of Averages
“Talks on the probability of a specific event occurring and see if it’s worth worrying about.”
Worry often limits some people to experience things they might enjoy.
For instance, some do not use planes for fear of crashing. Some are afraid to try cruises or boats for fear of drowning.
It is what author Dale Carnegie shares in his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
“Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember “Life is too short to be little”.”
If you look at the statistics of what scares people, you will find out that these things are unlikely to happen. Carnegie shares that most of these are a product of the imagination.
You’ll see that there is only a remote possibility of such a thing ever happening to an individual. There are so many people on the planet.
The reality is if it’s your time, wherever you are, whatever circumstance you’re in, you have no choice but to bid the world goodbye.
Here are some statistics of common fear:
Odds of being killed on a single airline flight 1 in 29.4 million
Odds of becoming a lightning victim in the U.S. in any one year is 1 in 700,000
Odds of dying from contact with sharp objects 1 in 38,174
Odds of dying from cataclysmic storm 1 in 66,335
This is why insurance companies are sprouting like mushrooms.
Sure, they pay money to certain accidents and calamities. But a huge part of their business benefits from people who are unable to use it. Insurance is something people buy but they don’t really want to use.
Who wants to be in an accident or death just to maximize the payment?
Prescription: List Down Your Major Worries
Write down all the major things that plague you. Watch some documentaries and videos that will educate you about it. Read books that provide great information.
If you cannot solve the worries on your own, seek help from an expert in the field.
You miss out on great experiences by worrying about something unlikely to happen.
Once upon a time, a person namely Kassey developed a fear of driving. She worried so much about other drivers. She was so scared that someone will honk loudly while she’s driving.
The very thought of cars lining up behind stressed her to death. She trembles whenever she thinks of the nasty finger others will give. She frets that others will hit her, and then she’ll disappear forever.
LOST. IN. THE. WORLD.
So after three years, she was stuck at home waiting for others to drive her around. She wasted work opportunities because she lost the courage to drive. The most tragic of all, she couldn’t buy her favorite McDonald’s fries whenever she craves.
It’s not a happily ever after.
This August, she conquered her fear and started her driving lessons. She practices every day. She carefully observes others. She watches videos and reads the driving manual regularly.
It turns out that Kassey likes driving.
She has received honk from few drivers so far. She never got any nasty finger, yet. She enjoys how she can move from place to place. She finally crossed the intersection.
Best of all, she found out that most drivers are kind. They are courteous on the road. They signal and show their intentions well.
Looks like driving isn’t that bad.
And that’s Kassey. The story of my life. Embarrassing as it may seem, but it’s the truth.
I will probably be locked up at home for several years if I didn’t choose to get over this worry.
Don’t overcomplicate it in your mind. Try it, even for once. Your imagination might be fooling you. Don’t let yourself regret not trying.
Law of Conservation of Energy
“Energy is neither created nor destroyed but only changed from one form into another or transferred from one object to another.”
Did you ever experience coming home fuming with madness?
A poor pillow rests on the couch. You grabbed it with your two hands, not to cuddle. Raised it up in the air and smashed it on the floor.
The poor pillow is resting, so it does not use any energy. When you came and threw it away, your energy is transferred to it.
That is Law of Conservation of energy in action.
Prescription: Channel Your Worries Into Different Ways
Right now, your worries are within you. They are in full force. Their energy circulates around your body.
If you don’t transfer the energy, you will always feel their negative effects.
When worries attack you, get a paper immediately and write them down. It’s good to see who your enemies are. Brainstorm possible activity that can replace them.
If you worry about failing a test, channel that energy into preparation.
If you worry about your partner breaking up with you, channel that energy into improvement.
If you worry about the negative feedbacks, channel that energy into mastering your craft.
If you worry about acne, channel that energy into inspiring people who suffer like you. Or discover your own homemade beauty products that can give you the solution.
If you worry about dying, channel that energy into actually living your life as if it is your last day.
Whatever it is, do not let the negative energy stay inside you. It will consume you. It will eat your sanity away.
Law of Belief
Whatever you believe and feel to be true long enough will become your reality.
Worry is a thief. It steals your good night sleep. It steals your energy. It steals your beauty.
Nobody likes that.
This is another mind power that you can avail.
Two things come into play here:
a. Believe That God Will Help You
I respect that we all have different beliefs. But I truly believe the power of prayer.
We can surrender whatever worries we have to God. We do not have to carry it all. We have a Higher Being willing to help ease the burden.
A belief in a power greater than your own can create a strong foundation for a faith in your own self.
Utter a prayer and give it all to God. Once you do your part, let go of it. You cannot control it anymore. It’s beyond your power. Only God can fix it. Only God can help you overcome it.
He even said through His words:
“Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Your worries deduct an important hour from your life. You only have very limited time.
Why waste it by worrying?
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” — Matthew 6:34
b. Identify a Worry Absorber
Set up a worry absorber that you can carry. It can also be a ritual that you can do when worries start coming in.
Some people like to carry a stone. Whenever they worry, they rub it and pass their worries there.
Some write their worries on small pebbles and throw it away. Some write them on paper and burn them afterward. Some have a separate pillow that acts as a punching bag.
Choose whatever works for you.
Don’t forget your loud victory laugh “mwa-ha-ha” while dismissing them. Tell them they can never control you again.
When you choose to let them go, you have to believe inside that they are actually gone.
The same way the pebbles sank in the pond or the paper turned to ashes — those worries have no space in your life.
What Happens When You Confront Your Worries
Worries are out there to chase. They are looking for your hiding place. They purposely target your location.
But it’s more than a game of hide-and-seek now. It becomes a tug-of-war.
Whoever is stronger gets to win. Whoever holds the rope tighter becomes victorious. Whoever has the greater grip gains freedom.
That whoever is you. It must be you. It will be you. It can be you.
Your body is yours.
It is not created to house the worries inside. It is not given to nurture your fears. When you confront your worries, you become stronger and more capable to face the next phase.
Eventually, all those worries will vanish. You wouldn’t even miss them.
You are no longer living in a mental prison. You can go to places without panicking. You sleep well at night. You are not prohibited to enjoy life outside your home.
Now, your friends are enjoying your company once more. They invite you for coffee.
You don’t waste minutes of your life worrying about things you can’t control. You become the person who is meant to seize every opportunity. You didn’t let them get hold of you.
Now, life rewards your effort.
Because You. Deserved. It.