I’ve started taking mindfulness classes again. I’ve chosen to arm myself with a few more tools to help when that dreaded anxiety decides to rear it’s head. When I’m down I seem to worry, a lot. I worry about my children, and whether or not I’m a good mother. I worry about my health, and the health of the people that I love. I worry about my finances, and whether or not I’ll manage to save enough for my golden years. I worry about some of the things I did when I was a kid, and whether or not they’ve had an impact on what I’m doing now. Oh it may seem silly, but when you can’t sleep at 3am, worry is sure to step up and snuggle in with you. And, what does worry bring along to the party? That’s right: Anxiety.
What has sometimes helped me when my mind was running on that loop of continuous worry, was to write down exactly what was spinning through my head. If it was the middle of the night, I would just grab a sheet of paper and make a quick list of points of what was bothering me and that seemed to help, for a bit. Yesterday the instructor of the course told me about The Worry List, and my goodness, it’s brilliant!
The Worry List is something you can do anytime you like, but it’s great to do it not only when you’re feeling down or riddled with anxiety, but also when you’re feeling good. The reason you want to do this when you’re on top of the world is so you can really take notice of the difference in what exactly worries you, and when. I worry about things that I have absolutely no control over, this is a colossal waste of my time and energy, and it brings on debilitating anxiety, and it’s time to shed that. This is one of the tools I am using to help me do just that.
The Worry List:
Do this for each worry, one at a time:
1. Your Worry – Write out what it is that you are worried about.
Am I a good Mom?
2. Is It In My Control – Do you have any control over this situation whatsoever?
3. Is It My Responsibility – Is being a good Mom my responsibility?
4. Actions To Resolve – What can I do to help resolve or find a solution to this?
I can commit to listening to my kids and hearing what they say. I can commit to taking care of myself so that I can take care of them. I can commit to spending quality time with them, squeezing in special moments, on occasion, when normally, “we’re too busy” would be the standard response.
So that is just one example of a worry that I have, currently my list is at twelve, and of those twelve only two of them are actually in my control. So I have some serious reevaluating to do. I’m wasting precious time here. I’m not saying that this list will cure your anxiety or your worries, saying that would be silly and debasing. I am saying that it is a wonderful tool, if you choose to use it. Like anything new, the more you do it the easier it will become.
The cycle of anxiety, stress and depression are overwhelming at times. This worry list is something productive that you can do for yourself. Instead of letting those worries eat away at you, get it out of you, see if there is any truth to those worries, and if there is, see if you can’t find a solution. Ask for help if you need it there’s no shame in that, it’s actually one of the strongest things you can do. Take it or leave it, it’s always a choice, and one that you need to make for yourself.