I admit it. I am a worrier. I’ve decided that my worrying is due to an annoying little monster appropriately named, the Worry Monster. I have bought countless books and CDs, all of which promised to dispose of this devilish little thing. But it still pops up now and then.
Finally, I realized instead of trying to get rid of it, I needed to negotiate a compromise. I would agree to live with it, but it could NOT run my life! Learning to live with my Worry Monster was a conscious decision. I was tired of trying to prove it wrong.
Worry monsters are very sneaky. There’s always a kernel of truth to what they tell you. Worry is about the possibility of something bad happening. Well, guess what? Something bad can happen and sometimes does! This is the power of Worry Monsters; the possibility that they just might be right.
In dealing with my Worry Monster, I’ve found that the most effective strategy is to do things that keep me in control of it. If you also struggle with a persistent Worry Monster, here are some ideas for you to consider:
STOP TRYING TO KILL YOUR WORRY MONSTER
I know it’s so tempting. But like any monster, when you try to kill it, it will just fight back. Worry Monsters are not good for you, but you ended up with yours for a reason. It is important to figure out what it’s trying to tell you.
So, really listen for the messages behind your worry. Is it that you might fail, not live up to someone’s expectations, or that you might not be able to cope with something? Whatever the message is, it’s important to hear and acknowledge it. Once you do this, you are on your way to quieting your Worry Monster’s annoying chatter.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR WORRY MONSTER
Worry Monsters hate it when you take control. It’s like the alpha dog stuff. You better be sure your Worry Monster knows YOU are the alpha dog. Otherwise, it will take control and proceed to tell you everything that could go wrong in your life.
You can stop it, however, if you develop strategies for handling what might go wrong. Write these strategies down and keep them. When your Worry Monster starts grumbling at you, just wave the strategies in its face to remind it who’s in control!
LAUGH AT YOUR WORRY MONSTER
Worry Monsters hate it when they hear you laughing. It just saps all their power. If one is hanging around your house, find ways to make yourself laugh.
In addition, they tend to take themselves VERY seriously. Therefore, the best thing to do is make fun of your Worry Monster. Laugh in its face. This tactic usually annoys it so much it will slink off and hide.
TALK WITH A FRIEND TO CALM YOUR WORRY MONSTER
Friends can give you a different perspective. There is a caveat here: Be sure you pick people who have control over their own Worry Monsters. The last thing you need to hear is, “Oh, that’s terrible! I’d be worried too!” Find someone who can listen while offering positive and constructive support.
Remember, Worry Monsters thrive on your fears; they need to keep you anxious. Good friends ease your anxiety by getting you to look at your worries in a different way. In addition, if something bad does happens, they’re there to help you through it.
EXERCISE AND CHASE AWAY YOUR WORRY MONSTER
Worry Monsters prefer slouching on top of your shoulders and playing with your mind. They are not fond of physical activity. Therefore, if you take a long walk with the dog, run on your treadmill, or just do jumping jacks for ten minutes, your Worry Monster will find someplace else to hang out.
Worry requires a lot of mental energy. When you exercise, your mind has to focus on the energy your body needs. Consequently, there is not much left over to feed your Worry Monster. This is a good thing. Most Worry Monsters could stand to lose a bit of weight!
I’ve listed five ideas that can help you manage your Worry Monster. You can use them or create your own. Have fun thinking of the ways you can stop your Worry Monster from being such a pest. You may not eliminate it from your life, but it is possible to coexist with it!