So your boss sends you an email asking: “Do you have time this afternoon to chat?” If, in this scenario you simply reply and say “sure,” and aren’t worried about what she wants to talk about, you can probably stop reading this post. If you reply and say “sure,” and then break out in a sweat, you probably should keep reading. If you say “sure,” and then become absolutely convinced she’s going to fire you, you will have to collect unemployment, and be forced to move in with your parents, then this post is for you.
We all worry, but some more than others. It wasn’t too long ago when my own worries totally owned me. I would be going about my day and then something would trigger an anxious thought, and my mind would tell me a crazy story. I remember hearing a Bob Marley song on the radio and remembering that he died of skin cancer. Then my thoughts went to the odd shaped mole on my back, and within a minute the story progressed to me lying on my death bed dying of melanoma and whispering to my dad that I wanted my autographed Carl Yastrzemski baseball with me in my coffin, and him saying he couldn’t hear me because he forgot to put his hearing aid in…my mind was out of control.
Initially, I tried to deal with my worries by pushing them out of my head. This worked in the short-term, but never for the long-term. The real breakthrough for me was when I learned to embrace my fearful thoughts. While it may seem counterintuitive, it was the only thing that brought my worries under control.
To do this, you must first identify the part of you called the “Worrier.” The “Worrier” lives in your head and is very creative. It makes stuff up. To get the Worrier to calm down and leave you alone, you need to learn how to separate this part of you from your “True self.” Your True self is a rock. It doesn’t fall for the stories the Worrier tells. Once you have made this separation, then you will be able to find compassion and understanding for this part of your mind, and eventually embrace what it is telling you and learn from it.
To disentangle myself from my “Worrier,” I use a form of guided meditation. To help you do the same, I have created the following guided meditation you can listen to. The meditation is only five minutes long. You will want to listen to it in a comfortable and quiet location.
The process of learning how to separate from the Worrier takes time, so be patient. I would encourage you to practice this meditation once a day for a couple of weeks, then do it as needed. Once you have befriended your Worrier, managing your fears will become easier and easier and your True self will shine.