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Stop Worrying Now

Updated: Jan 16

When we worry about someone, we send them a secret message – I don’t believe in you. When we worry about ourselves, we also send a message – I don’t believe in me.

Not in a long time have I received so many negative opinions about one of my quotes. When I posted this on Facebook, some of the comments were downright hostile! So let’s first break down, a bit, the response.

As I said in a previous blog, feelings are not illegal; you feel what you feel. Therefore, if some feel angered by this quote, well, you feel angry. But what is angry? What makes us feel angry, or enraged, or hostile? As I have written, we all possess a primitive nature controlled by what I have called the Automatic Brain, or

AB. This brain traces back to our prehistoric ancestors. The only function of this brain is to protect us from anything it processes to be dangerous to us, threatening to us, or that which places us in a vulnerable position. When our AB detects that, it cause an automatic, instantaneous reaction. The reaction is only two-fold—fight or flight. The only difference between our AB and that of our prehistoric ancestors is that we have evolved a larger frontal cortex so that our fight or flight is a bit more sophisticated and can be related to feelings and even thoughts. But don’t be fooled—it’s the same.

Getting back to anger. One of the modern day versions of our fight response is anger. That means every single time. 100% of the time (wow, did I just go out on a limb? Yikes!!), when you feel anger, it means that your AB has detected something dangerous, has threatened you, and/or made you feel vulnerable. Well then, why would my mild manner quote cause this sort of reaction?

Here’s a good sample of the type of comments I received from K.W.: “This is totally ridiculous. I think we worry about others & it shows care & concern…Sorry I think this is a load of BS.” Hmmm. I struck a sensitive chord in K.W. as well as others. Is this more about worry or is it about the guilt about not worrying? There is a big “danger” in not being a good parent or a good person; so you’ve been taught since childhood. To fight and flee the danger of being thought of as a bad person or cold and uncaring in the eyes of others or, perhaps, God, our AB generates thoughts about worry. But another danger exists that we fight and from which we flee—the unknown. The future is unknown and our AB has evolved that all of us process, in different degrees, this danger. In order to fight and flee this danger, our AB conjures up thoughts so to somehow control the outcome. Remember, this is a primitive brain, therefore, many of the thoughts conjured up are primitive. One woman once told me that she was afraid that if she did not worry then bad things would happen.

Worry does not mean you care more or that somehow you can control the outcome. Worry only removes us further from our mind which is the gateway to our pure potential and personal power. But it also assists in removing further those about whom we worry. The solutions to what you worry about reside in your actions today. When you have one foot out the door into tomorrow, you only have one foot in today. You may kick and scream and try to convince yourself that worry is a good thing, but realize that is your AB making you fight and flee the “danger” of the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar of not worrying.

So instead of worrying, here are some suggestions:

  1. Write three things down about a situation or person that gives you concern

  2. Next to each item write one action step that you are going to take today to begin addressing your concern

  3. If the concern is entirely out of your hands, then close your eyes, picture a bright light, take five cleansing breathes…and let it go

  4. Understand that when you worry, it strips away your focus on what you can do today in order to make tomorrow worry-free

  5. Affirm each day, “I will always find a way and a way will always find me.”

  6. When you begin to worry, distract yourself with some activity.

  7. When thoughts of worry come, repeat in your mind, “There is no danger, there is no threat, I am safe. No danger, no threat…

These suggestions will help you treat one of the most detrimental impacts on your overall health. Once you understand how harmful worry is and realize you can do something to overcome it and actually act more positively, you will begin to believe more in yourself and others. This will enable you to neutralize your AB and open the door to your mind and Divine nature.

© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD

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