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If Your Worries Scare You, This Really Helps

By Paula Eder

Do worries stress you out?

Your worries have a profound impact on your energy, on your stress levels, and on your overall health.
Worries also affect your experience of time and, ultimately, they diminish your enjoyment of your life.
So, while it seems obvious that worry would trigger fears and add to your stress, what I'm going to tell you next may feel counterintuitive.

It's this: Slowing down and facing a worry can actually relieve your fear and stress.
So, try not to react to worries...
When you're worried your knee-jerk reaction is usually to speed up. Your focus is either on getting away from or trying to address whatever is causing your concern.

Both of these responses are usually very quick. And the reality is that they are reactive and will increase, rather than decrease your feelings of stress.

If you try to get away from something that you're worried about, you are reinforcing the magnitude of its "scariness."
Pema Chodron, in one of her workshops, tells a wonderful story that I'll recount here:
A monk is approaching a monastery that is guarded by fierce dogs. As he draws closer the dogs come racing out, barking, growling, and baring their teeth. The monk is terrified and his first impulse is to turn and run. But he knows the dogs will be upon him an instant. So, instead, he pauses and takes a deep breath. Then he does something surprising. He runs TOWARD the dogs. And the dogs stop in their tracks, turn, and run back, in the other direction.

What do you learn?

There are two key elements for you to consider in this story.

The first one is the deep breath.
Did you notice that the monk chose to pause in the face of the approaching danger?
This is a small-but-powerful time choice. When you make it, it immediately puts you in charge of yourself and your moment, even as everything in you may be shouting, "Flee!"

Second is the choice to move toward, rather than away from, the source of the fear or worry.
When you turn away from a fear, you give yourself the message that it is "too big" or "too scary" or "too hard" to deal with. Turning toward it, you immediately let yourself know that it's manageable. You may not have all the answers, but you're taking charge, and that is very reassuring.

Yes, it really works...
Once you have taken a breath and taken charge, your mind is cleared and you are able to be much more creative in your problem-solving. These two simple choices about how you use your time (in the briefest of moments) make a huge difference!

What is your immediate response when you're confronted with a looming worry or a big fear?
How do you choose to use your time, as you respond in the moment?

Leave a comment -- we'd love to hear.
And to fully mobilize yourself, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, PhD, The Time Finder Expert.
Hi! I research topics such as self-development achievement and mental health. I have a passion to use my life experiences and research to help others reach their full potential.