Bobby McFerrin says it best: Don’t Worry, Be Happy. I mean, how could you not be happy when looking at this faces. Disclosure: I’m biased cause they are mine.
So what happens when you choose worry over happiness?
The following STORY is from a journal entry that happened to me last week. I had to brain dump out all my thoughts because they were consuming me in a way that I was unrecognizable to myself. Worry, fear and anxiety had set in and for several days, I let it get the best of me.
BUT Awareness is the first step in knowing when worry starts to creep in. It’s funny how our brain comes up with so many stories, ones that haven’t even happened yet or might never happen, that can change us as people from who we are used to being, into someone we don’t even recognize.
What is happening with me?
I am completely shaken to the core. Yesterday afternoon, I was in my own safe, little bubble. I was unaware of bad things going on around in my community and I was good with that. My kids could play outside without me staring them down. I could leave the garage door open in the middle of the day. I wasn’t looking around every corner nervously. Everything was my kind of normal.
Then I was given some news that totally happens every day in our country but for some reason this one got me spooked for the last day couple of days. I have let it infiltrate my thoughts and my actions. I catch myself looking up and down the street waiting for this man, the man who made a very bad decision, appear.
I keep thinking about what could happen if he got into our house or if I saw him on our street. I am jumpy, on edge and not myself at all today.
This is not me. It is not me at all. I don’t get emotionally invested in news happenings. I have worked so hard on myself the past couple of years to not let outside influences change the way I think or act.
I am having a hard time figuring out why this is taking a toll on me, affecting me and sucking me into its negative energy. It might be because it’s something that could happen to us, that it is so close to home or that a friend has a vested interest in the police finding this man? I don’t know. I’m in uncharted territory.
What I do know is that awareness is key but I’m not going to let this local news story consume me. That is not who I am anymore. I have learned how to rise up past all of this. All I have right now are the stories my mind is creating and making up about the future. Although, I can’t control what happens, I can sure as hell control how I choose to react so that I’m not paralyzed by fear.
The kids know nothing about this situation but I am sure they can tell that mom is a little on edge. I can almost take myself out of my body and feel the fear that has overcome me these last two days.
There is a reason I don’t follow the news and it’s because I can get involved in the stories too much and it can take over my thoughts in a way that I don’t like. Thoughts that don’t serve me for the greater good.
When I notice this negative energy enter my thoughts, I am now able to recognize what is happening, stop it in its tracks by doing something that makes me happy and concentrating on good things that are continually happening in my life. This breaks down the negative thoughts because what you focus on grows. This local news story is not something I want lingering around me or my family in terms of worry, fear and angst.
Sure, something like this could happen to anyone but what I choose to focus on is what I can control right now and that is to provide a loving and safe environment for my family. It is to stay positive about the good things in my life and to change my attitude when I can feel the stories starting to come in.
After a day and an half of being on edge, I took a breather, stopped and reminded myself of all the good that happens to us throughout the day. For example, the nice lady who let me pass on the road, the man who told me to have a good day after I left his store, the hugs and kisses from my children and finding the book at the library I wanted in a matter of seconds. These are the things that I will consume my day with and these moments feel good in my body. I can take a deep breath and feel warmth and light surrounding my body.
Worry, fear, angst: these words themselves conjure up that awful pit in the stomach feeling even when writing them down. My back tenses up and I can feel the uncomfortableness set in. So, I choose not to be paralyzed by words, but instead live into happy moments that keep me pushing towards happiness each day.
I could have let this worry sit in my head and continue to create stories of other bad things that could happen, but instead I got it out of my head and onto paper. The first step in releasing worry is to write that sh*t down and release it into the universe or talk it out with a close friend or family member. For me, the best way to start the healing process is to write so I am able to let EVERYTHING OUT in order to let out any story I’ve created in my mind. Write on!