This is part 2 of a 3 part blog post….
If you haven’t already read part 1, read it here.
How To Stop The Worry/Guilt Cycle
Okay, let’s get real here…I’m not suggesting that we’re never going to worry again…we’re responsible for raising human beings for God’s sake! So we’ve got a lot to worry about.
Full disclosure: I was just up last night at 2:42 worrying. And the truth is that a little bit of worry sometimes PUTS me INTO action.
But what I don’t want to see for any of us is that we look back at our lives as moms and feel filled with regret that we spent most of our precious present moments beating ourselves up about the past or worrying about the future. So, would you agree that each time stop we ourselves from worrying and beating ourselves up – well, that’s one more precious present moment that we get back?
So, let’s explore what we can do to manage these 2 habits:
- Remind yourself that feeling guilty will never make you a better person or change the past. It’s over.
- Do not confuse the behavior with who you are. When you conflate the two, you get shame (“I am bad” vs. “my behavior was bad”). Shame keeps us stuck. *Super important point for your kids’ behavior, too.
- Ask yourself what you’re avoiding in the present moment. What do you need to be doing but you’re focusing on your guilt instead?
- The thing you feel guilty about might be something that YOU approve of but others don’t. If left unexamined, we can spend our entire lives feeling guilty about something that comes from someone else’s value system, not ours! Take a close look at your value system and make sure your behaviors are in alignment with YOUR values, not someone else’s (including your family of origin).
- What behavior/habit/pattern do you want to change because YOU want to change it? What can you do today to take action towards that change?
- Notice where other people try to manipulate you with guilt. A very hard thing to do is allow other people to be disappointed in you. But when you notice what’s happening and you gently show them that you can handle their disappointment, they will realize that their guilt-tactics no longer work on you.
- Do your best to learn from your past rather than beat yourself up about the past. This allows you to more consciously take action to repair trust, fix your mistakes, change your behavior, and make better choices in the future.
How much you worry does not equal how much you love.
Remember these three things:
- Don’t confuse worry with planning for the future.
- Worry doesn’t have anything to do with love or caring (despite our mom belief that it does). Time to ditch that “guilt” that if you don’t worry, you don’t care or love enough.
- Most everything you are worrying about, you have no control over.
- Notice what you’re avoiding DOING in your life by worrying. Worry keeps us from fully living our lives.
- Simply decide to stop the habit – when you notice yourself worrying, try to remind yourself to come back to this present moment. Ask yourself what you are avoiding by using this present moment for worry. Replace worry with something else like reciting what you are grateful for.
- DO something – play a game, clean a room, sing a song, talk to a friend (about something other than your worry), help someone…anything to stop the worrying!
- Worry better – read this blog post.
- Set a worry timer – allow yourself to worry for 10 minutes and then stop worrying and go do something else!
- Never worry alone – call a friend and ask them to help you to stop worrying.
- “Best worry advice: Never Worry Alone!” [tweet this]
- There is no past. There is no future. There is only this moment. Let’s not waste it on useless emotions – worry and guilt.
Check out the final blog post in this series where I will share a list of quick and effective ways to break the worry/guilt habit by getting out of your head and into the present moment!
What one thing are you going to try to do THIS week from these lists? Pick the one thing that you are most likely to do…put it into the comments below!