What would you consider to be the two most useless emotions?
My answer would be worry and guilt. Those words just make me cringe!
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
I think the quote above goes to show how most, if not all of our worrying is irrelevant and does absolutely nothing good or productive. By nature I am very introverted and worry use to be one of my main hobbies. I would worry about the next cold I was going to have, what my next grade was going to be in school or the next time I was going to be embarrassed in front of my peer group.
For the longest time I could never seem to shake the emotion of worry. It would follow me everywhere I went. And the worse part is the more you worry, the more often it keeps happening. It’s just like practicing your golf or baseball swing, the more you practice the easier it becomes. Its just like building a habit.
Thankfully over these last few years i’ve been able to kick the worry habit through learning more about it and how to prevent it entirely from my life. And I have to tell you it is absolutely glorious! I’ve created a new habit of always thinking of the best possible scenarios in situations and the best possible outcome!
I’m not saying worry doesn’t still creep up from time to time, however I have learned to stop it immediately when it comes into my awareness and replace it with a more empowering thought and positive outcome!
And as far as guilt goes, I believe it to be very similar to worry except for the fact that it is worry about the past. Feeling bad for past actions or behaviors that can never change. Guilt is an immobilizing emotion for the fact that it is dreading on something from the past that will always be there and feeling guilty about it will not change a thing, only make you feel worse about it.
Below i’m going to share with you specific actions i’ve taken to eliminate these emotions in my life, but first I want to share where I learned the most about guilt and worry and was able to learn how to stop them immediately in my life.
I came across a book a couple months back while shopping in a used book store and it is called Your Erroneous Zones, by Wayne Dyer. This book taught me so much about stopping negative thinking behavior and how to start taking action on eliminating it, not just philosophizing about it. If you know anything about Dyer, you’ll know how magnificent of a human being he really was and how much he learned and studied in his career on human behavior, spirituality and psychology.
So if you really want to take these suggestions to the next level, get the book and start reading!
To eliminate guilt:
– Look at the past as something that can never be changed, no matter how you feel about it. It’s over for good! Any feelings of guilt that you choose to have about the past behavior or circumstance will not make the past different. Begin to ask yourself what you are avoiding in the present, and know the only way to change your future is to make the decision NOW to never waste your time thinking about your past!
– Begin to accept particular things about yourself that you have chosen and friends or family may dislike. While acceptance of our loved ones is important, it is not at all necessary. Remember that self-acceptance is the most important for our well-being. Begin to approve of behaviors because they are of your own accord.
To eliminate worry:
– Look at the present moment as time to fully experience life in the now besides fixing your mind upon what may or may not happen in the future. Ask yourself, “what am I avoiding now by worrying about the future?” Then start doing what it is that you are avoiding. The best cure for worry is ACTION!
– Designate specific time periods for worry. For example, plan ten minutes in the mornings and ten minutes in the evening as time for worrying about all potential disasters or negative outcomes but only those allotted times. Continue to postpone any worry thoughts until the next designated time. After awhile you will see the preposterousness of worry and begin to eliminate the behavior altogether.
These are a few of the practical steps i’ve used to completely stop guilt and worry from my life and my well-being has increased dramatically because of it. I invite you to take these steps seriously and really ask yourself what eliminating these emotions could provide to your life!