I know this. I believe it to my core. I tell my clients and other friends this all the time. Heck, worrying can even make you gain weight by toying with your cortisol. But somehow, I forgot for a moment to apply this to my own situation.
Lois didn’t say “don’t worry,” because she understands the emotional landscape of a writer and she understood where I was in the process. She empathized. Ever so gently, though, she reminded me about the worry box and asked me if I had one.
As soon as the words “worry box” sunk in, I jumped up and wrote out my worries on paper. I unscrewed a jar and poured honey on them. (Some Feng Shui lady once told me to do that and put it on this particular corner in our kitchen.) Just the act of doing that released my worries to the Universe and I felt so much better.
Some phrase it, “Let Go and Let God” or we hear the abbreviated, more secular “let it go.” We know this in our heads, but actually sinking it into our souls is another step. The writing it down on paper part, then either putting it into a box, a jar with honey, giving it to your worry dolls, or throwing it in a fire where it returns to ash was a key step for me. Try it if you don’t believe me.
Chronic worrying affects your daily life in a way that makes you less than joyful. It can interfere with appetite (either causing you to overeat or undereat), relationships, sleep, work, goals, and overall happiness. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they use harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, drugs and alcohol, or high risk behavior to cope. At some point, worry actually becomes an Anxiety diagnosis with full blown symptoms of panic attacks and other not so pleasant symptoms which can make the person experiencing them feel like he is going to die. Not pleasant.
Not to minimize this condition in any way, which may require counseling and/or meds, or suggest that any one technique can solve all problems. But for me, I’m bringing back the worry box in the shape of the honey jar. I’m going to remember that if something keeps poking at my gut, it may mean I’m not the one that needs to solve the problem, but I’m instead meant to let it go for sweeter things. That way, the Universe can do its magic without me all up in its grill.