Have you ever played that game where little wooden worms pop up, and you have to bash them back down with a hammer? I was just remembering it as I mentally swatted away hordes of worries that flew in as soon as I stopped rushing around and sat down. They appear uninvited, and often unexpectedly, and worst of all, if not halted, they GROW! So, for example, I can’t reach a key person regarding our house move, and all of a sudden the sale is never going through. Or, it took longer than I thought to do the shopping, and now I’ll never get anything else done today. I am expert at indulging the worries, letting them settle down in my head, and fill it with out-of-proportion, fatalistic concerns.
This is where the hammer comes in. I have found that self-talk is especially helpful, so, if I spot a worry, I tell myself quite deliberately to stop it. Sometimes, I just shake my head and say ‘No’. (Not in public, obviously.) I do remember being told that the Christian way was to give it all to God, but I’m afraid I am not great at that. I will do it verbally, but to this day I have never learnt not to take it all upon myself again. On a sleepless night, I actually visualise sweeping all my fears off a table, or pushing them into the far corner of a room. It kind of works, temporarily.
Sometimes it takes someone else to tell you to wise up, because you’re so locked in to the swarms you can’t see a way out. But that is way down the road. Really, the first step is stamping the thought out, like a pop-up worm. Before it becomes a monster. Writing it down, and forming a plan is the next thing I suppose. Doing something about it as soon as the thought comes to you is a way to gain control.
Sadly, there will never be a time when worry does not rear its ugly head, and once one is sorted out, another will move in. But they don’t have to stay there. And the best part is, they can be shared. Hammer, anyone?