It’s Okay to Play with Worry

Many of experience the emotion of worry. And though it doesn’t feel great, it doesn’t have to be a problem. I kind of like to play with my worry. The feeling of worry is caused by a thought and so I have the ability to question It (play with it) and let it go, if I want to. In this article, I’ll share a few tip on how to play with worry.

Many Return Missionaries Worry

And many of the thoughts that return missionaries share with me are these:

  • “I’m worried I won’t stay busy enough.”
  • “I’m worried I won’t keep up my spiritual routines.”
  • “I’m worried I won’t find the right guy.”
  • “I’m worried that I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”
  • “I’m worried that I won’t have the spirit with me as strongly.”
  • “I’m worried that I will have lost my purpose.”
Our Primitive Brains Love Worry

Our primitive brain really likes to play with worry and offers us all kinds of thoughts, all of the time.  That is its job.  Our brain thinks that by offering these thoughts it is keeping us safe and protected.

Doing More of What We Don’t Want

The tricky thing about buying into these thoughts, is that we likely end up doing more of the thing that we didn’t want to do in the first place. 

  • Sometimes we worry that we will not being accepted. And then, we will likely take actions where we don’t accept ourselves.
  • Sometimes we worry about getting a bad grade. And then, we likely take no action, and end up with the bad grade.
Completely Stuck

Sometimes the thoughts that cause us to feel worried, will keep us completely stuck. In other words, frozen and unable to move forward.

Do You Want to Believe Your Brain, or Not?

But, we also have a higher brain that is responsible for reasoning.  Many of us don’t realize it, but we ALWAYS have the ability to believe our brains or not.  

When my brain feels a little fixated on believing something.  I like to play around with it and just question it. Because if I can shake it loose a little bit, it is easier to let the belief go. Especially when it is a thought that isn’t serving me.

“And It’s Totally Fine”

One of my favorite things to do is to put the words, “And it’s totally fine,” at the end of all of the thoughts that my brain likes to offer me.  This is the first baby step we can take to shaking loose a belief that is causing an emotion we don’t really want to feel anymore.  It looks like this:

  • “I’m worried I won’t stay busy enough, and it’s totally fine.”
  • “I’m worried I won’t keep up my spiritual routines, and it’s totally fine.”
  • “I’m worried I won’t find the right guy, and it’s totally fine.”
  • “I’m worried that I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life, and it’s totally fine.”
  • “I’m worried that I won’t have the spirit with me as strongly, and it’s totally fine.”
  • “I’m worried that I will have lost my purpose, and it’s totally fine.”

Once we REALLY believe that any way we think or feel is totally fine, it frees us up a little to think something else.  Our primitive brains won’t hold onto it so tightly.  It’s almost as if our brains feel “heard” and then, they are willing to think and feel something else.

“What If There’s No Such Thing As…”

The other trick I really love to play with worry is to put “What if there’s no such thing as….”  in front of all of my worries.  It looks like this:

  • What if there’s no such thing as being busy enough?
  • What if there’s no such thing as needing to keep up on spiritual routines?
  • What if there’s no such thing as the right guy?
  • What if there’s no such thing as the necessity to know what to do with the rest of my life?
  • What is there’s no such thing as having the the spirit with me as strongly?
  • What is there’s no such thing as losing my purpose?

Guess what, there is no right or wrong way to feel about anything. In fact, there is only you and the way you feel. It’s even okay to be worried. When we understand what our brain is trying to do, it actually kind of makes sense.

Worry does not have to be a problem, because it only comes your brain offering you thoughts. But, when you are ready to think and feel something different… go ahead and question those thoughts.  You actually get to decide if you want to believe them, or not. Maybe play around a little, too.  It’s actually pretty fun, and it’ll allow you to let go of some of the stuff that is just not serving you. Yay!

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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