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Ep. 60 – The Futility of Worry – Stop The ‘What If’s’ From Moving You Forward!

Stop Worrying! Move Forward In Midlife and Stop the "What If's."

Worry will only bring you more worry. And anxiety. And stress. And worry. (I said that already didn't I?)

Hey there Beautiful!

I had my mammogram a few weeks ago. If you haven’t had one in a while please make an appointment right now.

Don’t even listen to the rest of this podcast.

Push pause and call your doctor’s office RIGHT NOW to make an appointment.

If you’re listening while the doctor’s office is closed ask Siri to set a reminder on your phone to call the doctor tomorrow at 8:30 AM.

Just get it done.

I know being put into a vise to squeeze the living daylights out of your breast while your arms, head, neck, and shoulders are twisted into a position like you’re taking a dance lesson with a machine is not fun.

But it’s once a year and it could save your life. So PLEASE just do it!

Okay back to my story.

I had my mammogram a few weeks ago and I had the 3D version done which of course costs a bit more money since I have dense breast tissue.

Now the way it works for me is if you get a phone call within the next day or so, you know that they found something on the scan and they need you to come in and have it redone. If they don’t call you, that means in a few days you should get a letter in the mail telling you that your scan appeared normal.

Now I could have worried and stressed over the 48 hours waiting for the phone call but I refused to do it.

The Futility of Worry.

And, that’s today’s topic for the podcast, the futility of worry.

I know that we all worry about a lot of things in our personal lives and right now the world we are currently living in has added an extra layer of worry, when normally we can shut a lot of that out from it impacting us personally.

So I thought to dedicate an episode about the futility of worrying since the more we talk about something the less intimidating that something can be.

When other people worry, it drives me crazy and I may get a bit short with them.

What’s interesting is I can worry just like everyone else but put me in a situation with a lot of people doing the worrying thing and I go into damage-control mode.

I’m the one talking people out of the downward spiral of their thoughts and reassuring them. I don’t like being around people who are stressing out over what I perceive that they shouldn’t stress over.

So I start using logic to stomp down on whatever worrying thought comes out of their mouth.

And if you’re my sister, I just get short with you. (Hehehe.)

I think ultimately it’s my sense of self-preservation since I tend to be sensitive to picking up others' emotions and I don’t like what I’m sensing. I become perturbed and annoyed that they can’t handle the stress of the situation which then spirals to worrying about EVERYTHING.

Which is totally unfair, I know.

Anxiety, stress, and worry are a buy-one-get-two-free special like a Black Friday sale at Victoria’s Secret when stores need to move their merchandise. They are a package deal.

If you feel stressed, anxiety and worry will also tumble into your shopping cart. Or if you feel anxious, stress and worry will be thrown in too, like your husband trying to sneak sour gummy bears into the shopping cart.

Totally true story of my husband.

Constant worrying can lead to physical symptoms.

When you're stressed it will cause you to feel anxious which in turn makes you worry.

Worry is the uncertainty that has been caused by actual, perceived, or potential problems.

Your mind can go into overdrive when you CONSTANTLY focus on the ‘what might happen’ scenario that your imagination is really, really good at creating with a sprinkle of doom and gloom.

Being in that state of worry can interfere with your daily life and affect your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Excessive worrying can then possibly manifest in the destructive habits of overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.

Are you worried about all the 'what if's' you've created in your head?

Excessive worrying can also trigger your stress response of ‘fight-or-flight’ and enable the surge of adrenaline so your body is ready to go.

But worrying about the ‘what if’s’ is a waste of energy when there’s nothing tangible to fight with your fists or an actual threat that makes you want to run away and seek safety.

Too much of this stress hormone in your body can also lead to the suppression of the immune system, inability to concentrate, digestive problems, and depression.

There’s a bunch more but I’m not going to list them all since I’m not WebMD or, more importantly, your personal doctor. If you have additional questions whether anxiety and worry are getting to be too much for you, PLEASE seek professional help.

Waiting for test results can be nerve-wrecking, I so know!

When I had a mammogram about four years ago I got that phone call, the one that you might get about a day or so after to tell you that something has come up and we need to get a better picture.

“Can you come back in next Tuesday?” the nurse said.

“What? Five WHOLE days I have to wait because of the stupid weekend. Yeah, okay, that’s fine.” I sighed.

So what did you think I did for five days straight?

Worried and stressed over something that I had no control over.

I had to wait, which of course, is the hardest part to do like my children waiting at the top of the stairs, before we told them to go ahead, and then to rush down to see what Santa had left them on Christmas morning.

I went back on Tuesday, had the mammogram redone on one side, and the doctor called me that afternoon to say everything was fine.

So because I went through that experience four years ago, when I now get my mammogram, I do a lot better because I realized something.

Worrying is focusing on EVERYTHING BUT the present moment. The outcome is the outcome. Worrying over something you can’t change is not going to change the outcome. What you should do is focus on the outcome that you want instead of fear and worry. What you should do is focus on the outcome that you want instead of fear and worry.

Worry can stop you from moving forward.

You will be so stuck in the future and the “what-if’s” that you won’t take a step forward because it’s too scary.

More than likely you will be taking a step backwards to get away from what is worrying you.

You will spend more energy and time trying to prevent the worst case scenario.

You will concentrate on not allowing what you don't want to have happen, then actually directing your focus to move towards what you do want.

You will move away from what you’re afraid of because you can’t see EXACTLY what may happen, even if you know it’s what you want.

It’s like I said in last week’s podcast episode about celebrating what I had learned over the last year of my business. I was terrified to hit the publish button for my podcast and website even though it was what I really wanted.

I know I procrastinated for probably three months telling myself that the website wasn’t ready yet and found other less important things to do to occupy my time in order to avoid putting myself out there.

It's easy to say, "Stop worrying!" But much harder to do.

I know that this is much easier to say, “Stop worrying!”, while it is much harder to actually do.

But with being aware of when you are worrying and then taking a step back and looking at it with logic to say, am I trying to solve all the problems and foresee every situation so I’m ready for it?

Do I need to be doing this?

What would be something that I could do instead of worrying?

Here's an idea on how to reduce the amount of worrying you do each day.

You could also set aside 10 minutes a day to focus on what’s worrying you and that’s it.

When your mind starts to drift in that direction you then remind yourself that you already worried about it today and redirect yourself into doing something else, like taking a walk around your neighborhood or just getting up out of your chair and walking around the floor of your office.

If you constantly worry, then you have created the habit of worrying that you will need to break.

The more we worry we are inevitably creating a habit that will not help us in the long run.

This is a habit that you don’t want to start and if it’s already a habit please notice when you ARE worrying and analyze it to get to the bottom of why you’re worrying.

At this point in our lives we want to create habits that will allow us to thrive in happiness and not be stuck on the hamster wheel of negative thoughts created by our worried minds.

So just because you see anxiety, stress, and worry at the bottom of the buy-one-get-two-free bargain bin on Black Friday and it looks like such a great deal, don’t buy them! 

Next year, stay at home in your jammies with the laptop fired up and focus on the outcome, buying yourself the adorable Kate Spade handbag because YOU my dear, deserve it and are ABSOLUTELY worth it.

I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!

Thanks for listening!

Share your thoughts with me or ask a question about this episode. Send an email.

I would love for you to leave an honest review over at iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read every single one.

 

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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I want the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!