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Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Remember when that sweet little song came out? Such a cute, catchy tune. We sang it pseudo-happily, liking the idea but not really believing in its reality. It's a nice little song that would be great if we could actually not worry and just be happy but really that's never going to happen. Right?? How can you just BE happy? There are always a million things to worry about. But what IF it is possible? What if we decided to expose worry for what it really is? A thief of our precious present. A captor of our true selves, having us believe somehow that if we worry about things that we can control them. That perhaps if we worry about something it won't ever come to fruition. But that is the non reality. First of all what we focus on expands, so be mindful of when you are in a state of fear or anxiety of what else comes into your thoughts and thus your life.

Secondly, many times when we worry about something it's taken to the extreme. And I challenge you to ask yourself how many times when you have worried about the worst case scenario that it has actually happened? Fear and worry are a choice. Happiness is a choice. Which feels better? If we avoid things that we fear we are really not causing ourselves to feel safe through the avoidance because the focus is still on what is being feared. You cannot be focused on both fear and safety at the same time. So avoiding something you fear many times keeps your focus on the future and what could potentially happen to you which will likely cause anxiety.(I am not suggesting here that people should throw caution to the wind and go play with lions and tigers and bears. I am referring to situations and things we avoid that keep us from our higher potential)

Worrying about things means you are not focused on your here and now. Choosing to focus on things that make us happy helps to deplete stress responses happening in our bodies. And as is commonly known, stress can do many things to the body ranging from discomfort to pain to illness. Why not just choose to be happy?? What would it mean for you to commit to 1 day of chasing worried thoughts away and replacing them with things that make you happy? What about being ready to think about things that you are grateful for, the people who bring you joy, the little things in your life that make you smile? There are so many that go unrecognized because they are not what we are focusing on. But the more we look for those things the easier it is to find them!

Sometimes we tell ourselves that if we are not worrying about things then we are not controlling our lives. But choosing to focus on happiness and joy and the things that fulfill us is control over our thoughts.  I would venture to say that if we truly took some time to explore what it would feel like to spend 24 hours choosing not to worry about things we might discover some thought patterns that are holding us back from our highest good and from feeling the best that we can. Take the challenge, see what comes up for you and how you feel as a result of consciously not allowing yourself to worry for 1 day. Ask yourself how you feel on a scale from 1 to 10 on an average day and then ask yourself the same question on the day you choose not to worry and to focus on better things. And remember, Don't Worry, Be Happy!!

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