What are the most consistent thoughts that run across your mind on a daily basis? Your job? Relationship? Finances? Or happiness maybe? These are very common thoughts that just about everyone thinks, every day. The winner of course being finances. We worry about our next paycheck, or having enough money to make our mortgage or rent payment, paying our bills, and so on.. The "what if's" drive us crazy! But why do we do it to ourselves? Why are we consistently thinking about tomorrow, next week, next month?!
I am sure many of you can relate to this; we make up scenarios in our heads of situations of events that have never happened, but could happen. They are all infinite possibilities what tomorrow may bring yet, we fantasize about them as though they are real and going to happen. How come we aren't thinking about all the good stuff that could happen tomorrow, why is our 2 million year old brain wired this way?
Well, our 2 million year old brain is actually wired for survival and not to make you happy. Our physical body is designed to do one thing, survive.
Having researched this topic for many years, and of course having my own battles with my daily thoughts, I was led in a different direction of thinking. Worrying is a big waste of time and energy, not only is it mentally draining but you are actually projecting out the thoughts that you are creating. Thus creating a spiral affect which comes right back to you, making these negative events become reality. My father, Dr. Fed Bell, used to say "Energy Follows Thought" and for most of my life I couldn't understand this, but now I do loud and clear!
I realized that when you let go, and let go of everything, you are also releasing fear which is the biggest monster of all. Fear is the instigator in our way of thinking and it creeps in constantly at every second, which is part of our natural survival mentality. This mentality conflicts with our soul/spirit which understands things on a much different and deeper level that is non-physical. Our spirit is not worried about how much money we will make, because money isn't going to save you or add years on to your life. It actually has nothing to do with your purpose in this lifetime.
A recent study showed that the more money a person has, the more insecure they become and the more they worry about losing what they have. Lets put this into perspective for just a minute; we all come from the same place, and we are all going to the same place. What you do in between is the magical part and the only thing that matters. When people are asked on their deathbed about the biggest regrets they have in life, here is what most said:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."
So knowing this, and ultimately knowing what is really important in life, how do we combat these negative thoughts? Here are a few suggestions that could be worth a try:
Ask yourself if the problem is solvable. Can I do anything about it right now?
Challenge the reality of anxious thoughts. Sometimes when you say your thought aloud, it changes its meaning and the attachment you have to it. Perhaps talking to your partner or to a friend about your worries, you will be surprised how much better you feel once you voice a concern out loud. You also see that most of your worries and thoughts sounds pretty ridiculous once we actually say them.
Accept uncertainty. We do not have control, its kind of cute that human beings actually think they do have control. The reality is that we can only do our best, no one knows what tomorrow will bring, letting go and accepting that is a big part of releasing your fear.
Be aware of how others affect you. You are a product of your surroundings, the saying is that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Other peoples energy may be negative and only validating your worries further based upon their influence or experiences.
Focus on the present rather than the past or future. There is a reason it is called the present, because it is a gift and they only thing we really have to enjoy.
Confine your worrying to one time period during the day. Or better yet, take the 7-day mental diet challenge as seen in the video below:
8. Expand your mind on a daily basis by reading and learning more. We are students on this planet until the day we die. Humble yourself to the idea that you do not know it all, nor will you ever! And the journey is what makes it all so beautiful.
The bottom line is that life is short, and it is whatever we make of it. If we choose to spend our entire life worrying about the "what if's" then we are going to be pretty miserable, and that cycle will never end until the day we die. Ultimately it is always your choice. Have faith and believe with your whole heart that every thing will be ok. And it will be.