stop worrying

Stop Worrying Now: Use this Awesome Coping Mechanism

So you can Stop Overthinking and Unlock Your Happiness Now

stop worryingBecause, life in the information age is tricky to navigate.

If you’re anything like me, information bombards you all day long.

You get sucked into social media.

All day long, you stare into a screen; pretend that it’s productive and then tell yourself that you don’t have time for important things.

You skip workouts.

Eat sporadically throughout the day (mostly junk).

And then you act surprised when you feel burned out or tired.

At some point, you start to get a little down on yourself.

Your inner voice is a critic.

You have a list of reasons why you’re not good enough and why things won’t work out for you.

People assume you are happy because you smile. Other people see through it and think you’re a miserable person. Either way, you know the truth.

You feel like you’re about to explode.

Stress and anxiety make you feel like you’re going to loose it at any minute.

Depression makes you feel hopeless; like there is no way out.

The combo of the two triggers you.

You need to log in. You crave it. You want to feel connected to your tribe. Significant.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Technology is changing the world and changing the way your brain functions.

Some changes are good, while others are detrimental to your health.

The future looks pretty bright.

If technological advances continue to evolve according to Moore’s Law, the next 30 years will be a very magical and different place.

If we’re lucky, you and I are going to be here to witness it.

***see Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think for more details on the potential future implications of technology and the timeline. Awesome book! (that’s an amazon aff. link)

The negative effects of technology are already easy to see.

Virtual connection can turn into an addiction.

Family time is lost to social media.

Minds are buried under mountainous data streams: emails, tweets, likes and shares.

The cathartic release you get when you post your opinion is addictive. It touches one of your core needs. You barely even notice the buildup of stress and anxiety. You hardly notice that you’re alone more often than not.

Maybe that’s why you can’t figure out why you feel so lonely. You have so many friends. How could you feel alone?

By the time you figure it out, you feel like you’re about to drown.

And the patterns have become habits. The little voice in your head pokes and prods until you give in. The circle continues.

The thing I’ve noticed, is this…

My inner voice nearly disappears when I am fully immersed in activity.

That’s one of the reasons I love Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Outrigger Canoeing and Surfing so much.

You are forced to become fully present.

You have to match the rhythm of the water, let go of control and lose yourself.

My greatest lessons have been realized during paddling or surfing sessions.

Core principles needed for a good paddle session apply to other areas of your life.

What it’s really about is total immersion.

That’s why we need to revisit the idea of building a Mindfulness Practice. (Vipassana)

Vipassana helps you fully engage with life in a deeper and more meaningful manner.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has been studying the effectiveness of mindfulness practice to help with the treatment of PTSD.

The US D0VA article “Potential of Mindfulness in Treating Trauma Reaction” starts out:

Mindfulness is most commonly conceptualized as involving attention to and awareness of the present moment, and nonjudgmental acceptance (1-3). Awareness of the present involves observing thoughts, feelings, and sensations by focusing one’s attention on the current moment (2). While attending to the present, mindfulness also entails a stance of acceptance, or willingness to experience an array of thoughts and emotions without judgment (4).

***emphasis added by me*****

Stop Worrying by teaching yourself to be present and in the moment.

You can use this simple practice to keep yourself focused on important tasks, keep your mind from getting lost in data streams and get more out of life.

Some studies show that Mindfulness Practice has the potential to reduce stress and in some cases relieve symptoms of depression. More study is needed to raise the level of certainty, but it looks pretty promising.

I won’t say that Mindfulness will cure you of what ails you, but I will say that it’s a good place to start.

Last year I created this short video and in it I share with you two different breathing techniques that will help you better cope with the stressors of day to day life.

The Beastie Boys Breathing Method is my favorite coping tool that helps me stop worrying about stupid stuff all day long.

Simple. Effective. Easy to overlook.

The reason I like “The Beastie Boys Breath Count Method” is because I haven’t kept up with a daily 12-20 minute sitting practice.

Yep. Even though I know how important and life altering it is. I fail to do it. Bwhwhahaaa.

But, that’s ok. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t do everything you’re supposed to do. It’s just the way we are wired.

I’ve been revisiting building a Habit Chain that gets me meditating twice a day, and when I figure out the combo that works for me, I’ll share it with you.

If you want to know more about possible benefits of Vipassana and Why You Should Practice it, then check out the following articles on how to overcome stress and anxiety:

  • Breathing In vs Spacing Out.  Found on nytimes.com is a great piece on knowing when to use mindfulness and when you’re just using it as another form of escape. 
  • The Mindfulness Backlash. Takes on the notion that Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga are the cure for what ails you and suggests that it’s not for everyone. I highly suggest you read this article. Inducing a “Dark Night of the Soul” isn’t something to take lightly. 
  • The Dark Night of the Soul. This article could very well scare the shit out of you and make you run away from the word Meditation. But, I recommend reading it. Mindfulness can backfire when you become mindful of and attracted to some of your darker thoughts and impulses. Something to consider.
  • Mindfulness Practice in the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress another article from the Department of Vetern Affairs concludes:”Mindfulness practices may be of benefit to trauma survivors. Research findings show that mindfulness can help with problems and symptoms often experienced by survivors. Mindfulness could be used by itself or together with standard treatments proven effective for PTSD.”

Practice Non-Judgement

The important part, at least for me, is to cultivate “non-judgement.” I sometimes feel like the most judgmental prick on the planet. Every single move I’ve ever made has been recorded by my brain and it’s used against me more than for me.

My brain has a clear idea of what is right and what is wrong. Judging and condemning seem to be my first reaction. It’s something I am working on. Slowly but surely, I am reconditioning myself to witness those reactions and talk through them.

Mindfulness allows me to see my reactions and question them.

When you ask yourself better questions it automatically changes your inner conversation.

It takes time. But, for me it’s been working lately. I’m less reactive, less snappy and recover quicker from bouts of rage.

Is Mindfulness Right for You?

Chances are good that it is.

And if you watched that video, you now have two ways to practice.

If you followed along during the video, congratulations!

You just started day one of your mindfulness practice.

Put your hands up. Celebrate. Give credit where credit is due.

If you’d like, continue to bring your awareness to breath throughout the day.

Practice Better Waiting Skills.

It’s been a challenge for me to stick to my mindfulness practice, and to offset that I’ve created little mindfulness breaks through out my day.

For instance, we have a one cup coffee maker.

The ritual of spooning coffee without dropping grounds all over the kitchen has proven itself a challenge for me. This is the perfect opportunity to practice full engagement.

Other mindfulness breaks include:

  • Waiting for the tea kettle to boil
  • Shaving ginger
  • The moment before you open your computer
  • Right before you log into any website or before you google anything.

You can think of countless moments to bring your attention back to your breath throughout your day. The dividends will pay off in years to come.

Each of these little moments is an investment into your cool, calm and collected bank account. Future performance and experiences will reflect the level of commitment to your practice.

I’ve dreamed of a better life and still continued with the same daily habits. That hasn’t worked out so well. So this year, I’m changing just a little bit at a time.

My first objective is to:

Make deep, fluid presence your second nature” So that you “maximize each moment’s creative potential.

I got those lines from The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.

Annette gave me the book for Christmas. It’s a great book. Easy to read, but a bit self-involved and the third section didn’t seem to fulfill the promises of the chapter titles.

Two days and six pages of notes later, I’ve made it became my mission to “make deep, fluid presence my second nature.

Vipassana will help me.

And understanding how to form habits is going to help me cultivate a deep, fluid presence as my second nature quickly and efficiently.

The Next Soul Surfer Session: The Key to Achieving Personal Goals isn’t What I Thought, will share insights to help you understand why you do the things you do.

Understanding is important, because once you have this knowledge, then you can slowly and methodically adjust tiny little areas of your life and produce lasting effects for years to come.

In just a few short minutes each day you can change the outcome of your future, and you will build the internal conditions that we call happiness.

You can tame your inner critic and change your life.

It’s simple to do, but not always easy.

As I navigate my way through this, I’ll share with you here.

Thanks for reading.

Love your face!

Tim

 

About The Author

tsmcauley

Hi, I'm Tim McAuley the founder of Soul Surfer School where I help people learn how to get out of their own way so they can create the life they deserve by sharing proven techniques to create better habits so they can do the work to actually deserve the life of their dreams.

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