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  • Dora Nudelman

Turning a Worry into a Solution

It's interesting how so much of the time when we worry we actually think we are getting ourselves closer to a solution. When we don't know what to do sometimes worrying and stressing makes us feel like we are actually taking some sort of action. In a weird way, it makes us feel like we have some sort of control over the situation. But the truth about worry is that it does not actually solve anything. When we are in a problem-focused mindset it becomes very challenging to come up with a solution because we are too focused on the negative aspects of a situation and how we feel about it. This then becomes a futile spiral of negative emotions that only leads us to more stress and fear. What we need to focus on instead is what can be done to actually better the situation at hand.

So what do we do when we are worried and don't know what to do? Well, we ask for guidance and we let it go. Einstein said, "You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it." So if we are to come up with a solution to any problem we are going to have to change our mindset. But how do we do that when worrying seems like the natural response?

I have to admit, my Achilles Heel for a long time was over-worrying and allowing my fears and doubts to rule my thoughts more often than I would have liked. But because I knew this was no way to live a fulfilling life I figured out a way to help myself overcome this behavior with great success: I simply decided to "delay" or "put off" my worrying. Let me explain.

Any time I had a worrisome thought I would ask myself, "What am I actually afraid of?" Once I figured that out I would decide to delay my worry for another time. For example, if it was Saturday and I had a negative thought about something, I would tell myself that I would let it go until Monday and not think about it until then. What this gave me was a vacation from my worry in which I could think about other things while resolving to regroup on Monday to reassess the situation. And you know what happened time and time again? The thing I was worried about completely disappeared or was a non-issue altogether. If I needed a solution, it would appear. If I needed to realize my fears were unfounded, they would disappear as well. That worry break essentially gave me the space and mindset I needed to realize the truth, and to figure out practical steps for what I wanted to achieve rather than worrying about hypotheticals that were not even real. And the time-frame was totally flexible. Sometimes I would give myself a week to relax from my worries and sometimes just a couple of days but, regardless, it always cleared my mind and helped me come to a resolution, usually sooner than later.

When we let go of our over-thinking, release negative feelings, and put our concerns "on hold" we give ourselves a chance to regroup and come up with a real solution. By putting off our worry we are not denying ourselves the right to it nor are we repressing how we feel. We are just saying to ourselves that we can always worry about it later if we still want to but for now, and until then, we will choose to focus on something else. We will ask for guidance and let go so that we can give ourselves room to receive the answer we seek. It's like changing the frequency that we are on so that we can align with what we actually want.

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