Can One Word Relieve Your Stress and Worry?

Roses in an old blue wooden gardening basket

As the New Year is around the corner, it is a great time to examine our fears and worries and try to loosen the hold these emotions have on us in our daily lives.  This time of year you may be worried about your financial situation, your love life, a health matter or a problem that your child is having at school.  Here is a great exercise that I do when I feel fearful and unsure about a problem and how it will resolve in the future.  It really works!

First, spend a few minutes thinking about the current situation that is causing you stress and worry. Write down a statement about how you feel about it.

Now ask yourself, are your worries and stressful thoughts absolute?  Can you know for certain how things will turn out?  If you are not certain, try to acknowledge that other possibilities may exist. How does the thought that other possibilities may exist make you feel?

Next, challenge your statement with the idea of Maybe. Write down the following; Maybe my beliefs about my situation are not true; Maybe what is happening is good; Maybe what is happening can get better; Maybe I can find a way to accept whatever I am experiencing and still be all right; Maybe, in time, I will know what to do next; Maybe everything is fine. You can put these statements in your own words or just use the ones that feel right.  How does your situation look against the idea of Maybe? Do you feel more hopeful? Do you see that the situation can work out differently than you were fearing?

Try to write these statements of yours a few times each day and review them often.  If you can, add more Maybe statements that challenge your stress and worry about the current situation.  Keep your attention on these Maybe statements the next few days and see what happens to your fears and worries. Most often you begin to see that each situation you face has many possible outcomes and some of them might be better than you imagined. Maybe you will feel less stressed and worried about the future and more hopeful about what life has to offer!

Happy Holidays!