I was in the dentist’s waiting-room with a friend who was desperate to get home and book a flight before the price quadrupled or the seats sold out.  She was checking her phone and groaning every few minutes. The dentist was running late. I mean reeally late.

As the minutes ticked by, I felt her anxiety rising with each ‘What if?’ thought that occurred to her:

What if we have to wait another hour?  What if the flight’s full when she finally gets online?  What if she can’t travel with the person she wants to travel with? What if there’s still space, but it’s so expensive it’s beyond her reach?

I tried to concentrate on the book I was reading but the tension in my body was rising rapidly. I was catching her emotions and at some level felt compelled to worry too – as if that would somehow magically resolve the situation!

Woman asking herself 'What if …?'

Suddenly, a new thought

Out of nowhere ‘What if I didn’t worry about it?’ popped into my head.

Can I do anything about the situation right now? No.

So what if I stopped worrying? Would it mean I don’t care? No!

What if I just read my book and let things take their course, which is exactly what they’re going to do anyway, whether I worry or not?

Aaaahhhh! Instant relief and relaxation of body, mind and spirit.

And another new one

If I could do that for someone else’s problems, what if I could do it for my own?

What if I just stopped worrying, especially in situations where there was nothing I could do to affect the outcome?

I’ve been experimenting with that new idea and finding it really useful, though like any new habit of thought, establishing it is a process and not always easy to maintain 🙂

EFT Tapping is my go-to tool in those all-consuming’ not wanting to let go of the worry’ moments. It helps me calm down and see the situation more clearly, so I can ask myself ‘can I do anything about this right now?’. If the answer is no, I tap to let it go for now.

How about you?

Do you stay cool, calm and collected when people around you are agitated or panicky, or do you come out in sympathy and start to vibrate at the same emotional (worry) frequency?

And if it’s a situation where you can’t take immediate action, are you able to let it go and stop worrying?

If you have any tips or techniques you use to remind yourself to come back to centre and relax, we’d love to hear them – leave us a note in the Comments below.

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9 Comments on What if you didn’t worry?

  1. Love this Linda. It also makes me think of “what if -upping”, coming from a lovely book What If It All Goes Right. The theory here is that you so often ‘what if -down’ – i.e. what if I miss the flight. Instead turn it round “what if this delay means I get exactly the flight I am supposed to be on”, “what if, while I may not sit next to my friend, I get to meet a really interesting new person”. Admittedly this is a bit extreme and in your situation the waiting room situation I would be a little stressed too and would definitely have to cut off somehow so tapping would really help. But the ‘what if up’ idea can be great at times too. What if Linda really likes this comment… 😉
    Rosemarie recently posted…6 ways to improve your call to actionMy Profile

    • Fantastic, Keri – so glad to hear you’re tapping. It’s a real life-saver for people who are highly sensitive. Wouldn’t it be great if it could be taught in schools, and if highly sensitive kids were taught how to recognise ‘my stuff’ vs ‘theirs’? Would save them a lot of angst in later life :-). Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      PS: I like the look of your last post – I think I need to investigate!
      Linda recently posted…SCHOOL LEFTOVERS, ANYONE? My Profile

  2. Great post Linda and it resonates so well with me. ‘Tension rising in my body’ was particularly powerful and descriptive – that’s exactly it – starts in the toes, heart starts pumping and it navigates it way upwards until it’s all-consuming. I’m a great believer in choosing positivity – particularly when worrying won’t change the outcome one iota. I allow myself to be concerned about things or people – but never to wallow in worry. Thank you for sharing.

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