Break up with the worry bug

By Melissa Martin

When the worry bug bites—people worry. And worry serves no purpose, but too stress us out.

Concern serves a purpose. Caution serves a purpose. Concern and caution promote safety.

“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem,” surmised Harold Stephens.

Worry distresses the brain with ruminating thoughts that go around and around like a blender. Buzzzzzz. The worry belief spins and spins until the brain feels like a mushy mess.

Worry can turn into chronic worry and turn into fear, anxiety, and panic when left unchecked and when allowed to simmer and stew. Ohhhhhh.

Worry robs us of time, inner peace, and being productive. The worry bug gobbles away seconds, minutes, and hours of our day.

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained,” proclaimed Arthur Roche.

Learn how not to get tangled up in your thought jungle. The first step is being aware of your worry. How much do you worry? When and where do you worry? What triggers your worry?

Do you worry about the past? Do you worry about the future? Do you worry about the present? Does the worry bug follow you to bed and get up with you in the morning? You’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with the worry bug. Ahhhhhh.

Faulty beliefs about worry: If I don’t worry it means I don’t care. I must worry to prevent something bad from happening. I was born a worrier. These are untrue cognition’s.

“If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system,” declared William James.

Focus on the solution instead of the problematic worry bug. Keep it from biting you. Learn worry-busting strategies. Try A-B-C: admit your worry; believe the brain can manage and intervene with your worrying; change how you respond and react to the worry bug. “Worry, you are not welcome into my world.”

Say the following statement out loud 10 times: “I am breaking up with the worry bug.” Repeat 10 more times.

Substitute another statement: “Being concerned or caution can be helpful when needed.” Repeat 20 times.

The power to stop worrying lies between your two ears—using the logical brain to question the worry bug. And using the emotional brain to question the worry bug. Use both parts of the brain to address worrying. Create a brain barrier to keep the pesky worry bug out. Seal up the cracks with mindfulness. Train your brain to disconnect from the worry bug. “Worry, you are not invited to my party.”

A parent can transfer the worry bug to her/his child. Don’t Feed The Worry Bug (WorryWoo Monsters) by Andi Green is a book for kids. “Meet Wince, The Monster of Worry, and his number one nemesis, the WorryBug!” Green is the writer and illustrator of The WorryWoo Monsters series.

Helping Young Worriers Beat the Worry Bug (Worry Beating and Mindfulness Activities for Kids) is a paperback for parents. “Explanations on anxiety, mindfulness and thought beating coupled with games and activities to battle the WorryBug.”

Spray your worry bug away!

By Melissa Martin

Reach:Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. Contact her at [email protected]

Reach:Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Scioto County. Contact her at [email protected]