Recently a friend of mine came to visit me in Spain. I had not seen him for almost 5 years and was looking forward to his arrival. According to our appointment, I would pick him up from Málaga airport and I was literally looking forward to seeing him again. After about ten minutes I saw him walking, with his trolley suitcase behind him.
How happy I was to see him, but something in his posture made me worry. He walked with his head bowed and shoulders drooping.
“How’s it going man!” I asked him, after a firm hug.
“Yeah, fine,” he said, but it sounded a bit dull.
I suggested that we first have a drink on a terrace at the beach in Fuengirola before we drove to my house. It was a good opportunity to catch up and he could recover from his flight.
What adversity can do to you
While enjoying a beer for him and a bottle of still water for myself, he loosened up and told me what was wrong.
I could already sense in his attitude that he had problems, which made him look like a beaten dog. The corona crisis had put the company he worked for in serious trouble, and three weeks earlier he had been told by his employer that they “unfortunately had to let him go.”
In his words “they sacked me”.
And now he didn’t know what to do. He had sleepless nights and was at his wits’ end.
In his mind, he was already a bum without a home, abandoned by his wife, and would never get back to work. In fact, he already saw himself starving to death on the streets, because without money he would not be able to buy food.
He could not let go of the paralyzing fear he felt, which made clear thinking impossible. He no longer functioned.
He told us that his wife was going crazy because of his negative attitude, but he could not let go of it. So she had more or less forced him to go away for a weekend, for example to me in Spain, so that he would get away from it all, change of scenery, bring back memories of better times.
“And”, she had said, “then I’ll have some time for myself too”.
He had interpreted the latter as “I’m done with you, get lost”, which made him feel that his marriage was also hanging by a thread.
Well, once you are in a negative spiral, you see things darker than they are. But I didn’t tell him that (yet).
I just let him tell his story, and at that moment I did nothing but show empathy and listen, as a human being, as a friend.
Patterns of worry
Of course, in the background, there was my experience as a hypnotherapist. I have seen hundreds of people who were stuck in similar patterns of worry, seemingly with no way out, who then came to me for help.
And from that same experience, I know that the way out is there, but that you need some help with it.
I was glad that his wife had urged him to come to me because now I could help him find the way out.
Later, at my house, I was able to explain to him what happens when you keep grinding and fretting about situations you are in.
To fret is to worry about something without being able to let it go. You keep going round and round in the same negative circle, without seeing a way out, creating disaster scenarios in your mind.
This affects your overall sense of well-being, and your ability to think solution-focused and rationally. Worry feels like a literal burden on your shoulders, and that was what I had observed in my friend when I picked him up from the airport.
I explained to him that constant fretting is actually a form of self-sabotage by repeating the same negative thoughts in your head over and over again. I told him that I was willing to help him, as long as he wanted it.
To this, he laughed a little (the first time he laughed that weekend): “Well, if you have a job for me…”
Rest is rescue
Of course, I didn’t have a job for him. But since he would be staying for a few days anyway, there would be plenty of time to help him with some live sessions.
After we did the Stop Worrying session a few times he found peace. Both physically and mentally. Finally, he could let go of his fretting.
All kinds of pleasant thoughts and memories of the past came to mind. The tension in his whole body disappeared, the worried look disappeared from his eyes and his face was relaxed.
Each time after we finished the session he stretched and felt better. His posture improved, he walked upright again as I knew him.
When I asked him after a few days how he now viewed his situation, he said, “It is what it is, it doesn’t affect me like before. I’m going to go home and think about what I can do to solve it.”
Worrying never brings solutions
My friend’s example made it clear once again that fretting does not solve problems. Worrying blocks your ability to find a solution. And fretting makes problems in your head bigger than they really are.
It doesn’t matter what you’re fretting about. Whether it’s about your finances, your future, an argument, the situation in the world, illness in yourself or someone you care about, natural disasters, decisions you have to make, or other things, the result is always the same: you’re going to feel worse and you’re not going to find solutions or answers!
Even though you know that fretting doesn’t help, it can still be difficult to break free from your fretting thoughts. It may be that it has become a pattern. And to get rid of it, you usually need a little help. A push in the right direction, so to speak.
Help to break free from worrying
Imagine what it would be like if, after initially worrying about an emergent situation, within an hour you could see the sun shining again in your head and heart?
How would you feel if you were no longer absorbed in worrying about everything, and instead could use that energy to come up with creative solutions?
From peace and calm, solutions are much closer and the way out of difficult situations, or the prevention of difficult situations, is suddenly much easier.
To give you that much-needed help, you can now download the Stop Worrying session, which I did live with my friend.
This is a very nice audio download that turns off the nasty worrying thoughts and activates your creative problem-solving abilities.
Break free from the endless cycle of worrying and take control of your life again!
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