Okay MonsteRiser, I got something on my mind that I need to say. Something you’re probably not going to like.

Worry is not your friend! So get over it!

In fact, every time you invite Worry into your head, heart and home, it’s at your own risk. I’m not trying to be judgmental. I’m just sayin’…

It’s hard, I know. It was hard for me too. I still struggle with Worry. Actually, that’s putting it lightly. Every time something shows up in my life that’s off kilter, here comes Worry skillfully seducing me into writing the script for a whole soap opera.

The Young and the Restless.

Except I ain’t young no more, maybe restless . . .  but a girl got a few years on her.

Enough years to know that Worry is not my friend . . . And the more I allow Worry to punk me into believing she is, then the more I am complicit in chronicling my own demise.

Have you ever watched Punk’d, the reality show where Ashton Kutcher pulls a prank on an unsuspecting celebrity, who gets so caught up in the scheme that by the time they’ve figured it out, it’s not until the very end that they realized they’d been punk’d?

That’s Worry!

She shows up pretending to be something she’s not, charming us into believing some false drama she’s concocted. And even though we know it’s totally irrational, we succumb literally inviting Worry into our heads and homes, obsessing over stuff that’s not as bad as we make it out to be. Hell, we co-opt our friends, family, and even strangers—anyone open to helping Worry punk us.

You know what? I have an idea! I know… pretty noble of me, right?

Since we all secretly have a passion to be the next Steven Spielberg, let’s script and direct our very own soap opera with Worry.

Ready? Let’s go …

SCRIPT

FADE IN:

A robed woman with curlers in her head lays awake in a dark room, with a distressed look on her face. Laying next to her, scantily clad, in dingy underwear, is Worry.

CUT TO:   Scene 1: Worry Gets in Curler’s Head

WORRY

Pssst pssst… Hey you! Curlers, over here.
How you gonna pay all your bills this month, huh?
You know, if you don’t pay, the Collection’s PoPo is
gonna come collect you, the house, car, dog, squirrel, your right shoe, your first born.

Suddenly, a door slams tightly shutting the sanity vault.

CUT TO:   Scene 2: Curlers Gets Freaked Out

As the night unfolds, the lonely sound of crickets can be heard as the intensity of “what if’s” and “worse case scenarios” mixed with chains of irrational thoughts cycling through Curler’s head.

CURLERS

The mortgage is due . . .  again!
What if the bank forecloses on the house?
Why do I have to put gas in my car every week?!
There’s not enough food in my fridge to feed the whole damn town!
My feet are hurting today.
What if I can’t pay for childcare this month?
Why didn’t my boss speak to me today?
I gotta make an appointment to see my acupuncturist.
I should be a better mother.
I hope I get that promotion.
Dang! These curlers are making my doggone head hurt!!!

Curlers frets and squanders precious sleep while Worry takes comfort in her inescapable descent into total delirium.

END.

I know this is just plain ridiculous. But that’s the whole point!

What good did it do for Curlers to lay awake cycling through all that doggone stuff? Hey, I’m not suggesting that her concerns are not valid or worthy of reasonable consideration.

I can vouch from experience that it is rarely ever as bad as the soap opera or prank we allow Worry to create.

What’s the secret sauce to stop Worry from keeping us from counting sheep?

Create a pre-bedtime routine
Meditate, take a walk, be still and rest your eyes in a quiet space. Or simply make a cup of chamomile tea,

Distract your mind
Read a book, listen to soothing music or an inspiring podcast.

Keep a journal
Jotting down your thoughts can ease your mind.

Avoid work tasks
Reading emails or doing anything which may trigger Worry.

STOP snacking, eating or bingeing before bed
Eating snacks or meals with high sugar and salt content have been linked to sleep deprivation

Give your digital buddies a rest already!
Turn off your smartphone, iPad, laptop or tablet.

Throw the TV out of your bedroom
Artificial light disturbs your body and mind from getting deep, restful sleep.

Wash the day off!
Treat yourself to a long hot shower or bath

Don’t take Worry to bed with you
Find somebody or something other than Worry to sleep with . . .

L.Y. Marlow empowers and inspires women to live a more purposeful and joyful life through guided self-discovery and embracing their authentic selves. A dynamic speaker, award-winning author and accomplished social entrepreneur, she advocates for women to confront and conquer their fears and tap into their passion, purpose, and power.

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