How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

While we can't always immediately stop worry, by learning to acknowledge our feelings, and accept a more positive outlet for them, we can gradually learn to let go of negative emotions and steer life in the direction we truly want.
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If you're anything like me, you've spent a good deal of life stuck in a cycle of chronic worry. To be fair, I've had things happen that are worth worrying about. I'll bet you have, too.

How do I know? During the past 20 years, I've coached hundreds of clients on how to overcome money worries and take charge of their lives. Even as a mindful wealth coach who has spent countless hours working through my own struggles, I know there's always more to learn.

That's why I was so thrilled when I recently had the chance to catch up with my good friend Bruce Van Horn, author of Worry No More! 4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

While Bruce doesn't specifically discuss money, the principles he teaches are universal, and can be applied to any concerns you're currently facing - even the financial challenges.

Want to learn to stop worrying? Just follow these four simple, yet effective steps:

Change the Station.
We all have vivid imaginations and we often use them to create movies, or scripts, in our minds. Sadly, we don't always use our imaginations in a productive way. Instead of envisioning all the great things we want to come our way, we often bog ourselves down with thoughts of all the possible scenarios we don't want to see occur. For some reason, we seem to think that if we imagine the worst-case scenario in our minds, that we'll ward it off, like some sort of evil eye. Sadly, the opposite often happens, and we often end up attracting exactly what we don't want.

Think about it. Have you ever worried that layoffs were on the horizon and them BAM, your department was restructured? I'm not saying you can control the corporate mission with your mindset. However, there are always those employees who seem immune to corporate changes, who seem to thrive, even in the midst of chaos. How do they do it? It's because they've made it a habit to watch the movies in their mind that they truly want to see.

Here's what Bruce said when we spoke, and it really resonated with me: "If you don't like the movie, get up, leave the theater, and just go watch a different movie."

Move to a Different State.

It's up to each of us to manage our individual physical state of being. Our source of worry is within us. Even so, there are physical things we can do to our bodies to change our thoughts. The physical things we do have a direct impact on our mood. If you're unhappy, stressed, or feeling overwhelmed at work, get up, pull your shoulders back, or stretch your body. Your state of being has a dramatic impact on your state of mind.

Give Yourself a Present.
I don't mean go out and buy yourself a new watch but, if that's what fills your soul, then by all means, go ahead. Instead, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is, simply, the present moment. We're often lulled into the trap of believing that we have to plan for the future and shape the way we live in order to achieve our dreams and goals.

While planning isn't necessarily a bad thing, if we revisit step one, we realize our plans are often filled with visions of what we don't want in the future, instead of what we do.

We spend so much time consumed with worry about the past or future that we forget to think about the present. But there's so much beauty in this present moment. Go for a walk, quiet your mind, and absorb your surroundings. Give yourself that present.

Revisit Your Faith.
It doesn't matter what you call your creator so much as it matters that you recognize the unique gifts you bring to the world, through the life your God (or Universe, or whomever) has granted you. There are tragedies we can't control but, in the midst of the craziness of your life, know that your life is perfect.

The overwhelming majority of us are so unhappy because we want so much for things to change. Instead, it's each of our job to accept that we cannot change outside events, only how we react to them.

You can't control that you lost a good deal of your nest egg to the Great Recession of last decade. Instead, you can accept that your life has a greater purpose, and that the loss was just one small part of the overall plan. When you accept this, peace will automatically flow into your life.

While we can't always immediately stop worry, by learning to acknowledge our feelings, and accept a more positive outlet for them, we can gradually learn to let go of negative emotions and steer life in the direction we truly want. Turn off the wrong movie, get aligned with your body and soul, and accept the now. That's the path to true bliss. Even financial bliss.

You can listen to my interviews with 26 highly inspirational leaders like Bruce Van Horn, T Harv Eker, Chris Ducker as part of my free Art of Mindful Wealth Virtual Conference starting in late July by visiting www.artofmindfulwealth.com -- I hope to see you there!

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