How to edge yourself out of a downward worry spiral

How to edge yourself out of a downward worry spiral

This morning I woke up and squeezed a quick 15 minutes of worrying into my schedule.

I just lay there starfished, aware that I was missing my yoga class in order to really dedicate myself to some solid worry.

My mind flicked through a few of his latest favourite tracks, that potential client I talked to a couple of weeks ago who was super keen then disappeared into thin air and I never heard from her again, no replies to my emails (makes me feel horrible when that happens, big trigger!), whether

I’ll be get kicked off my standby flight to California in three weeks and miss the

Eckhart Tolle conference.

Whether my lip balm addiction is solvable. Whether I should buy some more emergency lip balms to put in all my coat pockets.

You know, the kind of worries nightmares are made of, really deep stuff. Definitely worth my morning quota of mental energy.

Then, suddenly I caught Neville in the act. He froze, mid worry, trying to hide from my attention.

Gah, Nev you sausage, it’s far too early for worries, I told him.

Actually Andrea, it’s nearly 9am, you’ve slept in for ages, you’re being unproductive and useless and now you’re going to have to work late tonight, but you can’t, because you’ve soccer, Nev reminded me.

He tried to weasel me back into his downwards worry spiral, but I knew his game.

While Nev started wailing about how lazy I was being, I redirected my attention into my right hand. I tried to feel every one of my fingers, then my palm, forearm, upper arm (paused there to worry about my lack of upper body strength in chaturanga), chest, then all the way down the right side of my body to my toes (paused there to think about breakfast), then up through my left toes, up the left side of my body and down my left arm.

Then I directed my attention into the feeling of the bed sheets on my skin as I snuggled into them.

I got up and went for a mindful walk,

no phone, no music, just me in my puffer jacket in the sun, observing all the details of the terrace houses in my neighbourhood that I’d never seen them before, the sounds of the traffic and the crunching of leaves under my feet, and the sun on the back of my neck.

Then I got home and got to work with a glass of blended spinachy berry orangeness as my sidekick.

Today was one of the most productive and easy flowing days I’ve had in months.

As soon as I caught Neville worrying, I was free of it, I had a choice.

That’s all it takes, just enough awareness to catch your mind in the act, and redirect your attention to something more helpful.

The attention training you need to enhance your ability to do this is called mindfulness.

It’s all I ever bang on about, because it’s all you ever need to get out of your head and into your bloody good life.

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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.

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