Wonder More, Worry Less. . .
This world is full of situations that can trigger worry – falling ill, losing a job, navigating conflict in a relationship, and much more. Yet you can develop the strength within you to overcome worrying about the stressful circumstances around you through wonder. Pursuing wonder can prevent your life from shrinking down to the level of circumstances that make you feel worried or anxious. When you encounter wonder and feel awe, you gain a greater perspective on your circumstances that can empower you to overcome anxiety.
Most of us somewhere along the way became what I dubbed “professional worriers” somewhere it seemed quite natural and with time it took more power than we imagined, but worry can’t actually prevent anything negative from happening in your life. Worry can’t accomplish anything positive for you, either. So, it’s completely useless to worry, and worrying drains valuable time and energy.
We should aim to replace worry with wonder. Discovering and enjoying the wonder around you lifts your perspective beyond your concerns to the positive possibilities that exist for you. Wonder can help you stop worrying about what scares you and start hoping and working for the best in your circumstances.When you find wonder, your state of mind will rise above worry as your perspective shifts. Wonder can push worry away, according to research. A study from the University of California found that a sense of wonder can relieve the worry of waiting for uncertain news. Participants in that study had to wait to learn about test results that worried them: their IQ scores, and ratings on how their peers perceived them. The group who experienced a sense of wonder from watching an awe-inspiring video of a sunrise with music showed significantly less anxiety and more positive emotions than the other participants did.
Wonder can relieve your fears. If you’re willing to intentionally pursue wonder despite feeling afraid of what might happen, you’ll discover feelings of awe that will enlarge your perspective and help you find hope.
Whenever someone or something triggers worry in you, choose to contemplate or meditate about that worrisome thought instead of wallowing and being consumed in it. Intentionally release the anxiety you feel and focus on the mindset (hopeful, determined, positive) to navigate your circumstances well. A huge variety of different ways to be present or meditate is possible. One method that works well to incorporate into a busy schedule is saying “breath notes” (saying a word or short phrase that you can express in the time it takes you to breathe in and out once). This can help you find peace quickly.
Wonder inspires you to look beyond your circumstances to a greater source of hope – and as you do, you’ll gain a sense of peace that will eclipse your worries. Worry isn’t worth your time and energy. You can stop worrying and start enjoying peace by searching for the wonder around you. Once you start the habit of pursuing wonder, you’ll discover it – along with the strength to help you overcome worry.
Peace and Love, Jim
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