A Worry-Free Diet

"Your thoughts create your feelings.  But why does it matter what you're feeling? Because your feelings are fueling all of your actions.

So if you really want to take action in the world and create something of value, [...] you [must] take responsibility for the fuel you're using to create in the world.  The better the fuel, the better the result you're going to get."

This is one of the many knowledge bombs Brooke Castillo dropped in her recent interview with Jess Lively.  (Yes, I talk about The Lively Show a lot.  It's just so good!)

One of Brooke's best ideas is the worry-free diet.  Just as you might go gluten-free for your body, you can go worry-free for your mind.

Here's the skinny:

"When we try to solve our internal emotional life by changing external things in the world, we are always on [a] hamster wheel. We're believing that what's happening in the world is causing our emotions and that is never the case.  The world and anything in it cannot cause our emotions.  Our emotions are always caused by what we think."

"We can fuel all of our activities from really positive, wonderful emotion, or we can fuel it with fumes, basically, which is stress and frustration and overwhelm and anxiety. And none of it serves us!"

Here's a step-by-step guide to dealing with worry, or any other negative emotion:

  1. Check in with yourself.  What are the top three feelings you're feeling today?
  2. If there is a "twingey" emotion -- one that is bugging you -- name it (frustrated, upset, anxious, disappointed).
  3. Once you name it, do a thought download.  For five minutes, write down the thoughts that are in your head that are causing that negative emotion. (You can write on the back of receipts, a napkin, wherever!)  
  4. Putting your thoughts on paper becomes a mini meditation.  It puts you in the position of the "watcher" and when you're watching your thoughts, you can't be your thoughts.
  5. Take a look at them and you will generally say, "No wonder! No wonder I'm feeling this way!" 
  6. Be really careful not to attribute the worry, or any other negative emotion, to anything outside of you.
  7. Instead, recognize the thought that is giving you the feeling of worry.
  8. Make a decision to change that thought. You can replace it with a mantra like 'Nothing about this day has to be perfect.' Or another thought that serves you better.  Your mind will comply with the thoughts you give it.
  9. In Brooke's words: "Worry pretends to be necessary. There's absolutely no upside to worrying and if you believe that, if you know that, then every time you start to worry you recognize, 'What am I thinking that is causing this?' and you decide 'I'm not gonna go there, I'm not gonna go there.'"

"You can literally show up for your day and decide how you're going to feel. A lot of people will say 'I hope I have a good day today. I hope everything works out -- out there in the world -- so I can have a good day.'"

"You [can] give yourself a gift of [a positive] emotion all day because you [can] consciously decide that that's what you want."

"What are the emotions that we want fueling our results? What are the emotions we want fueling our life? We can plan [...] to feel that!"

If you like the flavor of this inspiration appetizer, give the entire show a listen for a blow-your-mind-with-goodness main course.