Worry Atlas Anxiety Let Go Control

The Things You Can’t Control: The Best Tool I Know to Overcome Pointless Worry

Not being able to predict how something will turn out—a job, a relationship, a health concern, etc.—is stressful and sometimes paralyzing.  As a patient of mine explained, “It’s the not knowing that makes me miserable and keeps me up at night.” Learning to let go of the things that are beyond your personal control is easier said than done. Telling someone to “stop worrying so much” is useless advice. Here is a tool that can help—the Responsibility Transfer. Taken from The Charisma Myth, it is the best strategy I know to alleviate the discomfort of uncertainty.

1. Sit down or lie down in a quiet place and close your eyes.

2. Take three deep breaths. As you inhale, imagine drawing clean air toward the top of your head. As you exhale, let the air whoosh through you, washing away all worries and concerns.

3. Pick an entity—Fate, the Universe, God, whatever best suits your beliefs–that you imagine to be benevolent.

4. Imagine lifting the weight of everything you are worried about—that meeting tomorrow, the interaction with your boss this morning, a health concern—off your shoulders and placing it on the entity you have chosen. Now, the entity is in charge.

5. Visually lift everything off your shoulders and feel the difference as you are now no longer responsible for the outcome of any of these things. Everything is taken care of.

The unproductive worry that accompanies uncertainty can leave many of us feeling like Atlas buckling under the weight of the world on our shoulders. After this exercise, I guarantee you will feel lighter, stronger and worry-free.

Don’t let your cellphone steal your workout thunder

If you want to make the most of your time at the gym, leave your phone in the locker. Studies show that texting and talking on the phone reduces the intensity of your workout. Not only do you burn fewer calories when engrossed in your device, your balance is off too. Texting reduces stability by a staggering 45%, and chitchatting reduces stability by 19%. Leave your smartphone in your gym bag—you'll get a better workout, and you're less likely to fall off the treadmill.
Jessica Seinfeld Food Swings

Jessica Seinfeld

Mother, New Yorker, founder of Good+ Foundation and author of Food Swings, a delectable cook book that speaks to the realities of how we want to eat — good stuff and bad...
Cocktail Party Anxiety Social Anxiety

Need a Cure for Party Anxiety? Pass the Cocktail Weenies

Literally. Does the idea of making small talk at cocktail parties — no matter how strong the drinks — make you nervous? If your answer is “yes,” then I have a simple solution that doesn’t require avoiding social situations: At your next party, try actively doing something nice for someone else. Socially, this could mean anything from offering to arrange all the flowers guests bring as gifts or getting drinks for guests to replenishing the platter of pigs in a blanket. As we start another season of cocktail parties, dinners and summer barbecues, it’s worth revisiting this study out of the University of British Columbia. It showed that when people with social anxiety do something nice for someone else, they feel more comfortable in a social situation and can actually mingle more easily. As the study outlines:
“Acts of kindness may help counter negative social expectations by promoting more positive perceptions and expectations of a person’s social environment. It helps to reduce their levels of social anxiety and, in turn, makes them less likely to want to avoid social situations.”
These aren’t grand gestures. They’re small acts of kindness – like mowing a neighbor’s lawn, doing a roommate’s dishes, donating to a charity or, in the case of the cocktail party, replenishing glasses with champagne – experienced less social anxiety than those who didn’t. They were more outgoing and less worried about rejection. It all lead to less anxiety and better relationships. (Just think, the hostess will be grateful, too.) And that’s something worth toasting to.
kindness be nice help others

An Everyday Way to Boost Your Emotional Wellbeing

It's nice to be recognized for being nice, but the emotional benefits of doing something good for someone else abound regardless of whether the recipient notices. For example, if a man shovels snow off his next-door neighbor’s driveway, the gesture boosts the shoveler's wellbeing even if the neighbor remains clueless. Along similar lines, a new study highlights how doing the right thing or the kind thing for your significant other is rewarding in itself. Small, everyday gestures such as changing personal plans for your partner’s sake, doing something that shows you value them and expressing tenderness will boost your emotional wellbeing. If he or she happens to notice, great, but if not, your day will be the better for it. Promise.
Happiness is... being nice to people.
Get Outside Nature

Sunshine: Cutting-Edge Medicine

For many years, I had a dark and dingy office with a soot-smeared window in a sterile hospital building. It was minimalist, to say the least: a bookshelf, a desk, a chair for me, and a sofa for my patients. Looking back, I think I had an unconscious hope that this no frills telegraphed how seriously I took my job and that my office was a place for serious work with patients. In my mind, it was a place to get good work done. Period. Had I known then what I know now about how one’s environment affects our wellbeing, at the very least, I would have had my windows cleaned! Our surroundings influence our bodies and our minds. Especially the amount of light we receive. Study after study shows the benefits of spending time in a light-filled environment:

Happiness

Workers with windows are more satisfied and less stressed than those who spend their days in windowless offices.

Improved Performance

Students perform better and are more attentive in classrooms with windows. In one study students in classrooms with the most daylight progressed 20 percent faster in math over one year compared to their peers with less light, and 26 percent faster in reading.

Better Sleep

People who have access to natural daylight throughout the day sleep better than those who don’t.

Quicker Recovery Time

Patients recovering in sunny rooms have shorter hospital stays and require less pain medication than patients who have lousy views or no window at all.

More Ethical

Researchers found that well-lit environments increase honesty while darkness increases morally questionable behavior. As the researchers ask, why are we so stunned when we hear about a crime that occurred in “broad daylight.”

Imagine you are hearing/reading a news story reporting that a person was murdered in broad daylight while sitting on a park bench. Why does “broad daylight” attract your attention? Is it that people believe that good deeds happen when the sun is out? In contrast to the association between darkness and evil, light has always been a symbol of goodness. Of course the best way to experience the benefits of natural daylight is to go outside. A Washington, DC-based doctor literally prescribes time outdoors to his patients. No insurance pre-approval or co-pay needed! While this might sound like a throwback to the good old days when doctors would send their patients to the countryside to recover from Tuberculosis or other ailments, I assure you that spending time outdoors is cutting edge medicine.

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Jessica Seinfeld Food Swings

Jessica Seinfeld


Mother, New Yorker, founder of Good+ Foundation and author of Food Swings, a delectable cook book that speaks to the realities of how we want to eat — good stuff and bad...

LATEST

Worry Atlas Anxiety Let Go Control

The Things You Can’t Control: The Best Tool I Know to Overcome Pointless Worry

Not being able to predict how something will turn out—a job, a relationship, a health concern, etc.—is stressful and sometimes paralyzing.  As a patient...

Don’t let your cellphone steal your workout thunder

If you want to make the most of your time at the gym, leave your phone in the locker. Studies show that texting and...
Cocktail Party Anxiety Social Anxiety

Need a Cure for Party Anxiety? Pass the Cocktail Weenies

Literally. Does the idea of making small talk at cocktail parties — no matter how strong the drinks — make you nervous? If your answer...
kindness be nice help others

An Everyday Way to Boost Your Emotional Wellbeing

It's nice to be recognized for being nice, but the emotional benefits of doing something good for someone else abound regardless of whether the...
Get Outside Nature

Sunshine: Cutting-Edge Medicine

For many years, I had a dark and dingy office with a soot-smeared window in a sterile hospital building. It was minimalist, to say...