I will preface this by admitting I’ve had no less than three meltdowns since my two previous bad moods (bad mood one and two). This cloud has lasted through most of this whole dang week. Though not productive in some ways, I am so thankful that I have MML to share what I learn along the way.
I invented Worry Flashcards yesterday morning, right after my third meltdown. A handful of the stressful situations this week had reached resolutions – positive resolutions – but my frayed nerves were still raw and the emotions were still high and skewing negative. Even with the good turn of events, I found myself reeling and processing what happened this week. My brain and emotions couldn’t keep up with one another and it all combined into one humongous knot of uncertainty, confusion, and worry.
So here it goes, the best thing I’ve ever shared on MML:
Okay, so the name doesn’t sound super inspiring, but the activity is certainly powerful. As I mentioned above, I was unable to process and feel any amount of clarity after several situations were cleared up. So I wrote down all of my worries on flashcards (obviously, any paper will do). I’ve made an example sample set (note: these are not my personal worries) of worries to explain the process. That big pile of worries pretty much mirrored how frazzled my brain felt yesterday morning. No clarity, order, or understanding going on at all.
After I listed my worries, I separated them into different categories. Feel free to make your own custom categories. I chose Personal, Relationships, Career, and Finance for this example.
Then I looked at each category one at a time. I determined whether each worry was Out of My Control, In My Control, or just Not True anymore (some of my old worries that got resolved were no longer true, but still bothering me as if they were true).
Here’s what the rest of the categories could look like:
For each worry that was Out of My Control, I wrote a wish on the back of the card stating the outcome I desired in that situation. I then wished the situations the best and moved on to the next step.
For each item in the Not True line, I stated why that worry wasn’t valid any longer on the back of the card.
This left me with just the concerns that I could actually DO something about. On the back of these cards I wrote the first step I could take to resolve each worry.
Then I put them in order, so that I could look at each concern one at a time and start making change. I felt focused on each specific, first-step I needed to help me resolve the situations I could control. I also didn’t feel like I was forgetting anything. I knew it was all there in the flashcards; documented and ready for action when the time was right.
My personal experience with Worry Flashcards
Though I won’t go into any detail about my worries specifically, I will say:
- I had 17 worry flashcards.
- 3 were Out of My Control
- 4 were Not True
- 10 were In My Control
- 6 worries In My Control were solved with the same action! And believe it or not, I had no idea that was the case before I made my worry cards.
I hope you find this exercise as enlightening as I do. And of course, I hope that the next time you are about to have a melt down, you try some worry cards and see if that helps you find more clarity and order in the chaos.
Side Note: awesome post about worry vs. concern over at White Hot Truth yesterday.