Worry Mode and Constructive Choice

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on May 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

How do I know I am worried? There’s the mental chatter, of course, and forehead tension, limited respiratory support, narrowed visual reception and a general sense of withdrawal from the world. I am spinning a narrative (so many potential threads these days), reacting to said narrative threads, and narrowing and shortening myself in the resulting spin. Where is my choice in response when so much is worrisome?

A good beginning is choosing levels of stimuli (news/information). Knowing enough news/information to remain effective but not so much as to paralyze response is an ongoing balance of choice. It may be a daily, hourly decision to know what level of news/information input allows conditions for your best response. You can refuse news and information with ease. Making that decision provides a sense of your own constructive choice. Knowing what is too much information for best elastic response is key to making best decisions, thinking with your entire self, and prioritizing the unified field of self over gaining any end. You gather data from your own experience, make choices, proceed and gather more information. Helplessness recedes once you are your own research system. You are no longer at the mercy of media.

The above assumes the essential and complex step of choice in response, which requires noticing the many cues (sensation, emotion, thought, muscle) in the first place. We know we are experiencing an emotion due to physical signals which we define mentally and interpret from belief, prior experience and societal framework. There is no point controlling the emotion we identify, as that is already flooding our entire system of self. But, we do have a choice in response to emotional experience.

  • I notice mental chatter that draws me inward. I can decide to quiet chatter and attend to the world outside myself. I can ask for wide, soft eyes, wide receptive ears, connection to the ground. I can ask for quiet in my entirety.
  • I have narrowed and shortened into a “startle pattern”: arms and legs pulled inward, jaw tensed, breath restricted. I take a moment to request all four limbs to undo (not relax or deaden, undo) out of my entire lively back, and for best possible elastic throughout myself.

Is any of this perfect or have perfect results? Of course not! We learn by experience, in increments, by loops of sensations, thought and emotions. We can’t control the loops, but we can choose our response to the loops, and thus remain effective in these weird pandemic times