The job loss count is rising. Unemployment is on the rise. Every week we read of another new batch of folks now out of work, a new batch of folks whose jobs are under threat, a new batch of folks who have given up.
Not surprisingly, eight out of 10 Americans say they are worried about something related to their jobs, according to the 2008 Workplace Insights survey by Adecco USA. The list is predictable, things like high gas prices, stagnant pay checks, worsening work-life balance, the rising cost of health care, the weak jobs market, declining opportunities for advancement and fear of outsourcing.
"It's clear that our current economic uncertainty presents real worries to. . .workers," said Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco USA.
A vast (and growing) number of folks are worried about job security. It's understandable. But does it help to worry?
Worrying, in fact, can exacerbate one's experience. Worry and anxiety take a huge toll on one's mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Anxiety leads to many psycho-somatic symptoms and potentially serious health issues. Stress in the form of headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, exhaustion, fogginess and confusion, body aches and muscle tension are a major cause of disengagement from work and disengagement from all of life.
When folks are worried and feeling anxious about work, they put in less effort, perform less efficiently and lose focus. The result is their feeling an even more intense fear.
In this debilitated, fear-based state, folks have a serious challenge in showing up. On their day-to-day life at work, these folks are often seen as "distracted", disengaged, distant or not performing as a "team player".
Moreover, when folks live wrapped in worry and fear, the law of attraction says that's exactly what their worry and fear will get them - events, circumstances, and people who come into their experiences which they then interpret as causes for more worry and fear.
When we find that our mind is filled with notions of worry and fear-provoking thoughts, this an opportunity to notice that "I'm preferring to think about the opposite of what I really want to experience." (Note: this awareness is completely anathema to folks who live life from a place of "victim consciousness" place; who choose to spend much of their life blaming.)
In these tough times (all the time, really) it's important to consistently ask one's self: "What am I thinking about?" Here is where change and transformation can begin to take place.
If not worry, then what?
Worrying is a self-perpetuating process. And more, that which we obsess about over and over in our mind, we begin to take on as the "truth". Choose fear, and fear will appear.
By choosing (either consciously or unconsciously) to focus on losing one's job, for example, one is making that thought and that focus their "affirmation", their "mantra", their daily meditation. This "programming" then results in living a life that is devoid of happiness, success, well be-ing, and freedom.
How to stop worrying
First, to those who feel the need to worry, it's important to understand the following: Worry solves nothing. Repeat, Worry solves nothing. Many folks believe that if they don't worry, nothing positive will ever happen. Many folks think the actual process of "worrying" in and off itself is action, is doing something. It's not.
Being concerned and then taking action in some way, shape or form will lead to a different physical, emotional, mental or spiritual state. Worrying in and of itself only produces more worry, and fear. Action absorbs anxiety.
The process of eliminating worry and moving past one's fear is to not resist it. The process of eliminating one's fear is not simply to "think" one's way out of it. The way to move from a state of worry and fear is to allow the fear and then engage one's brain, body and heart simultaneously, a psycho-physiological state of coherence, a state where one moves from the mind alone to a place where one moves into a mind-heart-body state often referred to as "the zone."
From this place, one finds oneself acting with efficiency, confidence and positivity (not just "thinking positive"); one moves through challenges with a sense of clarity, ease and well be-ing.
Sensing the contrast between resistance and allowing can be an experience of awakening. All one has to do is pay attention! Am I feeling armored for battle, angry at the world, afraid, even in a very subtle way? Or am I feeling open, soft, comfortable, and at ease?.
The reason "positive thinking" or "willpower" alone is not a solution, is that if you "think positive" but still "feel" fear and anxiety, the fear and anxiety will always win out. Always. The mind on its own is not enough. It requires something more: the wisdom of your body and the power of your heart.
So, during these challenging times, make a conscious effort to engage in a centering and coherence practice: upon waking, during the morning and afternoon, in the evening and just before going to bed, take time to breathe deeply, long and quietly into your heart, focus on your feet on the floor, or on the support under you if you are sitting or lying and focus on your belly center.
Slowly and with practice you'll begin to move into a state of coherence between your brain, your body and your heart - a state that results in a feeling of harmony and balance.
Coherence brings us to a place of relaxation, of groundedness and well be-ing – an inner place from which one can access the qualities of strength, wisdom, courage, discipline, motivation, and will. From this place one can access one's heart-felt capacity not only to perform at one's best, but to access an inner understanding and knowing that can support one to take positive action towards doing what needs to be done to make challenges less challenging – that is, taking action and moving towards solutions which, in the space of being fearful, one never knew existed.
In this place, you will find a greater alignment between what you think, feel, say and do - leading to more proactive, conscious and effective choices, decisions and actions.
Worrying and being fearful is a choice. Releasing fear and worry is also a choice. So, we can choose to hang on to our fear, or we can choose to release it.
Being worried, anxious and fearful are patterns which one can, over time, replace with patterns of being and acting in ways that are self-supporting – patterns which exude confidence, courage, and positive expectations, even in the face of overwhelming odds and challenges.
As soul beings we are free, happy and at peace. It's our birthright. None of these states depend upon external realities. They are part of our nature. Experiencing ourselves as such is a choice we can make every moment that we are conscious.