1-Sentence-Summary: The Worry-Free Mind helps free you of the shackles of all types of anxieties by identifying where they come from and what steps you need to take to regain control of your thinking patterns and become mentally healthy again.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
In the world today we have a lot to worry about. Whether it’s school, finances, relationships, work, or world crises, there always seems to be something we are stressing over.
It’s natural for us to worry. In fact, this response in the brain comes from our ancestors. They needed it to stay alive in a time with life-or-death situations. Like meeting a saber-toothed tiger, for instance.
Thankfully, most of us don’t have to worry about these sort of threats. But because it’s in our biology, many of us are prone to this kind of stress. Many of us live our lives in a constant cycle of stress, thinking this is normal.
It’s doesn’t have to be this way. And psychologist husband and wife Carol Kershaw and Bill Wade share valuable insights from their years of experience on how way can train our brains to stop worrying all the time. Their practical tips in The Worry-Free Mind: Train Your Brain, Calm the Stress Spin Cycle, and Discover a Happier, More Productive You will help you start enjoying your life and put you on a more positive track.
Here are the 3 most helpful lessons this book teaches about coping with anxiety:
- We have five brainwaves and meditation can help you spend more time in the calm one.
- You can ease your worries by taking walks and changing the way you think about the future.
- Ask the right questions to find the source of your worries and come up with a solution.
Ready to find out how to have confidence in a world of uncertainty? Let’s get right to it!
Lesson 1: There are five frequencies of brainwaves and meditation helps you stay at the calmest frequency.
You can think of the brain kind of like a bike that has five gears. Each gear represents a different frequency that reflects your state of being at the moment. You change gears, sometimes in the blink of an eye, depending on the situation. Depending on what you’re thinking about, doing, or feeling, your neurons create brainwaves of different frequencies.
We measure the frequencies in hertz and they come in five different kinds: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. The slowest is delta, and this is during deep sleep. Theta happens during deep relaxation following waking from the deep sleep of delta. Alpha is a conscious but calm state that lets you regain energy. This is what it feels like when you are curled up on the couch reading a book without a care in the world.
Beta is an attentive and bright state and is good for getting work done and focusing. Gamma frequencies are rarer and are sought after by many and mastered by Buddhist monks through meditation because it comes with a blissful sense of peace.
It’s best to avoid spending too much time stuck in one frequency. When we are stuck in a state of worry we are usually stuck in beta brainwaves and are constantly alert, making it hard for us to ever relax.
Research shows that meditation can help you bring the brain back down to alpha frequency. With a lot of practice, you can train yourself to clear your mind so worries are less frequent and more controllable.
Lesson 2: Some ways to ease your worries include going on walks and re-structuring how you view the future.
When we experience a cycle of stress, our mind’s ability to think rationally is impaired. Studies show that worried people have higher blood flow to the right side of the brain, away from the left side of rational thought.
Going for a walk helps because it is a bilateral activity. When you walk, both hemispheres work and this helps get your rational side thinking again. Doing this helps you fight off the irrational doom-and-gloom thoughts that are hard to escape when you’re caught up in worrying. And not to mention that nature also helps with anxiety.
A good indication of whether you are spending too much of your time worrying is if you ask yourself a simple question. When I think about the future, is it full of dread and anxiety, or am I excited and eager to see what comes?
It’s natural to worry about the future sometimes. But when it’s too much, it’s hard to enjoy life. Pessimism will actually make the chances of being miserable go up.
So it helps to change the way you think about your future by training yourself to look forward with positivity and opportunity rather than issues. The author suggests taking “what if” worries and confronting them with “can do’s.” Questions like, “What if this long-distance relationship doesn’t work?” can become “What can I do to help the relationship work?”
Lesson 3: Seek the source of your worry by asking the right questions so you can work through a solution.
Another way to help yourself get unstuck from a worry cycle is learning to neuro-repatterning, or changing your thoughts about certain situations. This is done in four steps.
The first is to ask yourself questions to find the trigger for your worrying. Ask yourself something like, “Is it a certain person or situation that makes me worried?” Acknowledging it and showing curiosity helps overcome the worry.
Next, try to get closer to how you feel exactly by asking things like: “Do I feel a physical discomfort that’s associated with my worries? Where do I feel it?”
Third, ask yourself, “What needs to happen so I can rid myself of this feeling?” And lastly, try to hone in on one of these four feelings to refocus your mind and reduce worry: Curiosity, lust, care, and play.
The Worry-Free Mind Review
The Worry-Free Mind is awesome! I love these ideas so much and they are so applicable right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on right now these tips can help so many people with this or anything they might be worried about!
Who would I recommend The Worry-Free Mind summary to?
The 37-year-old who suffers from anxiety but struggles to break the spiral downward, the 17-year-old that feels like they’re stuck in a rut of being afraid and can’t get out, and anyone who worries about anything.