Remember that TV commercial with the dog who buried his bone in the yard and then looked out the window, worrying about its safety? In the background you hear the song “Trouble” by Ray LaMontagne. Check it out.
More than 20 percent of us struggle with worry and anxiety (according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America). A person with an anxiety disorder spends about 300 minutes a day worrying, a condition linked with cardiac, emotional, and other health problems.
Worries tell us, “Watch out!” Sometimes, they’re right on, especially when we’re in danger. But, what about those that sap our energy and lead to failure, discouragement, and limitation?
I call such worries “whispered lies” because they’re mostly false, telling us the pain of our past will repeat itself. We can change these lies by getting honest, claiming positive power, making healthy choices, and using growth tools.
So, our thinking is the problem, right? But, wait a minute!Our thinking helps us reach important goals: jobs, degrees, repairs, trips, and so on. We set a goal and take the steps to attain it. If we just try hard enough, we get everything we want, right?
Unfortunately, this linear approach doesn’t always work: Our hearts are broken, we don’t receive a hoped-for promotion, or a loved one is seriously ill. We’re shocked to realize how little control we have over our spouses, bosses, friends, family, or adult children.
We become like that little white dog: We imagine we can fix our troubles by worrying about them. Or, we try to deny them by partying, working long hours, sexual preoccupation, or drugs and/or alcohol.
But these desperate strategies don’t work. The worrying and negativity just multiply, and we become more miserable.
If we get honest about our dilemma, we begin to see something bigger than our fears can bring us some semblance of clarity–a source of positive power. We might call it Being, Buddha, Courage, the Divine Spark, God, Great Spirit, Light, Providence, Universal Intelligence, Wisdom, or any name that works for us.
As we choose a new life and use growth tools to attain it, we become expressions of peace, clarity, and connection.
These sound like pretty lofty goals, but as my worries fade away, I find true happiness. You can, too.
Find tools to ease your whispered lies in my other blog posts and in my new book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now now available at Amazon.
Gigi Langer, PhD is a former “queen of worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now. The book contains powerful tips to defeat negative thinking, and find inner peace, clarity, and connection.
“I give this book five beautiful healthy wise stars! Because with this book: you’ll be able to gain peace, clarity and wisdom, and share it with the World! Just as I am sharing it with you now! So, before it’s too late, get your own copy, and start making changes today! And remember: you read it here with me, and I was inspired enough to share it with you, just as you will be inspired enough to share it with others!”
“Don’t even start thinking, “This is just gonna be another self-help book.” Because it isn’t ‘Just another self-help book!’ This book will help you see things that you never even thought about!”
“I am so impressed that I had the privilege to read this book! I will admit, I started off thinking in the negative, but as I read, I was not just enlightened, I was awakened. So much of what I think, do and see, and even feel, is negativity and I have the ability to put a stop to it, not just by walking away, not just by staying away, but by changing the way I think and do things. And this, my friends, is only the beginning.”
When Deneale asked, “What made you decide to write this book and how long did it take you?” I replied:
“Worry Less Now began as a memoir chronicling my career as a professional horseback rider; three short marriages; and adventures in Spain, Hawaii, Brazil, and Germany (yes, those husbands travelled!). My wise fourth husband (of 30 years) suggested that instead I write a self-help book with ‘all those helpful things you say when you counsel people on the phone.’
“I’ve worked with hundreds of women in recovery because I spent many years using alcohol, drugs, and romance to deal with a lifetime of worry and anxiety. When I stopped drinking 30 years ago, I began applying tools from therapy, recovery programs, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings to overcome my negative thinking, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addictions, chronic pain, and worry about loved ones.”
“I wrote Worry Less Now to share these tools with people who might benefit from them. I used parts of my own story to illustrate how I discovered the tools and how they helped me become happy and at peace. The book is very practical with four life strategies, 50 concrete tools, and step-by-step exercises.”
“It took 3 ½ years to write the first draft; then I sent it to advance readers and a developmental editor (Nina Amir) who suggested revisions. I took a year off to co-author an education book for Sage Publishing, and got back to “Worry Less Now” in 2015. I revised it two more times using feedback from two more groups of advance readers. Then I spent most of 2017 with editors, typographers, book cover designers, and proofreaders.”
The book’s official release date is February 22, 2018. It was a lot of work, but I love the result and I hope it helps many people overcome their worries so they too can face their challenges with calm wisdom and courage.
Gigi holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford University. As a professor, she won several awards for her teaching, and (as Georgea M. Langer) wrote books and articles for educators. Through speeches, retreats, and workshops, she helps thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work. Gigi hasn’t had a drug or drink for over 30 years, although she does occasionally overindulge in Ghirardelli chocolate and historical novels. She lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and cat, Murphy.
When I first entered therapy, I saw myself shrunken and powerless in the corner of a dark room filled with scary plastic objects. As time went on, that image changed. It was as if a bright light entered the room and dissolved all those fear-filled dark objects.
I believe that most of our worries, resentments, and pain are merely illusions, or as I call them, “Whispered Lies.” Fear jumps into the driver’s seat of our minds and starts projecting all kinds of problems to be solved. Mark Twain said it this way, “My life is a series of calamities, most of which never happened.”
Just take a moment and observe the content of your thoughts and how they resonate in your body. If you’re anything like me, it quickly becomes clear that we’re scaring the shit out of ourselves. And, just in case we need a little help, there’s always TV and its multitude of disasters (the past, present, and predicted).
It’s no wonder that so many of us live in a constant state of anxiety and tension. The modern term, which I might call a euphemism, is “stress.” This state is so universal, that, if you stopped 20 people on the street, most of them would say they wanted to have less fear and worry in their lives. And, if you really want to be disturbed, read about how stress and worry harm our health.
A Course in Miracles (and many other wisdom traditions) teach us that we can be in only two states of mind: fear or love. When we align ourselves with love, we’re at peace and feel at-one with God (universe, positive power) and with all others. When we’re in fear, however, we close our hearts to others.
Because our bodies are hard-wired to compete for what we see as a limited amount of love, money, and otherworldly goodies, fear is our default setting. But we don’t have to become a victim of our worries and negative thinking. It’s what we do next that matters: Do we seek a different way of seeing our troublesome situations?
It’s a simple choice, but it takes vigilance and practice. Just notice what you’re thinking about and, if it is making you tense, admit that to yourself. Then, gently turn your thoughts to something that gives you joy and peace. It might be a scene of nature, a prayer, or an affirmation. Then keep an eye out for when you revert to the “worry and fear channel.” Again, just notice what you’re thinking about and change it to something more positive or inspiring.
Emmet Fox gives directions for the “Golden Key” here. He wrote that when you consistently turn your thoughts away from fear and toward a source of positive power, whatever was bothering you before will be resolved. Try it, you’ll like it!
Gigi Langer is a former “queen of worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways toWorry Less Now! Coming out in February 2018, the new book contains 50 powerful tips to defeat negative thinking, find inner peace, and be happy. Gigi has a PhD from Stanford University.
MANAGE life’s most difficult challenges with calm wisdom
CREATE relationships that blossom and thrive
FULFILL your dreams without limitations
SERVE others in their personal growth
DISCOVER tactics to dissolve the negative beliefs underlying your worries.
REVIEWS of Worry Less Now
“I loved the simplicity and the host of quickly adopted suggestions. Even though I have been in recovery for more than 4 decades, and thus didn’t really think another self-help book would make it to my treasured list, I was wrong. This book is a winner.” -Karen Casey, best-selling author of Each Day a New Beginning
Plenty of books advocate countering negative thinking; but too few actually provide step-by-step measures on how to do so. Others simply choose a singular path and follow it. The pleasure of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now lies in its examples, specific exercises, and injections of how the author used various routines to find her way out of negativity. Highly recommended for anyone who worries too much, lives too hard a life, and searches for a better way.” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review Full review: 50 Ways to Worry Less Now
“Reads like a compendium of the world’s wisdom on successful living. These are no set of abstractions found in self-help books; rather they are lessons Langer has learned from painful experience. I am buying copies for my grandchildren.” – Dr. Bob Garmston, California State University
“I’ve become reluctant to recommend personal growth books to my clients because so few seem to focus on taking action. Worry Less Now is different. Rather than setting herself up as the authority, it’s clear that she works the strategies and tools as part of her ongoing growth.” –Christine McCully, LMHC, MA
“Gigi Langer has moved the self-help genre from quick-fix solutions to outlining a well-researched set of principles/concepts/ exercises that can assist enormously a person who is serious about wanting to worry less and to find peace and connections in his/her life.” – Sharon Kalbfleisch, MSW
“This is not a one-size-fits-all book. It offers a broad pallet of thoughtful ways one can find a path to a less stressful life. Interspersed with relatable personal stories, I found this book both useful and delightful to read.” –B. Jorgenson, M.A. Education
“I am not a book critic, but I am a worrier, so I am qualified to highly recommend Gigi’s book. I believe everyone can benefit from reading this book and putting her ideas into daily practice.” –Reverend Cathy Freeman
“While reading this book I felt like I was on a journey, interacting and participating with the strategies.” – Roberta Tankenow, Pharmacist
“Gigi has written a jewel of a book with sharp insight, an open honest heart, timeless wisdom, and inspiration galore. A healing masterpiece if one chooses to use the tools.” -LiRa Bennett,President, A Place of Well-Being Inc.
“As a mental health clinician for thirty-two years, I’m excited to report that Langer’s book provides a well-thought-out and flexible structure to question worried thinking habits, manage anxiety, and respond in new, healthier ways. One of the best “How To” manuals I’ve read on what it means to be human. Langer has compiled an impressive array of clinical, medical, and philosophical sources and research. Although some of the tools are spiritually-oriented, they’re not religious or heavy-handed. I can’t wait to tell my clients and colleagues about this wonderful book.” –Coleen Travers, LCSW
“One of the biggest themes in the book is the whispered lies people tell themselves that encourage negative thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. They’re the icky things you tell yourself that bring you down, and most of the time they just aren’t true. Gigi teaches you how to recognize those whispered lies and create strategies to turn your negativity around. Langer isn’t afraid to discuss her own personal experiences with abuse, addiction, and more. It really humanizes her as a narrator and adds a level of relatability that can be missing when a professional communicates with their audience.” –Shannon Doe, “Millennial Blogger” http:/GoingWithHappy.com
“This is definitely the book to have on your shelf, by your bed, near your favorite chair, or on your desk. Her wisdom is definitely a healing gift. Know someone who needs help? Give them this book. No matter what the circumstance, there is something in this book that will help everyone to worry less now.” – Ginger Wakem
“Excellent book to have on hand to navigate the minefield of life…like going to a mental health grocery store: pick the various tools to create a recipe for peace and serenity.” –Ginna Jordan, Interior Designer
“You don’t have to use all the tools at once. You can piecemeal what you can handle at the time and implement the rest later once you are ready to increase your skill level. A MUST READ for just about anyone!” – Liz Audette, Marketing Professional
“A smorgasbord of helpful ideas and techniques from an author who has been there and done that. Highly recommended.” -Marcie Foster
“This book is a gift to those of us who yearn to defeat worry, negativity, and self-doubt. It is beautifully written, clearly organized, and filled with life-changing wisdom. Gigi has truly led the way to successful living and made it possible for us to follow.” –Ginny Chism
“Finally! A book that doesn’t just ‘talk’ about positive thinking…a book that tells you how to get there with very practical tools. Gigi’s personal examples and forthright approach make this an invaluable resource, for now and in the future.” –Dawn Champanois, Human Resource Professional
“Gigi helps the reader see how we self-sabotage and how we feed off the negative thinking as a way to compensate for the pesky lies we create to make everything seem alright to ourselves and those around us. She teaches how to get honest, then claim your power, then to make choices that are good and then finally, to use these practices to grow within ourselves to be ultimately successful.” –Mary Caliendo, Writer and Editor
“If you want a logical, practical, and precise road map to a positive way of living, read Fifty Ways to Worry Less Now. This inspired book is an easy flowing, solidly packed, and sequential guide to living a peaceful life.” – Bernadette Thibodeau
“ I was engaged from the first chapter to the last page. I plan to share this book with everyone I know. I will also be keeping a copy in my tool kit.” -Kathy Guzman
“Now I have a go-to book ready to pull out when those whispering lies try to take over or when the going gets tough. A perfect book to pass on to others as they struggle with recovery or other life challenges.” –Janice Weber
“This book goes beyond theory and gives you interesting examples of real life challenges and then offers concrete strategies to overcome worry. Whether you have read many self-help books or are just getting started on the journey, there is a valuable gem in this book for you.” –Annabelle Nesbit
“This book addresses action plans that confront worry head-on in a positive and insightful manner. She includes events from her own life that illustrate trauma, recognition, work, and resolution. By sharing these incidents, Langer exemplifies her own journey with love and grace to help others.” –Lynn Cool
“Easy to understand and well put together. The charts and graphs add further understanding and are well created. The author shares her personal experiences, strength, and knowledge with the reader in an effective manner.” –Kathy Harenda
“A mindful anthology of tools and strategies written from the gut. The writing is lovely, clear, filled with tried and true strategies, humor, and authentic voice. Choose the tools that work for you to find serenity in your life.” -Barb Robb, M.A. Education
“This book offers hope, promise, and potential for anyone ready transform his or her life. It’s simplicity, clarity, and specificity speak directly to all of us who want our lives to be more fulfilling for ourselves and for those we love.” – Joellen Killion
“Better than a croissant with coffee in the morning! I have enjoyed the opportunity to linger over the words, consider how to apply them in my own life, and cherish the opportunity to pause, focus, and plan for a more meaningful life, one free of the routine stressors that debilitate and drain me without even knowing the effects.” – Jessica Kemp
“After 29 years sober, I now have a book with 50 ways to say, “no”, to my negative thinking. This book is a wonderful tool for anyone on a journey toward peace and sanity.” –Patty Kolesar
“Gigi Langer gives us a precise diagnosis and remedy for the many negative situations that can too easily frustrate the best of our efforts to live clean and sober. The wisdom of this book will guide us through many of our darkest moments to serenity and a new confidence in the joy of life.” –Fred Wass M.H.S. Chaplain
“Gigi Langer’s honesty will blow you away! It is beautifully written; filled with humor and authenticity. As an Alanon acolyte for 20 years, I’ve read dozens of self-help books, and I can recommend Langer’s fresh, honest tutorial on growing into your true, healthy self. –Kathi Dutilh
“A quick and easy read, with many tools to apply for anyone at any point in their life, whether it be addiction, anxiety, co-dependence, or just seeking personal growth. She will have such a positive impact and do such great things with this book! – Tahra Luther, MS,