Doing The Work Step-by-Step for Emotional Wellness

the only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what isIf you’ve ever suffered from anxiety or depression, you know how wonderful it feels to finally have relief.  As someone who’s battled anxiety for decades, emotional wellness is always a top priority of mine. When I am in the grip of anxiety, life is a nightmare.  And when I am well, the whole world is fine.

One of the ways I keep myself feeling at peace and emotionally healthy is to do The Work– this is where you inquire about the habitual negative thoughts you have by asking yourself 4 simple questions. When you unravel your thoughts, you begin to see that the opposite of what you feel is usually true or truer than the thoughts you were believing.

I know, that probably sounds confusing, lol 😉 But, by using this simple process, you come to understand that it is your stressful thoughts about any situation that make you suffer, and never the situation itself.

Here is a recent conversation I had on Facebook about doing The Work:

Ian: What if i’m never happy? I’m always anxious to some extent, there’s always something missing and it’s never just right. Yes I know the obvious,  which is to inquire about those thoughts.

I’ve done The Work on those thoughts many times, tried to wear on opposites such as “there’s never anything missing and it’s always just right”.
And while that might be true from reality’s perspective, it doesn’t feel this way to me, I can’t see that it is so, I feel there’s something missing, a hunger… Help!

Lisa Arcelia: Ian, I can tell you that I lived my life with lots of anxiety and discontent. I actually went to see Byron Katie last summer, and when she called my name to go up on the stage I was too anxious to go! I went to that weekend looking to find inner peace & emotional wellness, and after my panic attack I felt worse than ever! 🙁

I beat myself up pretty bad. But then after I got home, I just started doing The Work. I did Judge Your Neighbor Worksheets on the anxiety, on everyone that made me feel bad, on slights that I perceived from others, as well as on long-standing stories in my head.

Well long story short, it is almost one year later. I am in the practice of doing one Judge Your Neighbor worksheet a night before I go to bed on whatever it was that may have upset me that day.

Can I just tell you, my life is so much better. I do have genuine happiness and inner peace- not all the time- but compared to living in HELL, it’s light years better.

So my heart goes out to you. I just want to say hang in there and do The Work. Keep doing it, and your life will get better 🙂

Jennifer:  I love this… every night… interesting idea… Lisa, I salute your bravery and your commitment to truth.

Lisa Arcelia:  Thank you Jennifer. I wouldn’t say I’m brave. I did it because I was just so tired of feeling like crap all the time. I figured there had to be more to this in life. More than always feeling anxious, less-than and ashamed for no apparent reason.


As I said above, I started doing The Work specifically to help me with anxiety. So in the beginning of this process I filled out Judge Your Neighbor worksheets on anxiety situations.

But then I noticed there were so many situations – people, places, and things- that bothered me! I found when I questioned these old stories, they no longer held so much power over me. Some things I that used to really bother me just seemed to stop. It was really almost miraculous in a way.

It’s true what Katie says -When I believe my stressful thoughts I suffer. When I question them, I find peace.

So it’s interesting to note that while I am letting go of anxiety, I am also finding much more happiness and having genuine improvement in lots of other areas of my life- whether that be work, my marriage, my relationship with my son, my relationship with my mother-in-law,  people that drive me crazy at work, you name it.

Here is an example of one of my Judge Your Neighbor Worksheets– I did this one on a situation at work where a doctor was being a jerk to me. 

Loving What Is by Byron Katie is the book that introduced me to the spiritual Loving What Is Four Questions That Can Change Your Lifemagic known as The Work. While I kind of understood the process from watching Katie on YouTube, the book really walks you though it, step-by-step, and in great detail.

I admit, I couldn’t do much with The Work until I read the book. I remember as I read it the first time, I could feel myself having some peace and lightness. It was like having a mini spiritual-awakening, and made me excited to go further to help myself. This is a photo of my dog-eared copy of the book, as well as an affiliate link to Amazon if you’d like to check it out for yourself.

Doing the work keeps you mentally in your own business. And according to Katie, there are only 3 businesses in the whole word- mine, yours, and the universe.

Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am
mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation. – Byron Katie.

3 kinds of business

If your spiritual wellness is a concern, or you are just tired of feeling stressed, angry, anxious, or depressed and you just would like some real peace in your life, I highly recommend this book.

Tell me, have you ever heard of Byron Katie and The Work? Have you tried it for yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

xo, Lisa Arcelia

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Author: Lisa Arcelia

I love showing how to find real happiness and inner peace in this busy and challenging world :)

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