How To Stop Worrying.
Worry is that feeling of being concerned, uneasy or troubled about something, usually relating to a possible future event. People can worry about just about anything. But what it really comes down to is that we worry because we are scared of the uncertainly in our lives, or the not knowing what will or won’t happen. In fact you have probably found that the actual event happening or not is easier to cope with.
Endless worry can consume our lives and rob us of our happiness. But staying “Don’t worry” does very little to help, so how can you stop or reduce your worries?
Ways to reduce your worries.
The most successful method to reduce worries will vary between people. So the best thing you can do to is try many different approaches and tricks until you find one (or several) that works. The following is a list of ideas that can be used to reduce or stop worry.
1. Stay rested.
Coping with life’s little bumps is considerably easier when you are well rested. Being tired can make everything seem that little harder. I’m sure you have heard the saying, or some variation of “Things will look brighter in the morning”. The key reason things look better is that you are rested and now better able to cope with things.
2. Keep busy.
If you find that idle time means those small worries gnaw away at you, keeping busy may be the solution. Keep your mind busy and your thoughts on the task at hand. Taking action, even if it not related to your current worrying topic, does help. That feeling of accomplishment helps boost confidence and self esteem.
3. Have something to look forward to.
It’s amazing how having some to look forward to can improve your overall mood and keep you mind off worrying. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can as simple as a weekly movie night with some friends, or your favorite TV show is commencing a new season, or you finished a project. The key is to have something to look forward to, something that is not too far into the future and something that you can get excited about and look forward to.
4. Postpone the worry.
If you are worried about something that might happen on Monday then put off worrying about it to Tuesday or Wednesday. You can try writing down your worry with the intention to revisit it after a week. This allows a whole week to pass, and there is a good chance that what you would have worried about never happened.
5. Replace worry.
Simply saying “stop worrying” doesn’t work. Left alone with nothing much to think about those worrying thoughts can reappear quickly. Keeping busy can help here, but even so there are times when you rest or pause. The trick here is to monitor your thoughts and when a worry starts to creep in block it with a positive thought. And rather than scrambling to find a stuible positive thought, have on ready. Take a moment now to think of a positive thought. Keep this thought tucked away and next time you notice you are worrying, replace the worry with your positive thought.
Reducing life consuming worries.
Those larger life consuming worries often need a little extra help:
6. Get an action plan.
If there is a worry that is eating away at you, taking action can help stop the worry from consuming your life. Work out the worst possible outcome and then in your mind accept that outcome. Now you can start to make a plan, as calm as possible try to think of possible actions that will improve this worst case scenario. Taking action like this not only improves the outcome but also helps to reduce the worry because your thoughts are now on taking action rather than just the worry.
7. Think: “What are the chances of it actually happening?”
Once you start worrying about something it can quickly grow. It can often be challenging to keep small worries from becoming huge. One way to achieve this is working out the real odds. For example if you worry a great deal about flying, know that plans land and take off safely, every second somewhere in the world. Flying is actually very safe. I wouldn’t suggest looking up any statistics about a current worry, as that is only going to feed it. But after that worry is put to rest, it can be helpful for next time if you know that the chance of that thing actually happening is quite low.
Worrying is not fun, but you can take steps to stop or reduce your worries. Try several of the methods until you find one that works. If you already use a method that works for you, I would love to hear it so please leave a comment or send me an email.
Posted: January 27th, 2008 under Stop Worrying.