How To Stop Worrying
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
"Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles; it only takes away today's peace." - Anonymous
Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Uncertainty.
It starts as a small thought of worry (the what-ifs) and before you know it has snowballed into an avalanche of anxiety that is consuming your life. Everyone has concerns and fear that is healthy, but it is not healthy when it becomes the focal point of your thoughts. The worry can turn into negative thoughts that if gone unchecked, will eventually turn into depression. Feelings of anxiety can cripple you emotionally and hold you back from happiness.
We all feel better and are happier when we are worry-free. Here are a few self-help steps to stop the worry and anxiety.
Most things you worry about will never happen.
I love this quote by Winston Churchill:
"When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened."
Let's face it. 95% of what we worry about will never happen. The next time you find yourself worrying about something, ask yourself this, "What are the chances of this happening?" If the answer is less than 10% chance, then let the worry go. Begin looking at your future with a more analytical view instead of an emotional one.
Let go of what you can not control.
If the thing you are worried about cannot be fixed or helped by you taking action, then stop putting energy toward it. When you feel fearful of something in the future, ask yourself, "Can I do something to fix or change this?" If you can't control the outcome, then why put yourself in a negative state of mind? If you CAN do something to control what your fears are about, fantastic! When we take action toward fixing a concern, it puts us in control, and we feel empowered. As we take steps toward fixing what we are worried about we become less worried. Now our thoughts are on the positive aspect of the action.
Stay in the present moment.
Stop giving away your precise time on worrying about tomorrow. How much of your life will you live in a state of anxiety because you are stuck in a cycle of worry about tomorrow? No amount of worry will ever change the future. But, how you chose to spend your moments today will impact how happy, productive, and fulfilled you are. Make yourself, and your loved ones feel loved and appreciated by giving your complete attention to the present moment. It is in the NOW that we build relationships.
Get the worry out of your head and write it down or talk to a friend.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to get the anxiety out of our heads. Almost, like a purge of negative thoughts. Talk to an understanding friend or a loved one about what's bothering you. They may shed light on the thing that is concerning that will make it seem more manageable. When I have a lot on my mind, I go on long walks or hikes and talk out loud to myself. I ask myself questions to help me think past my fears. Sure, it may seem a bit crazy (if you saw me on the street), but it has helped me in my toughest times. Journaling your feelings is also another way to get it out of your mind. Write down your worries, then close the book on them.
Change the channel on your thoughts.
Distract yourself from your thoughts. Get moving! Go on a walk, a bike ride, a hike, plant some flowers, clean your car, bake a cake, anything that will get your body moving and your mind off of your worries. Read a book or watch a Comedy, again changing your thoughts to something happier. Keep busy; idol minds tend to get lost in thought easier than occupied ones.
Take the focus off of yourself.
Volunteer, help someone in your community. It is proven that we are happiest and most fulfilled when we are at service. Put your energy toward something that will be useful for others, instead of focusing on your worries. When you see the positive impact you have had on someone's life, it will bring you joy and take away your anxiety.