10 Effective Tools to Stop Worrying
Worrying is one of the biggest plagues destroying happiness. Learn how to eradicate this habit for good.
What is Worrying
According to WebMD, "worrying is feeling uneasy or being overly concerned about a situation or problem. With excessive worrying, your mind and body go into overdrive as you constantly focus on "what might happen."
The most common symptoms of worrying include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense.
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom.
- Facing an increased heart rate.
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation).
- Feeling weak or tired.
- Difficulty with concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.
Many famous people in the past discovered the disastrous impact of worrying on your life and happiness. Here is what they say:
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
– Dale Carnegie
“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
– E. Joseph Cossman
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
– George F. Burns
“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”
– Chinese Proverb
Consequences of Worrying
Constant worrying and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your health. For example:
- Worrying saps your emotional strength.
- It causes insomnia, headaches, stomach problems, and muscle tension (see the symptoms above).
- You find it difficult to concentrate.
- There is a risk of addiction,(drinking, taking drugs or painkillers).
- Worrying may induce GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder).
Why To Stop Worrying
- More energy to invest in happiness and creation of the dream future.
- Better physical health - the symptoms described above disappear (e.g. heart rate, insomnia).
- Better mental health - elimination of at least one kind of negative thoughts dramatically improves your mental wellness
- You start attracting the things that you want in your life. Worrying is like sowing weeds which will eventually give you miserable crops.
- It is easier to take up spiritual challenges, learning the hard lessons of forgiveness, loss or acceptance.
Beliefs And Worry
For most chronic worriers, anxious thoughts are fueled by beliefs that can be both negative and positive.
Negative beliefs about worrying:
- Constant worrying is harmful.
- I am going to lose all control over my worrying.
- Worrying may affect physical health (but is too strong to be overcome).
Positive beliefs about worrying:
- It helps to avoid bad things, prevents problems because I prepare for the worst.
- Worrying is the only thing to do in order to be sure that nothing will be overlooked.
- The habit of worrying serves a positive purpose because then I am not naive and too idealistic.
Solvable And Unsolvable Worries
You can worry in a productive and unproductive way (i.e. solvable and unsolvable ones). There are two approaches: either taking some action to solve the problem caused by your worry or just indulging your thoughts, dwelling on them and doing nothing.
The first option is much healthier and it will transform your worry into happiness later. Thinking only about your fears will not help you to solve the problem. But one word of warning. Not all the worries are solvable instantly and this means applying a different approach here.
Productive, solvable worries are based on facts that you can address. For example, being afraid of paying your mortgage because of losing your job may be overwhelming. However, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options.
Unproductive, unsolvable worries, per contra, imply no corresponding action. “What if I get cancer someday?” and any "what if..." based on imagination, presumptions and... other worries.
Sometimes worrying may concern the issues over which you have no control, like the weather of government's decisions. Then you can only change your attitude and something around yourself, or accept the situation and make the most of it.
How To Work With Worries
Firstly, define if the worry is solvable. If yes, apply the first tip immediately. The next nine tools are used for unproductive worries.
1. Disarm Solvable Worries
Once you know that a given piece of worry is solvable, take action immediately. Do the exercises in writing, in a diary, then take action in your real life.
Brainstorm the ideas of how to handle solvable worries. Do it in writing. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Do not be too cautious about finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. List at least 20 possible solutions. Then pick up one and take the next step.
1.2. Do The SWOT And SMART Analysis
Now analyse the chosen option. Treat it as your potential goal, which means doing the SWOT and SMART analysis. Again, in writing, answer the following questions:
- What are the strengths of your option (list a couple of them)?
- What are the weaknesses of your option?
- Is there any opportunity of using this option?
- What are the threats?
Now check SMART. Be sure that your option is a measurable, specific goal, not too difficult (i.e. attainable and realistic), with a deadline. Once your option has passed the test, go to the next step.
1.3. Make A Plan And Take Action
Set the milestones (which will depend on the issue that you are working on). For example, if you are afraid of losing your job and have decided to improve your teamwork skills (i.e. assertiveness), decide when you will enrol on a course or practise this skill with a friend. Then check the progress after a month or two (depending on the deadline you have set).
Learn how to set goals - the article continues below:
2. Postpone your Worrying Time
Ok, it may be too tricky to eliminate unsolvable worries instantly. Hence limit the time they bother your mind. Any time you start worrying, tell yourself 'Wait, we will have time for that at 7 pm'. At 7 pm you can worry as much as you want for, eg. 20 minutes. I can assure you, it will be challenging to worry instantly for these 20 minutes, plus you will eliminate many unsolvable worries at the reset of the day.
3. Disarm Your Enemy By Writing
You already know how important it is to use writing in the case of solvable worries. Now the time has come to disarm unsolvable ones.
Start with baby steps. For example, at first choose one week to keep a worry diary, making a promise to yourself that you’ll write down every worrisome thought and emotion, however silly it might seem. At the end of that week or whatever period of time you choose, the list will serve as a reflection of where your mind has gone in terms of imagined outcomes. Go through the list and challenge your anxious thoughts. More about challenging thoughts later in this article.
Learn how to work with emotions - today's article continues below:
4. Do Something To Detach From Worrying
Doing exercises is an excellent way of winning any kind of worry. Firstly, you focus on your sit-ups or squats instead of thinking, secondly, physical activity releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being
So practise doing the exercises and focus on them, being mindful. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.
Taking a yoga or tai chi class is another good option. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, you can also cleanse your chakras and aura.
5. Practise Meditation
Meditation works by switching your focus from worrying about the future or dwelling on the past to what’s happening right now. By being fully engaged in the present moment, and connecting with all the helpful beings, you can interrupt the endless loop of negative thoughts and worries.
6. Practise Relaxation Techiques
There are many relaxation techniques helping to disarm worrying. I will mention two in this article as a quick start.
By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups of your body, you release their tension. And when your body relaxes, your mind will follow. Start from your feet and then focus on each body part upwards, visualising it and the tension being dissolved by the white Divine Light. Begin from a couple of minutes daily, gradually increasing the time span.
Try Deep Breathing
Similar to doing other exercises, deep breathing will enable you to detach from worrying. While focusing on inhaling and exhaling, the movement of your chest and abdomen muscles, it is hard to worry. Just 5-10 deep breaths will calm down your mind.
7. Challenge Negative Thoughts And Emotions
I have written many articles about challenging negative thoughts and emotions. For those who value time, here are a couple of techniques:
Every time you notice a worry, say to yourself 'Stop it!' 'Enough!' 'I am safe, protected by the Universe.' 'No buts!'. You need to be firm and persistent with this technique
Answer some questions which will challenge your worry. Here are some examples:
- What’s the evidence that this thought is true? (Usually, there’s none.)
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- Is what I’m worrying about within or out of my control?
- What’s the likelihood that what I’m afraid of will actually happen? If it’s low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- How does worrying help the situation, or doesn’t it?
- What would my friend say about this worry? How important will this worry be in ten years' time?
Learn how to deal with your mind- the article continues below:
8. Talk About Your Worries... Ant Then Take Action
It is said that the problem shared becomes half difficult. Talking face to face with a trusted friend or family member can make miracles. Choose someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted.
Saying them out loud can often help you to make sense of what you are feeling and put things in perspective. If your fears are unwarranted, then you will discover unproductive worries and can dissolve them. And if your fears are justified, sharing them with someone else can produce solutions that you may not have thought of alone. To eliminate worries, in the long run, build a supportive system. Write down the names of any people who can lend you an ear.
9. Avoid Infection
We usually address the symptoms of the problem without treating the cause. Think for a while and become aware of what causes worrying. Usually, negative thoughts come from your subconscious mind or are sent telepathically by other beings. Thus, you are actually infected with worry. What o do? Cut the cords and energetic hooks, limit contacts with constant worriers and work on your insecurities.
Learn how to work with energy - the article continues below:
10. Develop new habits
You can also train your muscles. then any worrying will be eliminated as soon as it starts. Creating new habits is one of these tools. Here are some examples of useful habits:
- elimination of mind-reading,
- clearly communicating with people,
- setting healthy boundaries (assertiveness),
- living in the present,
- keeping high personal vibrations,
- keeping high vibrations of our space,
- strengthening your aura.
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In A Nutshell
Today you have learnt ten effective tools of how to eliminate worry. There are two kinds of worries (i.e. productive and unproductive ones). Whichever you address, make sure to take action immediately when they emerge. Good luck.
The content of Awaken Happy Life is published for educational and informative purposes only. It does not substitute medical or any other professional advice. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. The author of Awaken Happy Life is not liable for any consequences of applying any piece of advice published on this website by the reader.