It’s perfectly normal to worry but if it is constant and extreme, it can be dangerous to your health and even your life. Because of this, it is important to keep worry in check. Ultimately worrying about something serves no purpose. It’s counterproductive and causes more pain than anything. If you find that apprehension is taking over your life, use these 5 amazingly simple strategies to stop worrying.
1. Question the Reality
Most of the worries you might have are unfounded. How likely is it that your worst fear will come to pass? More than likely they will not. Face bad news when you get it, not before. Ask yourself this question, “How likely is this to happen?” Then assign it one of these values: not likely, likely, very likely. Assigning your answer a value will cause you to look objectively at the situation.
2. Counter Negative Thoughts with Positive Thoughts
Create an opposite positive thought for the thing you are worried about. For example, if you are thinking, “I’m going to hear bad test results from the doctor,” create a thought in your mind that says, “I’m perfectly healthy and will hear great news.” Just by saying that repeatedly in your mind when worry sets in will change your mood and help you stop worrying. This has worked time and time again for me and almost 100% of the time, my new positive thought turned out to be the reality.
3. Live in the Moment
In the past, I would get so fixated on worry that the fear consumed me. I’d get paranoid about screwing up an audition or a speech for instance. I would work myself up so much that I would get headaches and feel fatigued. When this starts to happen to you, live in the moment. In other words, focus on what is in front of you. Use your senses to absorb your environment. What sounds do you hear? What colors do you see? Are there any smells? What textures do you feel? What people are around you? Doing this will take your mind off of worrying instantly.
4. Do Something Physically Active to Stop Worrying
Worry and stress are bad for your health. It causes all kinds of turmoil in your body and it is literally killing you a little bit at a time. Find something active to do that will counteract these effects in your body. Take up a physical activity like biking, running, or walking. Try to do something active every day. The endorphins that these activites release into the body calms you and keeps stress in check.
If you aren’t meditating regularly then it is time to start. Meditation develops the skills necessary to let go of worrying thoughts. You’ll be able to view your thoughts as separate “things” and be able to distance yourself from them.
It’s normal to worry but too much of it does more harm than good. I said this before, worrying serves no purpose whatsoever. It doesn’t change reality, it only makes your life more stressful. Use these 5 simple strategies to stop worrying next time you feel overwhelmed.
Do you struggle with worrying too much? Let me know in the comments below.