How to Stop Worrying
In this game called ‘life’, there are a lot of things we would want to get hold of – these are our decisions, plans, and the factors that affect everything around us. However, as far as our free will can bring us, there are certain things we cannot and will never control like the results, behaviors, and consequences of our plans and decisions; Honestly, these are the main sources of our frustrations. As much as we would want to control everything, things may always not go the way we planned it, and these are the factors we keep worrying about.
While worrying is a natural response whenever we plan for something, it also messes everything up in our head. If uncontrolled, it may lead to more serious worrying and may end up catastrophic than what we usually imagine. We sometimes refuse to accept the truth that we worry too much, and we subtly battle on these issues through not delegating, controlling over everything and everyone, micromanaging, and even overloading of one’s tasks. These may lead to poor time management and even poor leadership.
So, if worrying is a natural response, how do we really stop doing it?
Well, we need to accept the fact that whatever we are worrying about never happened before and we should stop worrying from there before we get lost to our vague fears. Uncertainty is natural in life and coping with it is essential learning to maturing adults. We need to be aware of the things that get us worried but be careful not to respond reactively to each worry. Responding reactively would just create a ripple effect and it would cloud up our minds with nonsense worries. Unless we are not anticipating anything factual or based on previous experience, then everything else is just made up thoughts.
When you are worried, take a minute to examine the things you control. You cannot prevent a storm, but you can prepare yourself for it. You cannot control how someone else acts, but how you react. Recognize that sometimes all you can control is your effort and attitude. You will be much more effective if you put your energy into things you can control. You can influence people and circumstances, but you cannot do it. So, while you can give your child the tools, he needs to get good grades, you cannot get a perfect score for him, for example. And you can’t make people have fun, while you can plan a good party.
Focus on changing your behavior to have the most influence. Be a good role model and set yourself healthy boundaries. If you have concerns about the choices of someone else, share your opinion, but only once. Don’t attempt to fix people who don’t want to fix themselves. Ask yourself what you fear is going to happen: do you predict a catastrophic result? Are you questioning your ability to deal with disappointment? The worst-case scenario is usually not as tragic as you might imagine. You’re stronger than you think. But sometimes people are so busy thinking things like, ” I cannot let my company fail,” that they don’t take the time to ask themselves, ” What would I do if my company failed?” Recognizing that you can deal with the worst-case scenario can help you put your energy into more productive exercises.
Research shows you are temporarily less anxious while you are worried. The problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel that something is being done. But worrying and solving problems are two very different things.
It is not helpful to repeat conversations in your head or to imagine catastrophic results time and time again. But it is a problem to solve. Ask yourself if your thinking is successful. If you actively solve a problem, like finding ways to increase your chances of success, continue to work on solutions. If you waste your time ruminating, change your brain’s channel. Recognize that your thoughts are not helpful and do something else for a couple of minutes to focus your brain on something more productive. Exercising, eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep are just some of the important things you must do to take care of you. You also need time to manage your stress so that you can function more efficiently. Find good stress relievers, such as meditation, a nice hobby or time with friends. Pay attention to your stress and see how you are dealing with distress. Eliminate unhealthy coping skills such as complaining to others or excessive drinking.
Then, when I think of something, I have no control over, like, ” I hope it doesn’t rain on Saturday,” I say to myself, ‘I can deal with that’. These short sentences that I have on hand prevent me from wasting my time on things that I can’t control. I’m either going to do what I can to make it happen or deal with things over which I have no control.
Others know those bad things cannot be prevented, but they are worried about them anyway. They are worried about everything from natural disasters to fatal conditions. Their concerns keep them busy, but in the end, they waste time and energy, because worrying doesn’t matter.
Productive, solvable worries are the ones you can act on immediately. If you are concerned about your bills, for example, you can call your creditors to see flexible payment options. Unproductive and insolvable concerns are those for which no corresponding action exists. ” What if one day I get cancer?” or ” What if my child has an accident?”
If the problem cannot be resolved, accept the uncertainty. If you are a chronic worrier, you probably have most of your anxious thoughts in this camp. Worrying is often a way of predicting what the future holds — a way of preventing unpleasant surprises and controlling the outcome. The problem is, it’s not working. Thinking about everything that might go wrong does not make life predictable anymore. Concentrating on worst-case scenarios will only prevent you from enjoying the good things you have today. Tackle your need for certainty and immediate responses to stop worrying.
So, are you still worrying now?