5 Simple Steps to Stop Worrying from Ruining Your Day

Don'tPanicI found a great resource for tackling this problem and I will summarize it here. Be sure to read the full article linked below.

Do you find it hard to stop worrying?

There is only one type of helpful worrying: the kind that causes you to take action to solve a problem. If your worrying sticks around too long, it can have some devastating effects.

What about you? Are your “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios sapping your emotional energy, sending your anxiety levels soaring, or interfering with your daily life?

Here are some strategies that I use to keep worry at bay. The good news is, “chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

Stop Worrying Step 1: Create a worry period

It may seem odd, but setting a date in your mind for your time to worry, can be really helpful. For example, give yourself permission to “worry” for 30 minutes in the middle of the day. Not too late at night to interfere with sleep and late enough that you can have several worries to evaluate during your 30 minutes. Try jotting down on a note pad every worry that comes to mind throughout the day and pull out this list during your official 30 minutes.

Stop Worrying Step 2: Ask yourself if the problem is solvable

If you are worrying about something you can do something about, start brainstorming ideas and ways to solve the problem. For example, if you are worried about paying for your child’s college tuition, make a simple list of things you can do about it, like contact my CPA for investment options, research scholarships, etc.

If you are a chronic worrier and your thoughts have taken over on things you cannot control, it is time to take a deep look at your emotions. From HelpGuide.org: “While you’re worrying, your feelings are temporarily suppressed, but as soon as you stop, the tension and anxiety bounces back. And then, you start worrying about your feelings, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel this way!” Start to acknowledge that emotions are OK. It is ok to feel anger or fear. Sometimes your feelings don’t have to make sense.

Stop Worrying Step 3: Accept uncertainty

The first step here is to realize that there are going to be things that happen that are unpredictable. Chronic worriers spend so much time worrying about what terrible thing might happen they fail to enjoy the present where all is good and safe. Instead of worrying, pause and consider if you have an overwhelming need for certainty and immediate answers and why.

Stop Worrying Step 4: Challenge anxious thoughts

Chronic worriers also have a tendency to have thoughts and worst-case scenarios that are more severe than could truly occur. Face your anxious thoughts head on and ask yourself: is this true or not true; is there a more positive way to look at the situation, or what are the likely outcomes—could one of them be more realistic?

Stop Worrying Step 5: Practice mindfulness

One of my favorite topics: Mindfulness! Yes, worry is focused on the future, the what ifs and what might happens. Mindfulness takes some practice, but the benefits are many. You will enjoy what you have in the here and now much more and will be less inclined to worry about things you cannot change.

Try practicing Mindfulness now. I have just released a new 4-minute meditation that I hope you will find beneficial.

Doing my best to Live Life On Purpose…

Terri Mudge

SOURCE: “How to Stop Worrying.” : Self-Help for Anxiety Relief. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/how-to-stop-worrying.htm. Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: January 2016