How to Stop Worrying
I don't know about you but I was a compulsive worrier. I worried so much that I felt funny if I didn't have anything to worry about.
I remember the evening before work I would think of everything I had to worry about the next day.
Sometimes there's a need for worry. If there's a loved one that's been in an accident or you've just been given some bad news about your health - it is perfectly normal to worry about things like this.
However, if you find yourself worrying over every little thing and it takes away the enjoyment of life, you may seriously want to address this issue. If left untreated, worry can make you very ill.
Here are some techniques you can use to help you deal with your worries...
Write It Down
Jotting down what you're worrying about often helps you get to the heart of the matter. What's REALLY bothering you? Sometimes I discover that what I THINK I am worrying about ends up being the symptom instead of the cause.
Here's an example...
I recently started a new job. A lot of people tried to discourage me from taking the job because they thought it would be too stressful for me.
One day my boss gave me a challenging task that I had trouble completing. After working on the project for hours, I just couldn't seem to complete it. I got very frustrated and discouraged and closed up my office for the day.
That night I began to think about the job. I started wondering if I made the right decision about the job. Maybe people were right and I shouldn't have taken it.
After I began writing down my thoughts I discovered what was really bothering me was the task I couldn't complete. I was just frustrated by the project.
Worry often brings out emotions and you have to be careful because the emotions can be deceitful and make you believe things that aren't really true. When you start to worry, take some time to write down what's troubling you.
Once you do get to the root of the problem, write down solutions and alternatives to help you deal with whatever is worrying you. Remember, there is a solution to every problem, and jotting down your thoughts often helps you feel better and may even allow you to come up with a solution.
You'll see this suggestion come up a lot on this site. In fact, it even has its own page - I feel positive thinking really is that effective. The concept is pretty simple - negative thoughts product negative results and positive thoughts product positive results.
Instead of agonizing over what could go wrong, try focusing on what's good about the situation. Maybe you could learn something from what you're going through?
Perhaps you'll overcome a fear you've faced for a long time. Start looking at the situation like this and you control the worry rather than letting the worry control you.
I bought "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. I'll admit, he likes to tell a lot of stories to illustrate his points, but he offers some great techniques you can practice when you're worrying and obsessing over something.
I did not grow up in the church and was the biggest religious skeptic there was. I went to church once and a while and when I did go, it was usually because I was forced to by my mom.
I didn't really get into spirituality until I was in my mid to late 20's, which was around the time I started to realize worry and depression was taking over my life.
I figured since nothing else worked to get me out of my funk, I might as well give God a try and see if He really does what other people say.
So I started reading books by Joyce Meyer and they really started to change my life. I love reading her work because she tells of her own trials and tribulations and uses them as examples to illustrate her points.
She had a great section on worry in her book, "In Pursuit of Peace." It really taught me how pointless most worrying is and how to look at it from a different angle. Worry torments us. It sucks the life out of us. And if you are a compulsive worrier like I was, you probably worry about things that you don't even need to.
Ask yourself. What good does it do to worry? It just makes you fearful and can even make you sick. Joyce taught me that people worry simply because they do not trust God. Think about it. If you really have faith and believe that God is in control of your life, you'd never let worry cripple you.
Sure you may worry about things when they are absolutely necessary, but you won't spend your time on senseless worry on issues that are probably going to turn out OK anyway. If you are constantly worrying, try picking up a copy of "In Pursuit of Peace" by Joyce Meyer. She's got some outstanding advice on how to control your mind.
One of the most powerful statements she made in this book was that God equips us to handle everything we need for the day and he'll do the same for us tomorrow. What's the point in worrying about what lies ahead when God has it all under control.
I didn't believe God had it all under control so I continued to worry and try to solve my own problems. Then when I didn't think I could fix them, I'd worry some more. As I began to start praying and reading inspirational books, I began to realize that most things I worried about never turned out as horribly as I thought they would.
What a bunch of wasted energy. God really did have it all under control all these years, yet I continued to worry about how I could fix things myself. I had to reprogram my mind to appreciate the good things in my life. When you do that, it gives you a whole new, fresher perspective.
So I challenge you. Why not trust that God will handle it and focus on more productive tasks that make you feel good about yourself? What do you have to lose? It took me a while to get to this point, but with practice and prayer I'm getting better and better at it.
Trust me, I was the biggest spiritual skeptic around, but when I had no one else to turn to, God was there and he helped me. I believe he can help you too.
HypnosisDownloads.com has a wonderful meditation mp3 that I use called "Stop Worrying". First it gets you to relax and focus on your breathing. Next, it teaches you how to actually become more relaxed around that worry.
What this does is give your worries less control over you. Pretty soon, you'll eventually learn to stop worrying about things altogether.
I had trouble learning how to meditate on my own. I kept getting distracted, so HypnosisDownloads.com gave me guidance so I learned how to start relaxing. I bought about 10 of their relaxation sessions and they really are effective once you practice meditating regularly.
Accept Your Worry
Sometimes the fear of more worry is more stressful than the worry itself. One thing I learned to do when I'm really stressing over something is to say to myself...
"I feel the worry coming on. It's OK, though, because I am bigger than this. It will soon pass. I accept all the thoughts coming into my mind."
I thought this was the dumbest technique ever when I first heard about this, but when I tried it I was amazed. This really works! What it does is take away the power of the worry and pretty soon you start feeling at ease. I encourage you to try it next time you feel a worry coming on.