Psychologists define worry as the persistent negative thinking about a future event evolved as constructive problem solving. Continuous worry does us a world of harm. In majority of the cases, people worry due to the belief that “through excessive worry about an event they can prevent it from happening”. Such hyper-vigilant state does nothing more than straining the cardiovascular system which ultimately renders the body unable to cope with it. So let us discuss some proven easy ways to stop worrying:
1. Live each day until bedtime
“Give us this day our daily bread”. This simple prayer asks only for today’s bread. It does not state anything about the stale bread eaten yesterday; nor does it say anything about the drought this year that might not give us good bread next autumn. The wonderful prayer teaches us one simple thing: live a day-to-day existence, asking only for today’s bread and not worry about tomorrow.
2. Accept the situation as is or try to improve it
Start by identifying or analyzing your worry: is it productive or unproductive worrying? Some degree of worrying can actually be constructive and can lead to solving issues. Ask yourself what is the worse that could happen and prepare yourself to accept the consequence. Try to improve the situation where possible.
3. Know what worrying does to your health
Men who cannot successfully fight worry die young. Remind yourself what worry can do to your mind, body and spirit. Worry has been scientifically linked with many diseases- from common colds to arthritis to stomach issues to heart disorders.
4. Be mindful
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist principle that means living in the present moment while experiencing and accepting all emotions, whether good or bad. This technique is proven method of preventing worrying. Breathing deeply and mindfully can also help you stay in the present moment.
5. Be grateful
List down things you are thankful for. This will take your mind off the things causing stress.
6. Let go!
This means having faith. As professor of Philosophy at Harvard, Sir William James puts it: “The sovereign cure for worry is religious faith”. So-keep an appointment with the divine. Write down your worries and dedicate a time of the day to think about things that bog you down. Then pray and submit those worries to the higher powers. Many people find answers to their worries using this technique.
7. Stop being a control freak!
Most chronic worriers worry because they fear lack of control. So accept that you can never have complete control on your life. Experts actually recommend repeating mantras to help such people for example, say “I will lose my job” repeatedly for 20 minutes. Most people get bored and do not get to the end of 20 minutes!
8. Put your worries into perspective.
Take a look at past situations where you worried excessively. Where did that get you? You survived it, didn’t you?
9. Give a positive spin to your worry
Perhaps losing that job may not be as bad as you are making it out to be. Give a positive spin to your worrying and evaluate, assess and re-frame possible disappointments. This can help take the sting out of situations should your worry come true.
Worrying is what makes us human and worry does have a positive side to it. Constructive worrying can lead to improvements and can also benefit performance. However, there is a very fine line between beneficial worry and negative or detrimental worry. Successful people always work on the positive or higher side of the worrying scale. So go ahead, use your worry to go above and beyond, attend to details others might miss-and take action, resolve problems and reduce anxiety.
We leave you with this short quiz to find out if you are an excessive worrier.
- Not at all (0 points)
- A bit (1 point)
- Moderately (2 points)
- Quite a lot (3 points)
- Excessively (4 points)
My common worries are-rate on scale of 0-4
- That my opinions are worthless or I cannot be assertive enough
- About the future of my job
- That I will be unable to fulfill my ambitions
- Not being up-to-date with work
- My financial problems will keep me from my goals
- I am insecure
- Life has no purpose
- My friends will leave me
- My achievements are nothing to boast about
- If I make mistakes, I will be ridiculed
- I am not good looking
- People will think I am a fool
- Winning approval of others s impossible
- My relationships will be a total failure
Add up your points. If you scored more than 35, you are clinically an unhealthy worrier. It might help to try the relaxation techniques given here or even seek help from a professional.