Stop worrying! It’s something we used to tell my grandmother a lot.
Now that I’m older I find myself worrying, my friends worrying and my family worrying!
Where did all of this worrying come from and what is it doing for us?
You’ve heard that worrying isn’t productive and you’ve probably told yourself to stop worrying. But did you realize that worrying is actually hurting your health?
The tricky thing is our minds are not designed to stop worrying.
In fact, your brain is constantly on the lookout for things to worry about because it’s trying to protect you from life threatening situations (i.e. saber tooth tigers).
The problem is that most of the things we worry about aren’t actually life threatening. Our problems may put us in uncomfortable situations with real issues that we need to face, but the amount of energy we expend worrying about our problems drains us of the energy we need to solve them.
Not to mention that the continual release of stress hormones wears down our bodies and begins to be reflected as weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and all sorts of other stress related illnesses.
So how do you stop worrying and start improving your ability to take the actions that will solve your problems?
3 Steps to Stop Worrying and Take Action
1.) Pause and ask yourself what you can actually do.
The first step is to learn to catch yourself just as you are about to take a jaunt down the weary worrier’s spiral staircase. When you find yourself worrying about something pause and ask if there is an immediate action you can take to make it better. If you can’t take an immediate action, can you take one in the short-term?
If you can do something, then stop worrying and take action as soon as possible. Action is the only way you are going to minimize the effects of worrying and resolve your personal challenges.
2.) Write it down.
Write your worry down. If there are a slew of troubles on your mind make a list of your worries. Once you have it out of your head and on paper you can plan a brainstorming session to come up with actions that will help you solve the problem/s in the long-term. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this small step stops the energy drain of worrying.
The key is that you must schedule a time to actually make a plan for how you will deal with your particular worry. If you just write it down, it will help a little, but it won’t leave you as satisfied as making progress on the issue.
3.) Take action!
Finally, you must act. If a problem is big enough to make you continually worry, it won’t go away until you choose to approach it one step at a time. Some problems are truly out of your control and there is nothing that you can actually do, but wait. If there is nothing you can do to effect the situation then your best defense is to accept that fact, and take each moment as it comes – trusting that you will have the energy and resources you need to handle whatever outcome you face.
Worrying won’t get you to the end result any faster. What it will do is waste the precious time that is your life. You can only live now, in the present. If your mind is constantly focused on future, you’ll miss your actual life.
Did you read all of that? Here’s the real secret…
The real secret to stop worrying is to change your perspective on your problems. Most of us worry about our problems because we don’t want them. We want life to be simple and easy. What if you saw your problems as unique gifts that only you are equipped to handle?
Can you see how the problems of your past have shaped who you are today? Would you like to use your current problems to empower you to become the best version of yourself, rather than a helpless worrier?
It’s time for you to accept your problems and take the actions that are within your power. If you’re doing those two things, then you are doing your best. Now go ahead and stop worrying, so you can start living.
I would love to know if this has helped you gain a new perspective on your worries. Please leave a comment below and together we can take action to stop worrying and start living.