How to Put an End to Worry

Worry is defined as tormenting ourselves with disturbing thoughts. But worry usually

  • doesn’t change the situation
  • isn’t good for you 
  • expands in all directions. 

Almost everyone has experienced worry, usually about, something we don’t want to do, (a test or interview for example) an outcome we are unsure about (results of a medical test for example) or something that could have negative consequences (a prospect of redundancy or a worry that children are making risky choices).

But it doesn’t solve anything, there is an old English proverb that describes it well 

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”.

We know how we feel when we worry, it isn’t a nice feeling, it might make our stomach churn, stop us sleeping, make us irritable and it can make it difficult to concentrate on almost anything else. 

Worrying has a nasty habit of expanding, you start worrying about one thing and then you find think of lots situations to worry about until your whole mind is just full of worry. Here’s how to put a stop to worry.

1. Pinpoint what you are Actually Worrying about

worrying about

Up Your Self Confidence

 if it’s a driving test, is it the actual test, or is it the possibility that you might fail. The strategies to deal with the worry might be the same but it is helpful to think why you are worrying. Sometimes it’s the result of an underlying fear, to some extent everyone has a fear of failure but a very low self-esteem may make that fear intolerable. If there is an underlying emotional issue, get help.

2. Be Rational about the Worry

be rational

Being Happy Everyday

sometimes it even helps to write it down. What is the worst that can happen? Say you fail the driving test, rationally you can re-sit, it may be inconvenient, it may cost more, but it can be overcome. Even more serious ‘worries’ maybe diagnosis of an illness, worry won’t help it but there will be steps that can be taken and support available but worrying BEFORE you know the score really doesn’t achieve anything.

3. Check the Facts

check the facts

Design Your Own Success

Be sure about the facts because there may be no cause TO worry. Rumours can be terrible for causing unnecessary worry. If someone in the office says redundancies may be on the cards or the company is closing for example– check with management or if you have a physical symptom you are worrying about – go to see the doctor.

4. Take Action

take action

Action Plan for Success

If you have checked the facts and there is a cause to worry then take action. We often deal with worry (and stress) much more effectively when we take action, it helps us feel more in control and less of a victim. So if it’s redundancy start considering what your options are, if you’ve been worrying that you have upset someone go and talk to them. There is something about facing our worries that can rob them of power.

5. Manage your Thoughts

manage your thoughts

Positive Thoughts

If you tell yourself NOT to think about whatever is worrying you, we all know what happens – it’s like someone saying don’t think about pink elephants, suddenly that’s all we can think about! So give yourself a definite alternative – think about lying peacefully, feeling safe and happy near the ocean with the sun warm on your body, or any other peaceful, happy situation that appeals to you. If your mind wanders bring it back and fill in some extra detail, what is the sand like, what noises can you hear.

6. Visualise What You Want

visualize what you want

Take Better Decisions

Another strategy is to visualise the outcome you DO want rather than worrying about what you DON’T want to happen. This quote by Abraham Hicks sums it up 

“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t’ want.”

So turn that around, if it’s the driving test imagine being told you’ve passed, feeling excited, phoning your friends.

It is about concentrating on the positive, worry will always lead to more worry. If you study the law of attraction you will know that thoughts are powerful and having positive thoughts can make us have more positive lives. If you learn to master your thoughts you can stop worrying.
 

BySheila Mulvenney

After initially training as a nurse then teacher, I worked in care and education settings and then with local authorities and independent organisations for many years. In 2013 I trained as a therapist and started my own business, Attuned Education, offering tuition, training, therapy, coaching and consultancy. My first book ‘Ready to Learn’ aims to help teachers address the emotional needs of troubled children and young people and is due to be published By Worth Publishers in the next few months. My partner and I have three grown up children and onegrandson, and we share a love of music, travel, food and fun.

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