Free Yourself From Worry in 5 Simple Steps

Some people say that it is in their nature to worry. While it is true that some personality types may be more prone to worrying, it is actually more of a learned habit and it is possible to free yourself from worry in five simple steps. Worry is self-generated. It is formulated by your brain alone, although usually it is your subconscious brain. This is great news because it means that you do actually have complete control over it.

Most of the time we can consciously release the hold of worry thoughts by looking at them with a different perspective.

Here are the 5 simple steps to help free yourself from worry:

1. Focus on the present moment

When you start worrying about the future – stop and ask yourself “am I OK right now?”. If you are safe, well and have enough in this current point in time then focus on that rather than what might come, or might not come. Focus on your present – it is a gift.

2. Ask yourself 2 crucial questions

When it comes to worrying ask yourself the following two questions about the source of your worry:

  1. Can you do anything about it?
  2. Does it really matter?

If the answer is no then let it go.

Constantly worrying about things that you can do nothing to change just leads to chronic, damaging stress. It is destructive and unproductive. Often we worry about things that really don’t matter in the larger scheme of life.

3. Let it go

Sometimes when you realise that you are worrying about something you can’t do anything about or that doesn’t really matter you can just take a deep breath, and let the worry go as you breathe out.

However, if it is something that is triggering deeper beliefs for you, or if you have a deeply embedded worrying habit then you may need some extra help. One thing to try is writing down the worry. This gets the thoughts out of your head, frees your mind and helps you to look at the source of your worry from a more objective perspective.

If you are really having difficulty breaking the worrying habit then you can try weaning yourself by setting a specific worry time each day. The idea with worry time is that you set aside 10 minutes twice a day to worry. To make this work you need to be consistent and do it twice a day for at least 10 days in a row. During your set 10 minute worry time that is all you do. In your head you go through every worry, tease it out, evoke your worst fears and think only negative thoughts. Don’t try to solve anything or convince yourself that your worries are irrational. Just worry. If you run out of new worries before the 10 minutes are up then go through them all again. Worry for the full 10 minutes.

The idea behind this is that instead of worrying on and off throughout the day, fighting it or trying to suppress it you just freely indulge all your worries for a certain period each day, but only for that period. This has two effects; it acknowledges and accepts all your worries so that you can then let them be, and, after a few days you start to get a bit bored with worrying. It becomes hard to worry for the full 10 minutes. This technique begins to train your body to have responses to worrying other than just getting anxious or stressed. It takes the emotional edge off it and lessons its hold.

4. Turn it around

Worry usually consists of imagining the negative side of things that could possibly happen. We gravitate towards what we focus on, so focus on what you do want to happen. Instead of thinking about all the things that might go wrong, visualise what would happen if everything went right. You do not even really have to believe that it will happen that way. Have fun with imagining the best possible outcome you could – make it a game. Imagining the positive ‘what if’ not only changes your thought patterns at least for a while, but it also stimulates positive emotions. The stimulation of positive emotions such as excitement, joy and gratitude relieves stress and enables you to be more creative when it comes to problem solving.

5. Take Action

Formulate an action plan to deal with the source of your worry. This helps relieve worry by enabling you to feel in control of the situation. It also gives you an alternative positive focus. You focus on the actions you need to take to get the outcome you want rather than on negative ‘what ifs”.

For instance, if you worry about not having enough money then an appropriate action plan might be to write a budget and work at applying it. When you can see clearly how much money you have coming in and how that can be allocated to cover everything you need, then you don’t have to worry about not having enough.

Sometimes worries are linked to much stronger sub-conscious fears. If you find that the above techniques don’t help with shifting particular persistent worries then I recommend that you try a sub-conscious re-programming technique like Meridian Tapping/Emotional Freedom Technique or hypnosis. These techniques may also be helpful if you have become a habitual worrier and worry is therefore part of your ‘comfort zone’ ie you couldn’t imagine not worrying or to not worry would make you feel like something was ‘not right’.

Use the strategies outlined in this article and you’ll be able to follow the words of the song ‘don’t worry, be happy’ and engage your mental energy to create things that make you smile.

Author: Health Care on June 3, 2011
Category: Anxiety

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