If you’re like most of us, you must have felt that you’re stuck in a rut? Not able to do a single thing, but worry about all the things you have to get done and all the outstanding bills you have to pay? The harder you try, the deeper you seem to sink.
It seems that you just won’t overcome from all of these. It has happened with most of us. So, the question is how to stop worrying and start living a happy life to make a difference in your future?
Fortunately, there are at least 10 things you can do right now to change your life for the better.
#1: Designate a Worrying Time and Place
It may seem sort of silly to specifically set aside a time and place to worry if you’re suffering from chronic worrying, but doing so can be very cathartic. Sometimes, you worry because you haven’t set aside the time to actually think through a problem or consider all of the possibilities — and by allowing yourself that time, you might be able to follow what seems like an endless frustration to its natural conclusion.
#2: Attack “Solvable” Worries — and Let the Others Go
Some worries are solvable — you can act on a fear or change something in your environment and the worry goes away! Others are not. Unsolvable worries consist of fears of the unknown or chronic worries about something that you can’t remove from your life.
If your worries are solvable, what are you waiting for? Either go fix whatever is bugging you or create a plan consisting of the steps you need to take in order to fix the problem. For example, if you are always worrying about your dog escaping his leash and running away, you can trade the leash for a more secure harness. Or, if you have guests coming in a week and your house is a complete pigsty, tackle one room a day until you’ve fixed the problem.
Don’t waste your time on unsolvable worries. Instead, learn to accept the object of your concern or just let it go. You’ll feel so much freer.
#3: Try Meditation
No, you don’t have to become a monk to overcome your worrying habit, but getting a little more in touch with your spiritual side won’t hurt. Even practicing a few deep breathing exercises during your next five minute break can provide the stability you need to keep going. A few other ways you can meditate and relax are to join a yoga studio, get involved in aquatic therapy or go to a local spa.
#4: Disconnect for a While
Our society is locked in an “always-on” mode. Some of us check our work email constantly or even forward work calls to our cell phones. Even if you don’t, in all likelihood, you’ve got a phone in your pocket that frequently buzzes or vibrates to announce the arrival of a new call, text or email. Each time you hear the notification sound, you start wondering what it could be.
These situations draw your mind off the task at hand, and for many of us it can take 25 minutes to get back to work after a distraction. With a less interrupted day, you will better be able to keep your worries in check.
#5: Keep Worry Notes
What’s bothering you? Write it down. Keeping a record or journal of your worries will organize your thoughts. Who knows — they might seem silly when you see them in front of you or at least more manageable.
#6: Stay Busy
Do you find yourself worrying in your downtime? One easy way to cut back on your worrying is to keep yourself occupied! After all, if you’re filling up your schedule — preferably with healthy, positive activities — you’ll have less time to spend fretting.
#7: Practice Healthy Behaviors
Speaking of healthy, positive activities, taking care of your body can actually ease your worrying. Practice good nutrition and exercise habits and you will find that you are sick less often and actually feel happier. All too often, people turn to alcohol or –worse- drugs as a coping mechanism. If you find that you’ve exhibited this behavior in the past, break the cycle now. You could even go to a private rehab facility if necessary to get back to healthy living and kick a possible addiction.
#8: Feel Grateful About Something
Did you know that it’s incredibly difficult to worry about something while you are feeling grateful about something else? If you have a concern you can’t seem to kick, turn your mind to the things you are thankful for. Write them down if you have to! Once you see that you have so many things to appreciate, it will be easier to tackle your frustrations head on.
#9: Get Enough Sleep
Constant sleep deficit can actually make you paranoid. Make sure you get a solid eight hours a night in order to have the best chance of fighting off your mental demons.
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#10: Keep a Handle on Your Anxiety
Don’t just ignore or push back your anxious feelings. In order to control your worries, you need to recognize them. Sure, keeping busy is a good way to distract yourself from minor worries, but if you have a major concern, you need to take the time to address it.
Worrying has a time and a place — one that you should pick. It’s important not to let it consume your life. Follow these 10 steps today to Stop Worrying and Start Living, to regain your freedom and improve your life.