BY TINA WILLIAMSON NOVEMBER 9, 2013
If you’re anything like me, you might worry like it’s a second job: if the coffee is good or bad, if we’ll get that promotion, and what diseases the future has in store for us. The unfortunate part is that this all-consuming gig doesn’t pay money—it pays in stress, unhappiness, anxiety, and inner turmoil.
It can feel almost unbearable waiting for these future outcomes to transpire. Sometimes our worries are small and manageable and pass, but sometimes worry becomes a chronic default setting. When we worry chronically, it becomes second nature to live in this revved up state of anxiety and restlessness. Know that you’re not alone; chances are, if you are breathing you are likely worrying.
Instead of replaying the same old worries day after day, why don’t we look at how to stop worrying and start living peacefully?
1. Take time for silence.
We need to first understand why we worry—worry comes from unpleasant thoughts that our mind manifests. When we follow these thoughts, we tend to dwell, fixate, exaggerate and obsess. Through silence, we can become acquainted with these thoughts and through mindfulness and meditation we can change these thoughts.
2. Get rid of stuff.
Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise. But material possessions are things we can lose, and with that comes worry and stress. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.
3. Give yourself a safe space.
Whether your safe space is a room designed for yoga or meditation or simply your bedroom or office, the point is it should be relaxing, a place where you can close the doors to the outside stressors and just breathe.
4. Create a budget.
Even though it may seem like you’ll never have enough money, you need to stop stressing about it. One way to stop worrying about money is to gain some control over it. Create a budget and follow it.
5. Organize your time and self.
When you’re overextended, you are being flung in every direction, and when that happens, you’re not really following through on anything or doing anything particularly great. This ignites stress; we want to be perfect for everyone all the time. Make effective use of your time; learn how to say no, set a realistic schedule and forget about the expectations others project onto you.
6. Stop being influenced by media.
The media can make us feel like we are not thin, rich, or successful enough. It also instils fear of war, disease and even coffee. The media can be a fear-based breeding ground for worry.
7. Be rational.
Ask yourself, “Are my worries realistic?”
It releases endorphins, which make the brain feel good. Exercise also reduces the body’s stress hormones.
9. Express gratitude.
Stop worrying about things that may or may not happen and start being thankful for the things you have right now. Developing an attitude of gratitude can transform our states of mind. Spend a few minutes each day, listing things for which you are thankful.
10. Trust yourself.
Do you worry about whether you’re on the right path? Get quiet so that you can hear the small voice deep inside of you. Your inner GPS won’t steer you wrong.
Simply tune into your inner compass; it’s guiding you in the right direction.
Remember these things:
- Worrying accomplishes nothing.
- Worrying is bad for you.
- Worrying is the opposite of trust and peace.
- Worrying puts your attention in the wrong direction.
When worry does grab a hold of you, these fun tips can help stop it from snowballing:
- Listen to music
- Go to a party
- Read a book
- Have a movie night with your friends
- Go camping
- Have a family outing
- Spend a day at the beach
- Take a relaxing cleansing breath ….
Aaahhhh. Feel the stress float away.