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How To Stop Worrying – 5 Effective Strategies

“How can I stop worrying?” “How do I stop worrying?”, Well, stop worrying already!!!!

‘Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.’ – Van Wilder

Most of us worry a heck of a lot more than we need to. When you look at times you have obsessively worried, did the worrying solve anything? Worrying is almost always guaranteed to make situations worse and to decrease your happiness. If you really think about it, you will realize that worrying never solves anything.

Instead of worrying, try and focus on what you can do to solve the problem right now.  And if there is no answer then let it go.

I personally have convinced myself that if I was asked how much I would be willing to pay to never have to worry again, it would be much more than the amount of money I will lose by not worrying about things in my life.

“In all of our lives we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double!” – Bobby McFerrin’s 1989 hit Don’t Worry, Be Happy

5 Effective Strategies To Stop Worrying

“Don’t worry about things that you have no control over, because you have no control over them. Don’t worry about things that you have control over, because you have control over them.” -Mickey Rivers

1. Create a “Worry Time”

Telling yourself to stop doing something often backfires because in order to know what not to, you must think about it! So instead of saying “do not worry”, create a “worry time”. Find a comfortable, quiet place, and give yourself 15 minutes or so to get all of the worrying out of your head! Do not allow worry to continue to get “free rent” inside of your mind! During this time you can worry all you want and about anything. However, during the rest of your day remind yourself that you’re in the worry-free zone and must wait for your special worry time. Write the thought on a piece of paper if you are “worried” that you will not remember it for later!

Stop Worry
Image copyright Roberto Bouza –

This will significantly cut back on the amount of time you spend worrying each day and overall increase your energy and happiness.

2. Find a Positive Distraction

Worrying got you by the tongue? Go do something to get your mind off of it. Go visit a friend, call family, watch a comedy, go work-out, etc. This way you double up on the happiness benefits! 1) You knock out worrying and 2) You are doing something good for yourself that makes you smile. Try this post to learn how to be positive.

3. Move your Worries to Paper

Perhaps in a diary or journal, unleash all of your worries onto paper. For some people this gives a strong sense of relief and they feel they do not have to keep such a “close watch”, on those worries anymore. Also sometimes it helps us to think through the thoughts that our subconscious mind is sending us daily.  Putting your worries on paper allows you to see them and handle them directly. Perhaps it will help you find the true fear in your worry and tangibly work on improving the situation.

4. Replace Worry with Problem Solving

While worrying does provide temporary relief it does not effectively solve the problem. Worrying simply distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel as though you are getting something accomplished. But in order to get something accomplished you must evaluate the situation, figure a way to solve the problem, and take steps to put the plan in action. How many times has worrying led to a concrete outcome, resulting in a happier life for you? Probably not too many.

To red flag worry ask yourself the following to see if it is something worth trying to solve:

-Is it a problem you are currently facing, or an imaginary “what-if scenario”?

-If it is a “what-if scenario”, how realistic is the concern?

-Is it in your control? Is it possible for you to do something about the situation?

If it is simply worry, then do yourself a favor and toss it! If it is something you can solve, than begin brainstorming and problem solving right now, instead of worrying! Focus on the things that you have control over and don’t worry about finding the perfect solution as this will cause more anxiety. Once you have a plan of action you will feel little reason to continue on worrying about the matter.

5. Practice Mediation

Mediation does a lot more for you than simply reducing the amount of time you spend worrying. However, it is an awesome tool to significantly reduce worrying, help you learn to control your thoughts, find inner peace, and increase your happiness.

You can mediate in a variety of ways, classes, CD’s, youtube videos, breathing exercises, etc. These things work great by relaxing you and helping dissolve worry and anxiety. Try closing your eyes and taking a deep breath deep while repeating “relax”, if you would like a quick fix. Meditation calms and gives us control over our mind. As Josiah Gilbert Holland said, “Calmness is the cradle of power”.

 “Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” – Mary Hemingway

Worry is habitual which means make a habit of not worrying and it will go away! So no more “What if’s” or “If only’s”, take charge of your life and nip worrying in the bud! Remember:

“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” –Ovid

How do You Fight Worry?

Do you use our strategies or are there some of your own that do the trick? Please let us know in the comments below!

But wait there’s more! You may also find the following post to be helpful in increasing your happiness:

How Can I Get More Confidence? Answered

12 Strategies to Stop Negative Thoughts


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