How to Stop Worrying: 7 Effective Habits


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 By: Dragos Bernat

Worries begin with a thought.

That one thought leads into the next thought. We have now doubled our worries.

Next is a series of more thoughts. Followed by..? More worries.

Soon we are caught up in a cycle of thoughts. Thoughts only about worry. This worry can lead into anxiety and fear.

We all have days when we worry too much. Too much of anything is never good. Especially too much worry. Worry leaves an impact on our energy, well being and ability to enjoy life.

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

7 habits to stop incessant worrying

1. Pause, wait and breathe. If your mind is constantly reliving it’s past or focusing on the worries of the future; pause, wait and breathe. This is a simple and yet powerful habit we can practice. It can help make us present. When a situation or thought(s) become to much, just pause. Wait and take a breath. Don’t resist your thoughts. Accept that the thoughts are there. Now focus on your breath. Take a deep inhale. When the worries become too much, focus back to your breath.

Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

2. Over analyzing. We sometimes think so much that we over analyze an entire situation before it has even happened. I used to fall victim to this, daily. I used to over play a situation before it even happened to near perfection. Guess what? My thoughts made the situation much worse than it was. All my worries were just that, worries. All that thinking helped me do was take away from the experience I was having.

3. The perception of others. I used to constantly worry about how others would see me. What, when and how they would see me? It would make me worry about what others were thinking of me resulting in anxiety. Everyone has their own perception of the world. How they see you correlates to how they see themselves. Will a person who is happy demonstrate their anger to another? How someone see’s you is their perception. Whether it’s good or bad, it belongs to them. It’s their problem, don’t make it yours.

4. Comparing. Don’t compare yourself to others. All you are doing is inviting worry into your life.

The wonderful quote by John O’Donohue summarizes what comparing leads to.

No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground. When you compare yourself to others, you are inviting envy into your consciousness; it can be a dangerous and destructive guest.

5. Let go. Let go and move forward. Move past your worries by taking a step forward. Ask yourself how you can move forward from your current situation? Ask yourself what you can do to stop your worrying. Voice your situation to someone. Take a step back and mentally reset. Walk away from the situation if needed. If something is making you worry and causing you stress; let it go and move forward. Make one little step to move forward. Once that is done, focus on the next step. The more you move forward, the more you move away from the worrying.

My favorite quote;

“Let go or be dragged.”

6. Understand this moment. Are you worrying about something that will happen in the future? Give it up. It’s only causing you to worry. You will not do anything to fix that situation. Where you stand right now is the only place that you can be. You cannot be in the future. When the situation does present itself that is the only time you can actually do something about it. Until then all you are do is contributing to your own worry. Alternatively you can try and build a time machine to end your worries.

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
~Marcus Aurelius

7. Meditate. Worrying stems from thinking. So meditate. Meditate daily if you can. Start with even 2 minutes a day. Meditation will make you aware of your thought patterns. The more you meditate; the less thinking (not productive thinking, just over thinking). It gives you the needed break from your mental clutter. It adds clarity to your life. Ever since I started meditating I’ve cut down my involuntary thoughts. I think less about irrelevant worries and have more freedom inside my mind. Check out here: How to Meditate and The Benefits of Meditation

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
―Corrie ten Boom

Ultimately It comes down to you. It takes daily practice to stop worrying. The more you practice being mindful of yourself and your thoughts, the less worry in your life. So listen carefully and don’t take your thoughts so damn seriously.


Related: Letting Go of Expectations and Judgements


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  1. Cody says

    I love this article. theres so many helpful tips to letting go. I’m trying to practice these habits daily. i’ll be revisiting this article later on

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