How To Stop Constant Worrying And Start Being Happy Again
What keeps you from focusing on the things that matter? Politics? Ageing? Money? Bad weather?!
It’s so hard to live your life when you’re worrying all the time. Worry can prevent us from enjoying our job, our hobbies, our friends, and it can even damage our relationships.
Unrelenting personal fear and anxiety is debilitating and causes you stress that manifests itself both physically and mentally.
So why do we worry so much if it’s destroying our lives?!
Most of us would say that we can’t help but worry.
“It’s just the way I am,” we argue. “I was born a worrier.”
This is not true. Worry creates changeable behaviours and habits that we picked up somewhere along the line. My dad was terrified of enclosed spaces because he got trapped in a lift as a kid. The memory stayed with him most of his life, until he sought out help. He learned, as many others have, that our fears and anxieties don’t have to be with us for life. Our behaviours can be changed.
If you want to stop worrying all the time and start being happy again, let’s take a look at a few ways to do just that.
Most Of What You Worry About Never Actually Happened
“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill
How do you feel about this quote? Does it apply to your own life?
If, like me, you spend most of your time worrying about future events, you’ll surely have noticed by now that few – if any – actually pan out the way you imagine.
I used to worry about all kinds of things, so much so that I lived 95% of my life in a really pathetic future.
It stopped me from enjoying the present.
Once you realise that your worries are almost always misguided, you should be able to start appreciating the present and letting whatever will be, will be.
A few years back, I was in therapy. On one particular occasion I was talking to my therapist about my fear of going on holiday for the first time with my new boyfriend. I was scared and anxious.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” she asked me.
“He could kill me,” I said, deadly serious.
My therapist – God bless her – laughed. What else could she do? I was being ridiculous and I knew it.
Honestly and realistically, what’s the worst that could ever happen from any situation or scenario? Ask yourself whether your worries are grounded and rational, or whether they’re pure fantasy which belong in a science-fiction novel by a very bad writer.
Go To Bed Earlier
Research has shown that people who get just a handful of hours of sleep each night are more prone to anxiety than those who get a healthy 8 hours of shut-eye.
Those of who us who go to bed late and wake up early tend to overthink our problems. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep recently, consider climbing in earlier.
Stop Trying To Guess What’s On Someone’s Mind
We’ve all tried to work out what’s on someone’s mind when we’ve asked them a question. But if you obsess over what someone is thinking about you all the time, it will drive you insane.
When I was a teenager, I used to frequent online chat rooms. It was fun, but I grew anxious when the boys I’d been talking to sudden stopped chatting to me. It drove m crazy because it wasn’t as though I could call them up or knock on their doors to ask why.
They were just names in an online chat room! And yet they were driving me wild with anxiety! I assumed they didn’t like me anymore, or had seen my picture and realised I was actually ugly.
Trying to second guess what other people are thinking is unhealthy and unproductive. It ultimately gets you no where. If you really want to know what is on someone’s mind, step out and ask them directly. Be open with your questions.
Eat More Chocolate
When some of us worry, we eat more. But while sweets are really bad for anxiety, two squares of chocolate each day can be beneficial.
Dark chocolate in particular works wonders for your mental health. Stuffed with powerful antioxidants, it can calm your nerves and reduces levels of stress hormones.
Pull Yourself Out Of Risky Situations
I get anxious and worried whenever I’m hungry, tired, or in the middle of a big crowd. There are other situations too, but these are the main ones.
What I’ve learned is that, before you do anything else, you must remedy the situation first.
If I’m hungry, I stop what I’m doing and I get some food.
If I’m tired, I stop what I’m doing and I have a nap.
If I didn’t remedy the situation, my thoughts would spiral out of control.
Many of us spend so much time on social media these days, whether it be chat rooms of Facebook, that we actually feel worried and comfortable whenever we spend a fair amount of time away from these places.
This is largely because we’ve lost control of the technology we use.
Worse still, Google can exacerbate our symptoms when we type in our worries. Rather than returning positive answers to our questions, Google always returns an answer that compounds our fears.
Give yourself a break from the online world. Take long long walks, sit in the sun and enjoy being outdoors.
Think About What Can Go Right
“Spend less time thinking about what can go wrong and more time thinking about what can go right.”
– Tony Robbins
Us worries always forecast doom and destruction. Instead of thinking about what could go right, we dwell 100% on what can go wrong.
If we’ve got a date lined up, we don’t picture it going swell with roses, kisses and “I’d love to see you again!”
Instead, we picture thunderstorms, missed trains, reluctant handshakes and emergency get-out phone calls.
It’s awful being a worrier. But why don’t you do yourself a favour by forgetting all about what can go wrong and focusing more on what can go right?