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How You Can Break Free From Worry

'Worry is like a rocking horse; it consumes time and energy, but gets you nowhere'

Worry stems from our fear of the unknown. It is the anticipation of potential negative outcomes. Worry in small doses is normal as it is tied to our sense of caution, and it helps us make plans, anticipate problems, and accomplish goals.

Too much worry, however, creates stress and stress shuts down our ability to think creatively. When we can’t think creatively, we can’t solve the problem we were worried about to begin with.

No one likes the way constant worrying makes you feel, so why is it so difficult to stop?

On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is going to spiral completely out of control, drive you crazy, or damage your health. On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prepare for the worst, or come up with solutions.

Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep it going (much in the same way worrying about getting to sleep often keeps you awake). But positive beliefs about worrying can be even more damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose.

If a worry pops into your head, start by asking yourself whether the problem is something you can actually solve. The following questions can help:

  • Is the problem something you're currently facing, rather than an imaginary what-if?

  • If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is your concern realistic?

  • Can you do something about the problem or prepare for it, or is it out of your control?

The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and worry. Chronic worriers can’t stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future has in store - a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.

Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present.

So what are other ways to manage worries?

You can try being more in the present by sitting quietly and being present for 10 minutes every day. Try an app like Calm or Headspace to help guide you through mindfulness meditation.

Move your body. take a walk, go to a yoga class, turn on your favourite music and dance around your house. Literally shake off the worry by moving.

Read a book. Sometimes all it takes to get out of the trap is a little distraction. Shut down the internet and read a book. Get lost in a love story, or read something that transports you to a different time and place. If you can’t remove your worries, remove yourself from them.

Do something for someone else and it will help you to stop thinking about your own worries and appreciate what you have. There is always something to be thankful for and volunteering can help you see that. (excerpt taken from

Hope this helps


Lifestylist Health & Wellness

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