How much time do you spend worrying?
How much time do you spend worrying and then none of it turns out to be true or actually happens?
How often do your worries create self-fulfilling prophecies?
How often have your worries led to breakups and shakeups in your relationships with yourself and other people?
How often have your worries destroyed trust, respect, worth, productivity, and energy?
● Worries distract us and preoccupy us.
● Worries prevent us from doing what we should be doing.
● Worries inhibit us from being able to focus.
● Worries diminish our joy and ability to live in the present.
The first step in wrangling in your worries is to notice them. Take the time to get some perspective on your worries. Once you’ve realized how often you’re worrying and how much it’s costing you, take some action and do something about it.
10 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Worries
1. Talk to someone
Therapists are trained to help you process your feelings and provide you with the tools you can use every day to help your anxiety, worry, and stress. Contact HWP for your free 30-minute session.
2. Write them down and then rip them up
It’s so convenient to grab a piece of paper, journal, or device and jot those irritating worries down. Really take the time to write what it is you’re worried about, why you’re worried about it, and how you can reduce the worry. When you’re done, rip it up, throw it in the air, bury it, or even burn it! Do something to visually feel your worry disintegrating before your eyes. If you’re on an electronic device, make a folder to move your worries to when you’re done, scribble them out with a colored “marker,” or get creative and come up with a way to remove the worry. There’s even a cute “worry eater” stuffed animal for kids to write their worries down and put them in the worry eater. These are super-fun ways to process your worries, even for adults!
3. Learn (and believe it!) that worries aren’t facts
Your thoughts aren’t facts. The sooner you accept this reality, the better your reality will be. You cannot trust the things that you say to yourself. You have to learn to think on purpose, not haphazardly. You are in control of what you think. Your happiness isn’t based on what is happening, it’s based on how you think about it. People can literally think themselves into a crazy cycle. If you think negatively, you’ll talk and act negatively. It’s as simple as that. The good news is that you can change your mental bad habits. But first, you have to accept the fact that you do have them.
4. Realize how much time you’re wasting
Does fear or worry ever feel like it’s paralyzing you? Do you ever get stuck with the things you want to do because your worries about all the ifs are getting in the way? Notice how often you spend worrying and what sensations it makes your body feel. Make a log of them including the time you spent worrying. Journal them. I bet it will surprise you to realize how much time worrying takes from you and how much worrying can get you stuck.
5. Focus on others and don’t be as self-absorbed with yourself
Being a blessing to someone else when your worries start to take over is a powerful way to combat them. Serving others, feeling helpful and valued, and giving your time and energy to someone else (especially those less fortunate or in need) are extremely awesome ways to get some fresh perspective, gain a larger viewpoint of life, and get you out of, well, you. Being self-absorbed is a slippery slope to worry town.
6. Catch the lies you are telling yourself
Just as your thoughts and worries aren’t facts, they can actually be flat-out lies. Capturing every single thought and asking yourself if it’s true is life-changing. Even more so when we can replace those lies with positive, empowering truths. Spend some time writing out your truths. Memorize them, place them in areas where you can often see them, and share them with others. Your truths can be biblically based scripture verses or positive affirmations (below are some to get you started) to tell yourself. Replacing those lies with truths can help you go from worry to joy almost instantly.
7. Give your worries to God and let them go
Going to God (or whatever higher power you identify with) in prayer is a sure-fire way to keep those worries at bay. God can handle your fear, your anxiety, your worry, and your doubt. Rather than going to someone else first ( or the fridge, alcohol, online shopping) go to God first, put it all at his feet, and trust that He can help in a way no one or nothing can.
8. Acknowledge your worries
When they creep up (because they will, we’re human!), just call them out as what they are. Give them a nickname or a silly face in your head. Then, choose to think something else, or think of them in a more productive, positive way. After all, our worries can shift our brains into some creative solutions. Don’t allow your worries to cause more anxiety, let them be an indicator that you need to take a closer look at something.
9. Set aside some worry-time
Sounds silly, but it works. During your designated worry time, remember to focus on solutions to your worries, not just on the worry itself. Identify it, have a non-judgmental loving attitude towards yourself, and then let it go at the end of your time with it.
10. Put your phone down
News can be a real downer. We have instant access to every horrible thing that is going on in the world every second of the day. It’s not healthy to focus on all the bad that is happening in our world. Focus on things that you can control and in ways that you can help and let the other stuff go. Or, find a good news website or app. Speaking of phones, social media can be a real comparison trap. It can get you worrying that you aren’t pretty enough, worthy enough, funny enough, or rich enough in a matter of seconds. Be mindful of how much time you are spending on your phone and what you’re doing when you’re on the phone. Do not fall victim to the downward-spiraling comparison trap. And if you do, check out Sandra Stanley’s “Comparison Trap” Study to help work on this bad habit.
When you start practicing these 10 worry snatchers, watch your life change. The positive reinforcement that will naturally occur will keep you practicing to let those worries go.
10 Affirmations to Help Alleviate Your Worries
I choose to let go of this worry.
I am able to resolve problems and worries when they come my way.
I will let my worry go because I know that obsessing about it doesn’t solve it.
Renewing my mind is transforming my life.
I choose to have a clear and relaxed mind.
Letting go of worry is something I can do.
Letting go of my worries helps me to deal with life more effectively.
Staying calm and relaxed is improving the quality of my life.
Freeing myself from stress and anxiety will make me healthier and happier.
I choose to live in the present, rather than fear of the future or guilt of the past.
What Comes Next?
You’ve read the blogs, tips, and posts with catchy ideas. You’re taking the steps and making progress, but you crave more. You want answers about why habits have formed in your life and how you can take steps to ensure they don’t take hold again.
Kristi Schwegman is a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples develop healthy relationships, whether dating, engaged, or married. She also draws from her Christian-based approach to lead individuals in becoming aware of the limiting beliefs that can get them stuck.
We offer in-person and virtual services – contact us today to learn more!