While it’s all too easy to sink into despair, a pattern of worrying is harmful for you and anyone around you. To avoid worrying excessively and obsessively, check out these tips for how to stop holding yourself back and begin to actually live your life.
1. Instead of imagining worries, imagine possibilities
Remember that life is short, and time spent worrying is time wasted. Think of all the things you’ll get to do once you finally stop worrying. Realize how free you’re going to be. You want to run towards that, not walk. Enjoy your sprint and look forward to all kinds of new possibilities that lie beyond the checkered tape.
2. Be yourself: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
One of the best guidebooks to realizing that worrying is a useless, harmful endeavor is named, fittingly enough, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. One of its best quotes is, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
You’ll face inner turmoil if you try to be anyone other than yourself. Besides that truth, there is the fact that not many people can pull off the facade. There aren’t many with good enough acting skills, and even the ones who possess them aren’t happy in their self-imposed roles.
3. Learn apathy
There’s a lot of focus on learning empathy so you care more about other people. But apathy is equally important, if not more so, in regards to your personal wellbeing. Apathy is defined as “a lack of interest, enthusiasm and concern.” To stop worrying, you should focus on that third part. The less you concern yourself with what others are thinking or even saying about you, the less weight you’re putting on yourself.
4. Feel good about yourself
This sounds obvious, but far more people fail this test than pass it. Take pride in who you are, and don’t dwell on what you’re not. Others in your life, like parents, siblings, and friends, are surely already proud of you, so all you have to do is stop worrying and mimic their attitudes.
5. Don’t force things, let them happen naturally
When we’re anxious for something, like the start a new romantic relationship, we wait and wait for something to happen. That leads to excessive worrying that it will never come to pass. It’s far better to keep those thoughts out of your head and just let things happen when they happen. It’s common knowledge that you’ll often find your soulmate around when you finally stop looking. The same philosophy applies to other matters, too. As long as you keep applying, you’re just as likely to find a job you enjoy by not worrying so much about it.
6. Don’t hate
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living states, “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”
Not only do the people who wronged us not deserve to (often unknowingly) hold that power, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice it. Hatred can only serve as an engine for more hate. Worrying and being proven correct may justify hate in your eyes, but remember that you are, as the saying goes, only drinking poison and expecting it to kill your enemy.
7. Believe in something bigger than yourself
If you focus on solely you and your life, you will constantly be worrying and not have the energy to do much else. By embracing a higher power, you healthily distract yourself from your negative thoughts. And that higher power doesn’t need to be a god or a religion! It’s whatever you put stock in, whether that’s family, friendship, honesty, goodwill, or something else entirely. To stop worrying so much, you simply need a purpose that goes beyond just your needs.
Featured photo credit: Do Not Worry/Andy Rennie via flickr.com