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10 No-Fail Tools to Help Stop You from Worrying

10 No-Fail Tools to Help Stop You from Worrying

Something is worrying you! I can see it in your eyebrows. They are drawn up in a bunchy frown.

What are you worried about? Is  it something specific and huge or a generalized nagging worry?

We are all trying our level best to get along and do something worthwhile for ourselves and each other. And yet, we seem to worry all the time.

Worry itself seems to be a big shapeless, nameless cloud that hangs over us and make us miserable. The first step toward handling something, however, is fully understanding exactly what it is.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary online, this is worry:

“To give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles”

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Whatever is worrying you, There are some No-Fail tools you can use to stop allowing your mind to dwell on troubles or difficulty.

1) Understand that whatever happens in life, you can always do something about it.

Worry contains a fear of losing control or having a situation that you can do nothing about.

Once you accept the statement above, and know that there is always something you can do about it, you are coming from a place of potential control and you are already stronger.

2) Identify the problem.

Worry is a symptom. It indicates that there is an underlying problem. Sometimes it is a problem we don’t readily see. The first thing you need to do is identify what the problem actually is. There is no solution until you have fully identified the real problem

3) Write down what you can do about it.

If you are worrying about something specific that you can do something about, sit down and write out everything you can do to affect the outcome of the situation so that it is more likely to be favorable to you. Then come up with an action plan on how to handle it from start to finish.

For example, If you are worrying because your son is doing poorly in school, go find out the real situation. Look well with your own eyes and don’t just listen. Perhaps the teacher is not a great fit for your son. Perhaps your son has no idea what is expected of him. There can be many, many reasons for poor performance. You have to go and find out for yourself exactly what is going on. Be patient. Sometimes the real problem can be hidden. Talk to people and search for the truth. Once you know what the real problem is, you will see what you can do about it.

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Another example is perhaps you think someone might be angry at you but you are not sure, so you worry. Go ask that person if they are angry. If they are, you have the opportunity to iron things out. If they are not, you will know you have worried over nothing.

4) Look over your life for someone who is making you feel insignificant, afraid or is ruining your confidence.

If you are worried about something non-specific, and you cannot put your finger on it, look around your environment and find out who is putting doubts in your head or taking away your confidence.

Vague and generalized worry is an indicator that there is such a person in your environment. It could be that they are planting doubts about yourself, or maybe they are saying something negative about someone else you care about. Look around your environment and see if there is someone there tossing off comments that eat away at your confidence or your trust and love for someone else. They are making your environment appear hostile and that results in worry.

5) Be prepared for a possible unhappy outcome.

Try as we might, there are some things in life that we cannot control completely. Sometimes we have to undergo medical tests that have a possibility of revealing a dreaded disease or condition.

In cases like this, I find it helpful to say, “OK, what is the worst that could happen?” When you figure out what the worst is that could happen, you can start thinking about the steps you would take to handle that worst case situation. Even confronting the worst case scenario and writing down a few things you could do about it IF it were true, can make you feel a lot more in control.

6) Plan for the best possible outcome.

So many times, your own viewpoint and positive energy really does affect the outcome of situations. Tell yourself that the job interview is over and you have aced it. Tell yourself that this tense meeting will be a piece of cake and you will end it on great terms. Whatever you believe is the best possible outcome for the problem that you have, tell yourself that that is going to occur. You never know how magical your own thoughts and positive visualizations are. I have seen miracles occur with this tool.

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Are you worried about speaking in front of people? Use this tool to handle your fear.

When you start to worry or become nervous, think past the speech or presentation. Think of the happy lunch you will have afterward or the night after when you celebrate your successful speech with a glass of Merlot and a special dessert.
So many times when we have something we dread, we unconsciously fix our attention so intently on the upcoming incident that it dominates our thoughts. If you think past it, you create the future beyond it and you unfix your attention from the scary event.

This works really well, by the way when you are afraid of flying. When you start to become nervous or afraid, think of your happy landing instead of the fiery crash that you are sure is going to occur.

7) Understand that there are environmental factors designed to make you worry.

Have you ever seen a TV commercial where someone’s teeth are not white enough and they suffer socially? How about the guy with bad breath? There are so many socially unacceptable conditions that have simply been created by the media to make us worry enough to go out and buy their products.

Society today is worried about love handles, tummy bulge, toenail fungus, dandruff, body odor, stained teeth, wrinkles, dull hair, split ends and the list goes on almost forever. Before we had advertising agencies inventing these conditions, people were not nearly as worried about them.

I am not saying that things like body odor and dandruff don’t exist, but reasonable hygiene takes care of most of it.

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Understand that TV, movies, magazine articles and photos are designed to control our behavior, our attention and our dollars. Don’t let them make you feel inferior to a standard that not even Charlize Theron could live up to.

9) Let go and trust others to do the right thing.

As a mom, I used to worry endlessly about my kids. When they grew up and moved out, I was not with them every day and I had no choice but to let go. The funny part is that when I did that, they started really taking on responsibility for themselves.

If you are worrying about another, let them find their way. Most of us make it through life’s challenges. You can make sure that they know you are there for them if they need a leg up, but step away. You will be happier and many times, so will they.

10) Trust yourself to handle any situation in life.

Say this simple phrase to yourself: “Whatever happens, I will find a way to handle and overcome it.”

Believe it or not, this is true. You have made It this far and have figured out everything else you needed to figure out. Whatever is worrying you will not be different. You will figure a way out of it too.

Once you have done all of the above steps, go do something really fun. Watch a funny movie or go shopping for shoes. There is nothing like pleasurable activities to pull you out of worry mode.

I am interested in your comments. If this advice has helped you, please let me know. I read and respond to all comments on my articles.

“Drag your thoughts away
from your troubles…
by the ears, by the heels,
or any other way you can manage it.”
―     Mark Twain

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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