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11 Ways to Let Go of Worries and Set Yourself Free

11 Ways to Let Go of Worries and Set Yourself Free

Worrying is one of those universal feelings that everyone has. Parents worry about their kids, everyone worries about money, people in relationships worry if their relationship is going to last, and sometimes people worry about worrying too much. The whole thing is very worrisome but you don’t have to live that way. Here are a collection of tips to help you let go of worries.

1. First and foremost, some worrying is okay

There are some things in life worth worrying about. Parents with kids can attest to this. When you see your child wipe out on a bike, the worry flag goes up. That’s totally okay. Parents are hard wired to worry about things like that. If your loved one is in surgery or giving birth, you’re going to pace the waiting room waiting for news. There’s nothing anyone can do about that. The first step to let go of your worries is to accept that you are going to worry about things sometimes. It’s just a matter of identifying what is worth worrying about.

2. Make some time to worry about things

Now that we’ve proven that you are going to worry about some things, let’s talk about what you can do to make it a little less stressful. Take some time out of your day every now and then, sit down, and calmly work out your worries. You’re more likely to find solutions to your problems when you’re calm and you think about things thoroughly. Therefore you should make time to sit down and think about your worries. Trying to figure things out when you’re otherwise occupied with things like work, school, or even activities like driving is going to do nothing but pile on stress.

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3. Cultivate resilience

There comes a point where you need to get used to being worried sometimes. Since you are going to worry about stuff sometimes, it’s probably best you get used to it and not let it ruin your life. When you worry, it can affect your mood and your life and thus can affect your focus, your work, and your family life. Don’t let it do these things. Don’t resist the urge to worry, but rather learn to resist the side effects of worrying. Take a couple of deep breaths, acknowledge the problem, and get back to living your life.

4. Move through the worry

When you worry you get all pent up and tense. A good way to deal with that build up of energy is to use it on something. Take a walk, clean your house, tend a garden, or do anything that can occupy your hands and your mind. It not only provides a great distraction from being worried, but you deal with the tension and pent up energy, which will help you feel better. Personally, I play video games. It seems a tad juvenile I’ll admit, but the combination of hand-eye coordination and the action going on in the game provides a great mental outlet that diverts my attention from my problems until I am calm enough to deal with them.

5. Do something about what you’re worrying about

People inevitably do this eventually when they worry too much, and people really ought to do it more often. If there is something you’re worried about then do something to fix the problem. If you are short on money, get a second job. If you’re having relationship problems, sit down and discuss your concerns with your partner. In the words of Morgan Freeman’s character in the movie Red, “For every problem sir, there is a solution.” Find the solution and it’ll no longer be a worry.

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6. Get rid of the negative aspects

People sometimes worry about the most silly things. Have you ever spent 45 minutes deciding what to wear before going out with friends? If you answered yes, have you ever asked yourself why? That’s nearly an hour you spent needlessly worrying about what fabric will be covering your body when you go into a public place with people who care about you. Why be worried about it? Wear something that’s comfortable and appropriate for the venue. Worrying if your shoes match your shirt, your eyes, and your hair is just needless stress. You don’t need that kind of worry in your life. Identify the things that really don’t matter, like whether or not your shirt matches your shoes, and eliminate them. Trust me, you’ll feel better.

7. Go see a doctor

According to WebMD, people who worry entirely too much have a higher chance of having anxiety problems. If you get so worked up about worries that you have anxiety attacks, then you may actually have an anxiety problem. It is never a bad idea to get a professional opinion, and if you do have an anxiety problem then there are treatments and medications that can help you relieve the symptoms. This may actually help you worry less.

8. Bore yourself calm

Today’s youth are very desensitized. Have you ever wondered why? It’s because 50 years ago, the most gore you could see on the big screen was the classic horror movie Psycho. Other than that, kids and adults weren’t really exposed to that much gore, and so when they saw it, it was frightening. These days, video games, movies, music, and TV have pretty much turned violence into something that just happens. Kids see all this gore and they become bored by it and it has lost its impact on them.

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You can use this same psychology to your advantage. If you worry about something, say it to yourself every day. Eventually, the words and the premise will lose their power and you’ll become desensitized to it, much like today’s kids are to violence. You will literally bore yourself calm over time and not worry about that thing as much anymore.

9. Cry

According to WebMD, worrying suppresses the part of your brain that feels some emotions. That sounds complicated but it really isn’t. You’ve no doubt heard someone say, “It’s okay, I just needed a good cry.” It may have even been you. I’ve done it before. By crying, you unlock the suppressed emotions, get them out of your system, and it’ll literally make you feel better. Why do you think people repeatedly tell you that it’s okay to cry? That’s why.

10. Remember that you have all the time in the world to figure it out

A lot of people who worry do so on a schedule. They need to worry about it right there. They need to know information about their worries immediately. I’ve been guilty of this one a thousand times. When I moved last month, I called my leasing agent twice a day to ask how the process was going because I was worried I wouldn’t get the place. When I order things online and the tracking says that the package is out for delivery, I join my dogs in looking out the window every 25 minutes until the postman shows up.

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Eventually, I got my apartment and I always get my online orders, but in between I worried about it a whole bunch. I’ve been slowly learning to be patient and not worry about things if they don’t happen right away and you should too. If it’s going to happen then it’s going to happen. There’s no use in trying to rush things and there’s definitely no use in being worried.

11. Stop asking yourself, “What if…?”

Very few things will be as bad as they are in your head when you worry about them. I’m facing this problem right now actually. When I moved, I spent a great deal more money than I originally envisioned and I’ve been left a little broke. I’m worried about not having money for food or bills. I’ve been asking myself, “What if…?” What if I get evicted? What if I forget to pay a debt? However, when I look at my finances, I see that by mid-August I’ll have totally recovered from this very minor and very temporary crisis.

It was never that bad to begin with, but I caught myself asking myself the wrong question and in turn I made myself worry. Learn from my mistakes. Very nearly nothing will ever be as bad as you expect it to be. The best practice is to calm down, think more into the future, and realize that you’ll probably never experience the horrors that you can concoct for yourself in your own mind.

Wrap up

Worrying is an important issue to talk about because it’s practically a chronic condition. Worrying all the time and being stressed out can have a negative impact on all aspects of your life. The best way to deal with worrying is to simply let go of worries. It sounds easy and it is easy to do but it’s hard for people to visualize. Rest assured that when you stop worrying, your life will get a lot more interesting.

Featured photo credit: PFit Blog via pfiesterpfit.files.wordpress.com

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Joseph Hindy

A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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