I’ve been a worrier since I was old enough to have conscious thought. Probably, I worried while I was in the womb. I don’t say this with pride – stress is incredibly damaging to our health and overall well-being and you will never catch me saying it’s “just stress” to anyone. I’ve had “how to stop worrying” at the top of my personal development list for years and I have come a long way through working out, meditation and self-care.
Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.
Over the course of my 30-something years (for the official record, I’ll be 29 again this year – check out my homemade anti-aging products here and here), I have spent countless hours physically sick with worry – tightness in my chest, crying countless tears, and missing out on what was happening in front of me because I was focused on what could happen (and, spoiler alert, often never came to fruition).
And honestly? Sometimes I still have this emotional reaction to something completely out of my control. As I learned in, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, I take a deep, conscious breath and actually say to myself, “here I go again” and then stop the train of thought in it’s tracks. Worrying is basically praying for what you don’t want and the more you think about something, the more power it has. Take a look at my tips below and stop the insanity.
How to stop worrying
Embrace an attitude of gratitude. Not that long ago, I dreamed about having a single family home of my own with a backyard big enough for an organic garden. Now, I’m sharing that home with my amazing husband and we also have a cottage. I never imagined that could be my life and, sometimes, rather than reflecting on that, I think, “what’s next?”
It’s so easy to get caught up in what I don’t have – I’m working towards signing a deal for my debut adult contemporary romance novel, Sweet Redemption, and I’m still a work in progress when it comes to eating well. Consider starting a gratitude journal and spending some time reflecting on all the good in your life.
Meditate. I know, I know, it sounds new age-y and like a total waste of time, right? I was right there with you. How could I possibly turn my mind off and why would I want to? I’m busy and have things to do. Well, this 10 minutes you spend training your mind will actually make you more productive because you’ll refocus and be able to approach challenging situations more positively. At the risk of losing you, I highly recommend crystals to help your journey because the power of energy is real, yo (and yes, I am a modern witch!).
Give it 10 minutes a day for 8 weeks and it will change your life. If you’re not convinced, at least read one of these books to learn more before you completely reject the concept:
- Wherever You Go, There You Are
- Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers
- The Subtle art of Not Giving a Fuck
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Move your body. For me, lifting weights is for my body and yoga is for my mind. When the last thing in the world I want to do is lift heavy things or reflect on my mat, that’s exactly what I force myself to do and I can tell you this: I have never regretted a workout.
I have, however, regretted skipping one and wished I could back in time and put myself first instead of doing whatever I decided was more important. If cost is an issue, workout for free with YouTube videos. If you have $10 (or less), check out Jillian Michaels’ workouts.
Learn from those around you. Do you have someone in your life who just lets everything roll off their back? Ask them how. Copy them. My regular readers know much my dad meant to me and how much I learned from him. I can clearly hear him telling me to let things go, to stop worrying, to enjoy the present moment, and to just focus on being happy.
James is so much like my dad (one of the many reasons I committed my life to being with him) and he is always echoing my dad’s advice. He will say, “babe, there is nothing that we can do about this right now and it might not even happen. Let’s deal with it when we need to. I love you, now please stop.”
Spend time with your dog. It’s proven that our furry companions put us in a better mood and there’s nothing I love more than spending some time snugging with Buster (he’s the star of my Instagram, so go follow me to an extra dose of boxer cuteness!). There is so much we can learn from our dogs and Buster is my business and life mascot.
What are your best tips to help people stop worrying?
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