Has anyone ever told you to stop worrying? I don’t know about you, but this feedback, while understandable and often accurate, often irritates me and doesn’t usually inspire me to stop worrying.
Whether you’re a business owner, a leader of a team, an employee rushing for a deadline, a parent taking care of kids, or just a human being living in today’s world – worrying is something just about all of us do.
Some of the things I find myself worrying about are…money, making mistakes, the future, how things will turn out, what people think about me, the well-being of my loved ones, the state of our country and our world, and much more.
If you actually take the time to sit and think about it, most of the things that we worry about never actually happen.
Worrying can affect our mental health, lead to persistent anxiety and chronic stress, impair our decision making and negatively impact our relationships. Constant worrying also fosters a negative mindset.
To stop worrying, we have to let it go, forgive ourselves for it, and choose different ways of facing our fears.
Stop Worrying – It’s a Set Up for Failure
No matter how much we worry, it never really works. And the deeper we look at what worrying really is, the more we realize that it is a setup for failure.
When we worry, we are actually preparing ourselves to be upset, because we’re assuming something will not work out in the future. When we do this, our worrying not only creates stress, it can literally contribute to additional negativity and unfavorable outcomes.
While worrying is quite normal and common, there are usually deeper emotions underneath our worry like shame, fear, guilt, hurt, or anger, many of which are much more difficult for us to feel and express.
And if we don’t know how to feel and express these emotions in a healthy way, it can set us up for real difficulty and failure. By feeling these authentically, we can deal with the root of the issue, not the superficial impact of it (which is what worry usually is).
There is nothing wrong with feeling scared, angry, hurt, and even “worried,” in and of itself. These emotions, like love, gratitude, excitement, joy, and others are very important to our human experience. Emotions that are felt deeply and expressed appropriately are positive and give us power (regardless of what they are).
How to Stop Worrying
Worry is always a sign that there are some deeper feelings and issues for us to address. It is a good reminder for us to get more real, take better care of ourselves, and pay attention. The best things for us to do when we get worried are:
1) Ask ourselves what is underneath our worry
Ask yourself why you’re really worried. Understanding the root cause of your worry is crucial for effective problem-solving and emotional well-being. By asking yourself why you’re worried, you gain insight into underlying issues, enabling you to address them directly and work towards constructive solutions.
2) Face, feel, and express these underlying emotions
Facing, feeling, and expressing underlying emotions is vital for emotional health. It promotes resilience and aliveness, and can also facilitate healing.
You can get support from others in this process if you need it…you don’t have to do this alone.
3) Choose how you want to feel
Once you have felt and expressed these underlying emotions, you can then actually choose how you want to feel and what you want to create. Choosing how you want to feel is empowering and it fosters a positive mindset.
4) Appreciate yourself
It is so important – and healthy – for us to have the courage to be honest and to deal with our emotions. This, however, is no easy task. Show yourself grace and appreciation for taking on such a challenging endeavor.
5) Focus on the good stuff in your life
Be grateful for what you have, who you are, and what you are going through. Remember: every challenge in life is an opportunity for personal growth and development. Challenges teach us how to overcome obstacles and build our resilience.
If we can bring this level of awareness and consciousness to our worries and to our lives in general, we can create real freedom and power for ourselves.
We don’t have to stay stuck in the trap of constant worry…we can be free.