Do you find that you seem to worry about everything? Are you constantly worried about being late, whether or not you locked the door properly when you left the house, and worried about what other people think about you? If that describes you, then you are far from alone, because it is estimated that about one in ten people suffer with uncontrollable worrying and that kind of worrying can take over your whole life. Excessive worrying can cause a lack of sleep, it can make you very unhappy and it can also affect your physical health too. If you want to take back control of your life and stop worrying about everything, then read these ten great tips on what to do, when the worrying starts to take control of you.
1. Don’t accept that worrying is a necessary part of life
Chronic worriers end up believing that worrying is a part of who they are and that worrying is actually helpful. Worrying doesn’t solve a thing and worrying doesn’t have to be a constant part of your life. If you worry excessively, then it can hold you back from resolving problems, so understand that you do worry too much and take some steps to stop it.
2. Manage your worrying
You may not be able to instantly stop yourself from worrying, so set aside a specific time in the day that you will allow yourself to worry. You could, for example, tell yourself that you will only worry, for an hour in the evening and that any worries that come into your head at any other time, will have to wait until then.
3. Remind yourself that most of the things you have worried about have never happened
If you look back at the things you have worried about before, you will find that nearly all of those things never actually happened. Winston Churchill once said about worrying: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”.
4. Don’t try and guess what is going to happen
A lot of worrying is caused by our thinking that we know what is going to happen, but no one can foretell the future, or read other people’s thoughts. If you are worrying about what is going to happen, then it would be better to find out for sure, than worrying about what you think might happen.
5. Remember that people aren’t as interested in you as you think
You can exaggerate worry by assuming that people will notice everything you do and hang on to every word that you say. You are probably one of hundreds of people that person will talk to in a day, so they won’t be judging you as much as you think.
6. Write about your worries
A lot of people find that writing down their worries on a piece of paper can help make their worries more manageable. When you write something down, you have to think about it carefully, because your hand can’t write as quick as your brain can think. When you think about things more carefully, you will understand that you are probably exaggerating your concerns in your own mind.
7. Tell yourself to stop worrying
When your worries do start to get out of control, tell yourself to stop. Whether you say the word out loud, or just to yourself; say STOP! You can train yourself to control your worrying and, when you learn how to stop your thoughts running out of control, you will then be able to fill your head with positive thoughts, so that the worries don’t come flooding straight back in again.
8. Accept uncertainty
You have to let go of the idea that you can control everything. Life is full of uncertainties and you need to try to accept that you simply cannot solve everything. Worrying that your car might break down on the way to an important appointment, for example, won’t have any bearing at all on whether or not the car does break down, so worrying about it, is completely fruitless.
9. Slow down a bit
A common symptom of the chronic worrier is that everything has to be solved, right now. They wake up in the morning and try to fix everything immediately without really focusing on any one thing properly. Slow down and deal with one issue at a time, because an extra few days to solve all your problems really won’t make them any worse.
10. Enjoy the here and now
Chronic worriers spend so much time thinking about what might happen, they miss out on what is happening now. Focus on what you are doing now, and leave worrying to that specified worry time we mentioned earlier. You are probably missing out on so many wonderful experiences, because your mind is always elsewhere, so try and focus your mind on the present, and enjoy what you are doing in the here and now.