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How to Stop Worrying...
A Few Tips By A Former Expert Worrier

How do you stop worrying from sucking your energy and ruining your life? Well, it's quite easy. The magic solution is to stop worrying.

Yes, I know this is easier said than done. In fact, it may seem downright impossible.  After all, worrying comes naturally. 

It's what humans do.   


How to Stop Worrying...A Few Tips By A Former Expert Worrier
How to Stop Worrying...A Few Tips By A Former Expert Worrier

Image Credit: Pixabay


That worry bug will be persistent. So every time it bites you, crush it.  All you need is some practice, a dash of determination and a pinch of commitment.

I used to believe that worrying was my way of problem-solving.  I would spend countless hours working through every scenario.  (My problem-solving usually involved backup plans in case the first plan didn't pan out.)

Well, this was endlessly exhausting.  I always ended up with tight knots in my stomach.  And guess what?

That problem I was so eager to solve using the power of my worrying never materialized.

But after many tight knotted, sleepless nights, it hit me.

I should concentrate on the worries that I could solve, not the ones I had zero control over. 

Man, that whittled my list down significantly. 

Here's how you can tell if a worry is something you can solve. Start by asking yourself these questions.

How to Stop Worrying

Step #1: Is The Problem Solvable?

Is the problem something that is currently happening, or are you dealing with imaginary scenarios?

What I mean is, are you asking yourself what if this happens or what if that happens?

If the problem is an imaginary scenario, on a scale of one to ten, how likely is it to happen? Be honest.

Here's one of my past worries: What if I get cancer?

Now on a scale from 1 to 10, how likely is this to happen?

What can you do to solve the problem, prepare for any fallout?  Is the situation out of your control?

Ok, now it's time to take action.   Make a list of your current nagging worry scenarios. Let go of perfectionism while making this list. 

Now that you've made the list, think of ways you can go about solving the problem.

Example: Maybe you're worried that you may not be able to pay the rent next month.  You sit down and plan a course of action that might involve taking a second job to supplement your income.  Or maybe you may want to look at planning a monthly budget.

Taking action like this will empower you, sharpen your problem solving skills, and send worry ducking for cover.

Step #2: Set Time Aside to Worry

-Make worrying a regularly scheduled event. Say every afternoon from 2:00-2:15.

-Buy a pocket-sized memo pad and carry it around with you everywhere you go.

-Every time an anxious thought pops into your mind write it down and say aloud to yourself, "I'll worry about this at 2:00 this afternoon (or whatever time you select).

-When the time arrives, get out your memo pad and set a timer. 

-Go down your list and worry away.

-When the timer goes off up, put away the memo pad.

-Are there still items on the list?  That's ok; you can continue where you left of the following day at your designated worrying time.  


Step #3:  Accept Uncertainty

For a long time, the thought of being comfortable with uncertainty was extremely anxiety producing.  To be honest, the concept seemed utterly ludicrous.

I needed to know what the future held for me.

Worrying made me feel safe in a way.  It made me feel like I was doing something, taking control of my life, I guess.

But worrying, making up doomsday scenarios and "planning" for the worst didn't make life any more predictable.

It wasn't until I learned to challenge my negative, doomsday thoughts that I began to feel empowered and less anxious about my future. 

You too can gain the power to accept uncertainty by challenging negative thoughts before they turn into worry.


Step #4: Challenge Thoughts that Feed Worry and Anxiety

Part of chronic worrying is seeing the world as more dangerous than it is.

You might automatically believe that the worst will happen despite not having any proof.  This is distorted thinking that holds you back from taking reasonable risks and ultimately living life to the fullest.

The simple answer is to retrain your brain. 

True, it's easier said than done. But it's totally doable.

Get a pen and paper, or go ahead and open a word processing program if you prefer. Don't worry; I'll be here when you get back.

Now, answer these questions.

1. What evidence do you have that the thought is true or untrue?

2. What's the possibility that this situation will actually happen?

3. Is this thought/worry solvable? If so, come up with a game plan and take action?

4. Get out of your head for a moment.

What would you say to a friend with this worry? Pretend you're helping someone else with this problem.

Sometimes when you try to help someone else the answers are made clearer.  

A brand new study that was presented at the 2017 Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference states that keeping a worry journal helps reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Out of the 51 study participants most saw a reduction in their symptoms as they realized that many of their worries didn't materialize. 

Read the paper here.

How To Stop Worrying: Bonus Tips

Here are a couple of extra tips for clobbering those worry bugs.

Take Note of How Others Affect You

You know the saying: Laughter is contagious? Well, the same goes for emotions, especially stress and anxiety.

Being around negative people who bring you down and make you anxious will feed your worries and fears.  Limit the amount of time you spend with negative people. 

This can be especially difficult if the individual is a family member.  In this case, how about declaring certain topics off limits.

Chose your friends and confidants wisely.  It's great to have people you can confide it. But your private thoughts are sacred and shouldn't be shared with just anyone.  Make sure the person with whom you share personal thoughts and feelings with is trustworthy.

Develop A Mindfulness Mentality

Learning to focus your mind in the present makes it easier to let go of worrying thoughts.  Practicing mindfulness meditation is a great way of centering and calming your mind.  All the while helping to break the cycle of worry and fear.    

Don't expect to be an ex-worrier overnight.  It takes time to develop this skill. 

Be patient. 

But don't be surprised when one day you find those pesky worries begin to fizzle.

How To Stop Worrying: Additional Resources

What? Me Worry!?! – Use this 11-module self-help course is designed to help you conquer negative thinking worry. 


I hope this article on how to stop worrying helps you on your journey to better mental health!

Brighter skies are ahead,




Page Updated on July 18, 2017

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Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!