These days there are a lot of activities that keep us worried and anxious: finances, politics, family issues, and personal matters.
Sometimes you worry about a certain situation that may seem impossible at that time, so you roll it over and over in your mind, trying to find a possible way to fix it.
Sometimes, we worry about things we don’t have like cars, clothes, or shoes instead of being grateful for the ones we have.
It could feel so impossible to control worry and you might think it is alright to do that.
Well, it isn’t and there are dangers to this like having sleepless nights, unnecessary anxieties, and losing focus of what matters right now.
So before I dive into how you can overcome worries in your daily life, let’s first understand what it means.
It is being overly concerned about a particular situation or problem which slows your drive and puts roadblocks up in front of your determination.
It is like rolling the same matter over and over in your mind and trying to figure out what you should do to fix it.
According to Arthur Somers Roche:
“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged it cuts a channel into which other thoughts are drained”
So you see when you give power to worry, it goes ahead and sucks every other idea you have up in your mind, making you focus on that particular situation be it a past issue or future matter but definitely not a “right now” matter.
It also steals us away from the moment and robs us of our ability to engage fully with our present activities.
There was a time when I had this minor disagreement with a colleague, we later resolved the issue but I kept on worrying about the what ifs and what I could have said then.
It didn’t matter anymore but there I was, worrying and depriving myself of enjoying the present.
I am sure you also have been in this scenario too, overthinking about a matter that you can’t do anything about and are supposed to let go.
You invest your energy worrying about it instead of asking questions or taking action to improve the outcome.
We often forget that most times we can’t control everything, so we just need to do our best, wait and see the results.
I know how difficult it is to overcome worry, I have been there and it took a lot of discipline and dedication to overcome it.
There were also tips I followed to train my mindset on how to react when worry tries to be in control.
- Create a daily “worry” period:
Set a time and place for worrying. It should be the same every day and done early before bedtime to avoid you being anxious before sleeping.
During this period, you are allowed to worry about whatever’s on your mind.
- Write down your worries:
Any worry that comes up during the day at any hour, minute or second, write it down on a pad or paper and go on with your daily activities.
Don’t stop your activity and focus on the worries and remind yourself that you have a scheduled time for it.
- Go over your worry list during the worry period:
When you examine your worries during that period, it is often easier to develop a balanced perspective and if it doesn’t feel important anymore, cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.
- Work on changing your outlook to be more positive:
When you expect good things to happen, it happens, so avoid thinking or imagining negative results. This will help you reduce worrying over something you can’t change.
- Concentrate on building your confidence
Most of us have low self-esteem or worth and when issues hit us unexpectedly, we question ourselves and what we stand up for. This alone could make you worry about a lot of things, especially what you once believed in.
You start seeing yourself as a nobody.
So start from here, build your self-worth and confidence, believe in your strength to overcome worry when it comes up.
- Learn to embrace failure:
Mistakes aren’t the end of life’s journey but are meant to teach us a lesson and lead us to something better.
So learn to be comfortable when things aren’t working your way and worry will become a past thing.
- Do your best and leave it there
Your best is the most anyone can ask of you, so do it and leave the rest you can’t do.
Don’t worry or stress yourself about it, just let the best you did, work out well.
- Limit yourself to three options when making important decisions:
Review the best options and pick the one that offers the most profitable outcome.
- Let go of situations you cannot control or change:
If you can’t control a situation or do something about it, then let it go.
Don’t stress yourself over it, just free yourself and enjoy your life.
Don’t let it suck the energy you could channel into other things that are worth your while.
- Expect the unexpected
Life is dynamic i.e it is full of changes, turns, and the unexpected.
Your car could break down on the road, prepare for it.
The rain could fall once you are out of your comfort zone, don’t get worried.
Just prepare your mindset and if there are solutions to it, apply them, if not, be calm, say a prayer and focus on other things, don’t dwell on that situation, and don’t give it notice.
- Help someone who needs it:
Sometimes worrying excessively about ourselves is a sign that we are self-focused.
So why not invest that energy into someone who really needs it by helping out.
Maybe there is an elderly in your area that has trouble getting groceries, you could help out or you could babysit a friend’s child, prepare meals for those less privileged around your environment.
This way, you won’t have time to dwell on your worries but on people who actually need it.
- Take a yoga class
This will help you meditate, relax your tensed muscles and draw your attention from worries and invest it in your total well-being.
- Find a quiet place and meditate:
You don’t need to cross your legs or do fighting classes for this meditation.
Just find a quiet, peaceful place and switch your focus from worrying about the future or dwelling in the past to what’s happening right now.
When you do this, you can pause the endless list of worries and negative thoughts.
or try this:
- Find a quiet place
- Sit on a comfortable chair with your back straight and your hands resting on the tops of your upper legs.
- Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose allowing the air downward into your lower belly.Let your abdomen expand fully.
- Breathe out through your mouth
- Focus on an aspect of your breathing such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth/belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
- If your mind starts to wander,return your focus to your breathing with no judgement.
- Try to meditate three or four times per week for 10 minutes per day.
(Culled from Help guide.org)
- Trust God(math 6:25-34)
Yes, even after following the tips, never forget to trust God.
There are so many things we cannot control but God can.
Joyce Meyer puts it better in this excerpt from her book “I dare you”
“………………. Worrying does not move the hand of God, but faith does.
Exchange worry for trusting God and you will see progress.”
So next time, you are tempted to worry about an issue or situation, take it to Him, pray and move on from it.
As you face different activities daily you will surely face a situation that requires you to worry and worry but don’t focus on it instead analyze or plan for more positive outcomes.
When you do this, you are setting goals on how to overcome it successfully.