Kick the Worry Habit
Ninety percent of the things you worry about never happen anyway – Jim Rohn
Worry has been always a part of life. I get a sense of anxiety and worry every time before some major event, or when circumstances are not in my favor. This motivated me to write this post so that I can figure out good strategies to get rid of this negative emotion and share it with you.
If we change our mindset and use these strategies, we can tackle worries in an effortless way and focus on doing our actions and living our life in the best way possible. Life is more about flowing like a river and worries are like those small rocks that impede the flow and joy of life and cause unnecessary resistance.
I hope you will find the following strategies helpful and they will reduce your anxiety and worry levels.
As Jim Rohn has rightly put, worry is the absence of confidence. Once you have an unshakable and undeterred foundation of self-confidence, worry cannot affect you.
Work on yourself and your feelings. Figure out what habits build your confidence and which behaviors have a negative impact on your confidence. Start your journey of personal development and playing an active role in improving yourself. As you keep progressing ahead, the daily disciplines and success habits will fuel your self-confidence and the irrational fears and worries will get wiped off from your life.
Have time on your side
Time is your best friend and worst enemy. I have been guilty of always procrastinating till the last moment. I have had a habit of reaching late for all my meetings, appointments, and other important events. When you don’t respect time, both yours and others’, in a way you invite worry and anxiety in your life.
Making a rule of reaching 15 minutes early for anything will eliminate all the unnecessary drama and small anxieties that build up over time. The small worries with regard to managing time attract bigger worries in your life, so why not uproot the bad habit of being late altogether.
A good solution is to have a buffer of time and have things prepared and ready before time so that you’re always on time for the important events and ready to go! This skill will further fuel your self-confidence and self-esteem in an invaluable way as well!
Prepare Prepare Prepare
As Brian Tracy has mentioned in one of his books about the 6P rule, which goes as follows:
Proper prior preparation prevents poor performance.
Once you’re well prepared and have taken care of all things in advance, worry has no place to hide. Prior preparation can do wonders in terms of eliminating worries and last minute anxieties.
Live in the present
Worrying to some extent is good but once you keep focusing on it, it can be detrimental to your mental health. Most of the worries are about events in future and we ruin our wonderful present over that. Also, we feel that the events happened in past that have caused us worries will again be a source of worry and anxiety when they get repeated in future. But the truth is, if we focus truly on our present and make sure we are giving our best today, our tomorrow will be good no matter what. Live in the NOW!
Taking massive action to counteract worry
Sometimes worrying is strongly tied up with procrastination and not taking action. There are things if done increase our chances of success, but still we don’t follow that path and prefer worrying over handling things. An intrinsic motivation is needed in such case where we can take charge of things in our life and focus on success by taking action. Here again, the Karma Yogi philosophy comes into play where you’re fulfilled by your actions and not worried about your results. When you take massive action, you’re in the journey to a successful life, and once that belief prospers there is no room for worrying about trivial things or defeats.
Meditation is a great tool in your arsenal for handling worry. Through meditation and being mindful, you’ll increase self-awareness and train your mind to deconstruct your worries. You’ll be able to get to the root causes of your worries and also get to know yourself better, which will help you in eliminating worry in a much better and sustainable way.
Acceptance & embracing the feeling
A big part of dealing with worry is to accept it. If you try to fight it or resist it, it’ll expand further and get into a feedback loop of negativity. Embrace the feeling, and realize that eventually, all things will work out fine. You just have to be patient and more present.
We have to realize and understand that disappointments and struggling times are a part of life, they always come in your life, sometimes at unexpected times. Rather than worry about those times, we should accept the reality and be prepared to face such circumstances. We have to accept the fact that there are some things that are not in our control, and the only strength we have in adversities is to control our own thoughts and how we respond to them.
Once you do this, you condition yourself to be mentally strong and are able to face any obstacles that come your way with confidence and self-belief.
A good, quick strategy to handle worry is to go outside for a walk and spend some time in nature. You may go to a park or a nice quiet place in your neighborhood. As you walk, the soothing sounds and beauty of nature will calm you down and it may help get into a better place by diverting your attention from your worries. Another effective strategy is to go for a workout or some activity that you enjoy. This will release endorphins after your workout and help you gain a sense of accomplishment and control over things, eliminating the feeling of worry to a significant extent.
Schedule a worry tackling session
In my research for this post, I found this idea of having a time and place where you only focus on your worries and have a brainstorming session on how to tackle it rather than worrying at different time points during the day. Take 30 minutes and sit in a quiet place. In your journal, write down the worry/worries that you are experiencing. Break it down to figure out the real reasons behind them and come up with solutions or ideas that you think will be instrumental in eliminating this worry.
In this way, you’re playing an active role in fighting your worry. You’re taking charge of the situation and facing it head on, rather than not doing anything about it. This will fuel your self-confidence and get you away from the ‘victim’ mindset. You’ll feel more in control of your present situation and get a belief that you can change it.
For instance, if you are always worried about missing early morning meetings like me, then you can break down your worry in the following way:
Causes of worry
- My alarm will not work, I may wake up late and completely miss the meeting
- If I end up missing the meeting, my boss will be unhappy and I may lose my job
- I will get caught in traffic / there will be a delay in my bus or train
- Do not indulge in any activities due to which you’ll end up sleeping late
- Sleep early the night before and get good amount of hours of sleep
- Have all things ready the night before so that you’re ready to go
- Make sure alarm(s) are set and working, set multiple alarms if need be
- Make sure after you wake up, you leave home on time
- Have some buffer time in case of unexpected happenings or delays in public transport
- Reach 15 minutes before the meeting
The key is to understand the cause and effect of everything. If you make sure you execute all things mentioned above, you will end up reaching work on time. That’s a given! Once you know this, the worry dissipates and loses its strength.
In a nutshell, give worry a hard time, break it down, analyze it to death, get to the deep root of it and take all actions to decimate it.
Practice visualization and play in your mind the results that you exactly want
Many times we worry about an upcoming event, and whether we’re conscious or not we start visualizing a negative outcome or something bad happening. Worry means painting a negative picture in our heads. The sad truth is that if you worry too much and visualize all kind of negative outcomes, it will most certainly come true. Our goal should be to become aware when this happens and change this as soon as we can.
A good habit is to start visualizing all good things happening and everything working out great. Feed positive pictures of the upcoming event in your mind. Feel all the positive emotions and keep repeating this again and again! When this happens, your inner being, that is much stronger and more enlightened, takes over and you start expecting good things coming your way. You become curious and excited and the feeling of worry is gone!
Start laughing more
If you’re someone who deals with worrying on a daily basis and you feel you’re stuck in this situation, it’s more like a pressure situation. In that situation, seek out things that you enjoy to do and break loose. Also, start watching comedy TV shows/movies. This will divert your attention and you’ll be able to detach from situations or circumstances that are causing you to worry. Be active in adding fun to your life on a daily basis.
Overcoming indecision and procrastination
For me personally, worry is caused when I am indecisive and procrastinate until the last moment. This is used to be habit during school and college. I used to worry and be anxious before each and every exam.
Get things done when as soon as possible, period. Get motivation from inside not the deadline. An amalgamation of intrinsic motivation and self-confidence is a good cure for worry.
Even when we are successful in something, and when we have to do that thing again, we are worried if it will go the same way as it went last time. But we have this pressure on us to perform. This leads to worry. The solution to this is deep self-confidence. You have to understand that no matter the circumstance, you have complete belief in yourself. And this dissipates all nervousness and worries.
In summary, some solutions that you can use to eliminate worry are:
- Developing unshakable self-confidence
- Overcoming indecision and procrastination
- Break down your worry and beat it down to death (writing helps!)
- Proper prior preparation
- Have time on your side
- Embrace the present
- Acceptance and gratitude
- Letting go of past results, either good or bad
- Visualizing that everything is going to work out well
- Schedule a worry tackling session
- Go out in nature
- Exercise or workout
- Laugh more
Some other links that may help you in decimating worry and its effects are as follows:
Worry are like brakes in the engine of life. Be a warrior, not a worrier and focus on your actions along with constantly improving and growing yourself. And as the popular song goes: Don’t worry, be happy!