10 Ways to Get a Grip on Worry
Here are some of the most effective anti-worry tools.
Many of us feel saturated with a boatload of worry. How do we conquer it? Here are 10 of the best anti-worry tools.
1. Know how bad worry is for you.
Worry cripples us. It can even be paralyzing. At best, it’s a huge waste of our emotional energy.
Worry is associated with all types of physical and emotional illnesses and even though we know this we still spend considerable time ruminating about all the things that could go wrong in our lives.
Why do we do this?
Somehow we think that if we worry about something enough we will gain control over it. But the opposite happens. The more we obsess about something the more it gains control over us.
2. Talk to somebody about your worries.
This may seem obvious, but so many people don’t do it!
Sometimes just talking to someone helps us realize that things aren’t as worrisome as we are making them out to be. We are making a mountain out of the proverbial molehill.
Talking to someone helps us gain perspective, be more objective, think about the situation differently and prevents worry from building up so much that it becomes overwhelming. Who in your life is your go-to person for your worries?
3. Change what you can and let the rest go.
Worries can be divided into two categories: things we can do something about and things we can’t. If you can do something, do it! If you can’t, convince yourself that your mental health is more important than obsessing over something you can’t change.
4. Cut down the amount of time you spend watching the news.
Do we even realize how much stress and negativity we stream into our life every day? It is seriously bad for our emotional health to be too plugged in. The news needs to sell, so everything is a crisis. We all want to be informed but we have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to thoughtfully manage how much airtime we are giving to the news, the commentaries on the news and the commentaries on the commentaries….
5. Include some of your best stress-relieving activities in your day.
Make a list of things that take your mind off of worry: exercise, calming music, meditation, prayer, cooking, talking to a friend, writing, painting, taking a walk, gardening, getting a massage, or soaking in a hot bath. Do something good for yourself today!
6. Forget your worries by becoming interested in others and creating a little happiness for them.
Delivering food to front- line workers, cooking a meal for someone who is alone, or checking in with someone who has had a big loss are all ways to relieve our own anxiety because we are getting out of ourselves. We are reminding ourselves that we are not the only ones who struggle. Additionally, doing good adds up to feeling good.
7. Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Dale Carnegie, in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, says whenever you are worried about something, ask yourself: what‘s the worst thing that could happen? What would you do if you lost your job? Visualize yourself working through the situation and calming preparing yourself for how you would deal with the worst scenario. Once you accept the possibility in your mind and you can see yourself having the resources to cope you will find yourself much calmer.
And remember, most of the things we worry about will never happen.
8. Focus on gratitude.
Gratitude is a huge antidote to worry. Write in a gratitude journal every day. Talk about things that you are grateful for with your family. Notice and share that the things that are going right in your life way outweigh the things that are not.
It is hard to be a grateful person and a worrywart at the same time.
9. Cultivate Emuna (Faith) and Bitachon (Trust).
Judaism’s greatest anti-worry solutions are cultivating faith in an all-powerful God who is guiding the world and our life with compassion and love. We don’t understand His ways but we trust that all God does is for our good and our growth.
Faith and trust in God enables us to have the courage to live with the uncertainty of life, to live with our own lack of control and understanding and to know that life is not at all random. Emuna is being able to say every day “Everything I need I have, and everything I have I need.”
10. Turn your worry into a prayer.
Prayer lets us know we have an address for our worries and reminds us that God can do anything. Even if the answer is “no” or “not right now” just verbalizing our worries to God can have a huge calming effect. And, while you’re at it, make sure to ask Him to help you not worry so much!
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