how to stop worrying

How to stop worrying about things you can’t control

Constant worrying can take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
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How to stop worrying about things you can’t control holds the key to your inner peace and happiness. Worrying brings a sense of insecurity, fear and uneasiness that arises when you are consumed with negativity. Let’s say, you want to start a YouTube channel. But your mind is rife with negative thoughts such as what if people don’t like my video, what if they make fun of me or am I good enough to do this. This fear of the unknown can drain your mental strength and discourage you from doing anything worthwhile.

In his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, author Dale Carnegie writes, “The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.” In other words, focus on what’s in front of you instead of thinking about the future where you don’t have any control.

Worrying stems from the need to be in control. You want to control the outcome of every situation. But the more you try to do this, the more helpless you feel. Thinking about the things you can’t control like someone else’s behaviour can lead to toxic habits such as overthinking. Also, constant worrying can take a heavy toll on your mental health.

Let’s take a closer at how to stop worrying about the things you can’t control.

Identify your fears

In situations that cause you to worry, ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that could happen’? Usually, the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as you imagine. It’s the fear of the unknown that makes things look scarier than they actually are. Identify and confront these fears. Write down your thoughts if you want to. It will add clarity to your thoughts and help you navigate through your fears.

Don’t try to guess what others think

Often, people try to imagine what others are thinking, even when they have no idea. When you assume things, you create scenarios that are both exaggerated, and at times, misleading and dangerous. If you let your mind and thoughts run amok, your worries will never end. So, if you want to know something just ask. By doing so, you promote openness in your relationships and avoid unnecessary conflicts and negativity.

Distract your mind

Talking to someone about something other than your worries can help you distract yourself. By doing so, you remain invested in that conversation rather than the one in your head, causing you to worry. If for some reason, you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can do something you like to distract yourself. Watch a movie or read a chapter from a novel you like. If you enjoy painting or cooking, do that. The trick is to fill your mind with other, positive thoughts to lessen your worry.

Write down your worries

No problems have ever been solved by worrying about them. They are solved with rational thoughts and decisive actions. If something is keeping you awake at night, write down your thoughts that are bothering you. Writing is therapeutic in nature that can put a stop to your erratic thoughts. It can further give you clarity into what is causing you to worry. Once you have figured this out, you can find an appropriate solution to bring your worry to rest.

Focus on what you can control

The next time you find yourself worrying too much, find out whether you are breaking a sweat over things unnecessarily. For instance, you can’t control tomorrow’s weather or your friend’s cold behaviour. But you can certainly choose to take an umbrella with you or respond to your friend with kindness. It’s all about keeping a positive attitude towards life and keeping your focus on things you can control. Once you have learned how to stay positively, irrespective of the circumstances, nothing can keep you down for long.

Keep yourself busy

This may seem obvious but pushing yourself to work on something when you are worried can make your negative thoughts go away. The key is to do something that requires focus. It could be a chore or playing a crossword game. Whatever suits your interest, just pick a task and lose yourself in it. The idea is to keep yourself busy so that you have less time to worry and more time to be happy.

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