We all do it…worry about how our boss might react to something we do, worry about how others view us, worry about losing a fight, or if we are making the right decision. It doesn’t matter what you are worrying about. What matters is that you ARE worrying and it is not helping you. It’s actually hurting you in ways that you might not be aware of.
You might be thinking “well, things might fall apart” or “something bad might happen” if I stop worrying. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Worrying does only one thing, it promotes negative feelings and thoughts. Imagine what your life would be like if you chose to not engage in the endless cycle of worry—feel bad—worry—-repeat. Think about how liberated you would feel to use your mind to think things like “wow, look at that beautiful sunset” or “gosh, this chocolate cake tastes amazing!”
Worrying actually hurts you in many ways. It “feeds” into negative thoughts you have about yourself and the world around you. It causes stress, which can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, ulcers and other physical symptoms. Finally, it causes rifts in relationships with others. Imagine being with someone who worried all the time. Think about what you would miss out on (conversing about current events, enjoying each other’s company, communicating…). They would be too busy worrying to be present with you!
If you are a chronic worrier, quitting cold turkey would be like eating whatever you wanted one day, and then limiting yourself to 600 calories the next day (close to impossible!) What I suggest as a first step, is to have “worry time” which could be 30 minutes to an hour a night where you can worry to your heart’s content! But there’s a catch…the rest of the day, you do not allow your mind to worry. This can be a very powerful exercise for some, so try it! Instead of being a “worrier” be a mental “warrior” and fight through those worries!