In these crazy, uncertain times, it’s easy to find something to worry about; Coronavirus, unemployment, money matters, the economy, elderly parents, children, and the list goes on and on. Just about everything can be a source of concern these days. But there is a way to stop worrying about everything and start enjoying life to the fullest, no matter what circumstances surround you.
Why you need to stop worrying today – the physical and emotional dangers of chronic worry, stress, and anxiety
When you get into the habit of worrying, this pattern continues to grow until you are worried about everything. Worry also creates stress, and stress can lead to anxiety. And, all of these feelings can be dangerous to your physical and emotional health.
Here are just a few of the ways your body can be affected by worry, stress, and anxiety:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling you are losing control of your life
- Trouble sleeping
- Irritability or anger
- Rapid heartbeat or even chest pain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Stomach problems: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and ulcers
- Dry Skin or rash
- Lowered immune system
- And much more.
Confessions of a Professional Worry-wort
I’ve spent the majority of my life worrying about one thing or another. I can’t remember a time in my past when I didn’t fret about something.
And all that worry accomplished nothing. Nothing that is, except experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above as well as two bouts of shingles!
And the sad part is of this is, I had no reason to worry. Nothing happened.
Studies show that 91% of the time, the things we stress about never happen. And that other 9% of the time, when something did happen, worrying still accomplished nothing.
After my cancer diagnosis and treatment, something changed. I realized the futility of being anxious. I began to concentrate on ways to live in the present and face the future when it came.
And though it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve found some ways that work for me to eliminate worry, stress, and anxiety from my life.
How to Stop Worrying About Everything
Find the Source of What’s Bothering You
What is it you’re concerned about, and why? Is there a rational reason why you feel this way? Sometimes just recognizing the fear and realizing that its unlikely to happen can alleviate your worry. And if there is a legitimate reason to be concerned, identifying that reason helps you to be proactive rather than fearful.
Pray About It
When something is bothering me, the only way I’ve found to relieve my worry and achieve peace is to hand it over to God. The Bible says to “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares about you.” (1st Peter 5:7) I love the definition of the word cast in the dictionary. “to cause to move or send forth by throwing.
Isn’t that awesome? It’s releasing it quickly and deliberately. And, that’s what we need to do with our worries. We need to cast them on the Lord because He wants us to, and He will take care of them.
And then we need to trust God to take care of it. If you find yourself beginning to fret about something you have already given to God, cast it back to him again. Even if you have to do it a dozen times, do it! I’ve had to do that many times before. But if you continue to throw it back to Him, eventually, you’ll be able to leave it in His hands.
Read Your Bible
The Bible is full of verses of comfort and assurance when we are troubled. Psalm 91 is one of my favorites to read when I need encouragement. I encourage you to look it up, it’s a powerful Psalm!
Have you ever noticed when you’re anxious, your breathing becomes shallow? Take deep breaths. I read once where it helps to count in your mind as you inhale and exhale. It worked for me, but I prefer to quote Bible verses, poems, and song lyrics as I breathe deeply in and out. It shifts my mind to something positive and has a tremendous calming effect when I feel anxious.
Exercising produces endorphins. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, endorphins are chemicals in the brain. Endorphins help you sleep better, are natural painkillers, and, best of all, help relieve stress and anxiety.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be an extreme workout. A ten-minute walk can elevate your mood and diminish your stress.
Focus on the Positive
The more I concentrate on the negative, the more I tend to worry. Try thinking of the positive things going on in your life. Try writing down your blessings, what you are thankful for. It’s difficult to be worried and grateful at the same time. And, reminding yourself of all that God has brought you through and how He has blessed you, helps you trust Him in handling your present concern.
Step away from your worries and do something that will lift your spirits – go for a walk outside, watch your favorite feel-good movie, or something else to cheer yourself up.
Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that could occur if what you fear happened. Ironically, often, what you’ve imagined is far greater than your worst-case scenario.
A similar question you can ask yourself is what is the likelihood that something could happen. You may realize the chances are doubtful, and there’s no reason to worry.
Talk to Someone
Tell a trusted friend, loved one, your pastor, or a therapist what you’re going through. They can help you sort out your feelings, pray with you, or give suggestions on how to solve your problems. And, sometimes, just voicing your worries to someone helps you feel better.
Seek Professional Help
There are times when you need to seek professional help. Especially if you try the suggestions above, and they don’t help. If you are having intense or chronic anxiety, panic attacks, or feelings that are more than you can handle, make an appointment with your doctor. There may be a medical reason for the way you are feeling. And, there are medications they can prescribe to treat your anxiety.
It’s so difficult to live a joy-filled life when you are worried, stressed, and anxious. I hope these tips will help you learn how to stop worrying about everything. I know they have helped me immensely.
Do you have other techniques you use to stop worrying? Please share them in the comments below. And, if this post has helped you, please share it with others.