Overcoming Worry
From STAGE 3: CHANGE

Are Worries Part Of Your Life?

Overcoming worry can be seen as difficult but there are steps you can take to reduce and even eliminate worry.

Take a moment in silence and ask yourself -

  • How fast are thoughts racing in your head?
  • Are the thoughts negative and familiar?
  • Do they make you feel powerless and useless?
  • Do you accept them as “reality”?
  • Despite these thoughts do you try to keep up a “positive” front?
  • Are the thoughts so familiar that you accept them as your life right now?
  • If only I could think my way through this and get the solution I will be free and will avoid similar situations in the future – is this your “plan”?
  • Is comforting sleep more difficult for you?
  • Are you eating or drinking more than you would like?

Is Yes The Answer?

If you feel yes is the answer to most of the questions then excessive stress is most likely affecting your life - you are worrying too much!

Building Worries.

Normal Levels Of Anxiety

Anxieties are part of life, we all experience them and they are mostly useful, helping us to prepare for something we perceive as difficult.

Our flight or fight mode gets us ready to face something; let’s say public speaking. You can really feel worried in a situation like this.

It may even start days before your speech and you may become very uncomfortable.

You may find yourself changing between;

Flight – “I’ll make an excuse and not turn up

or

Fight – “I’ll do this even if it kills me”!

But it is highly likely you will do the speech.


Then Fight or Flight Disappears

Afterwards you may agonize over one or two perceived blunders – probably something nobody even noticed - but you will most likely feel a sense of achievement.

The uncomfortable feeling will be fading and you may even think – “I can do this - and if I practice a little I might even enjoy it”!

The anxiety and stress will have receded.

This should be seen as normal stress – it builds, it is uncomfortable, you may even lose sleep because of it, but after the event it recedes and you return to normal life.

When Normal Life Becomes Complicated

Today we are all dealing with stress because of complicated "life situations."

We are bombarded on all sides about things -

  • We should do,
  • We ought to have done,
  • We will have to do in the future,
  • We have to have.

Hidden Anxieties

We are encouraged to compare ourselves with others – most of the time media created by showing “super humans” with perfect bodies, fast cars , palatial houses , ideal kids and vibrant investments.

You may feel if you haven’t got all these things that you lack some vital ingredient.

But you cannot let anybody know this, especially a boss, a partner, friends - what would they really think about you if they found out?

“If they really knew about me I could lose everything”.

So I’ll fight to keep it all going.

I’ll be super competitive, I’ll buy that car- it is a sign to all that I’m up for it.

” I know my weaknesses – but that’s for me, I’ll figure it all out some day”.

It Can All Become Too Much

Living like this for a long time can builds up heightened levels of anxiety.

Then a big mistake or accident caused by such a life style can push you past normal stress levels and keep you in a state of constant worry.

You may even find yourself worrying about worrying rather than overcoming worry!

If you recognize all this;

  • Are tired all the time,
  • Feel empty and alone before the work week starts,
  • Have constant concerns about the future,
  • Have constant money worries,

Take a little time for yourself; think positively along these lines:

                  Think Positively

  • The feelings are messages to me about my life situation - there are some things I need to change.
  • I am not to blame - this can really be a difficult one to crack - but you did the best you knew how at the time!
  • How real are the outcomes I’m concerned about?
  • What is the evidence to support the outcome  I’m concerned about?
  • Do I need help?

Every One Has Concerns

Almost everybody has concerns – even perhaps that smiling, good natured guy in the gas station – he doesn't let you know anything about them - you are his customer!

Think what might be behind all the cheerful “good mornings” from work colleagues!

You are not alone – excessive stress is part of our culture.

But not only are you not alone but you – yes you – can change things and reduce your worries.

Use a Calm Mind In Overcoming Worry

Consider how you could stand back and see your situation calmly; use relaxation and meditation to help calm your mind.

With a calmer mind you could then consider how best to act.

      7 Things You Could Consider Doing

*  1  *

                          Get professional help.

*  2  *

                      Avoid unnecessary conflicts.

*  3  *

Find time to meet friends- if this usually means negative chat or role playing, try to change this – or find new friends – always possible!

*  4  *

Taking time out – little (1-2 days) but often, can help change your perspective.

*  5  *

Accept the things you cannot change – but always concentrate on areas that you have control over and can change.

Changing the things you can will begin to show you that you always have choices.

Meditation and relaxation will really help with this – choices are clearer to a calm mind

*  6  *

                      Adopt a healthier lifestyle.

*  7  *

                 Do something completely different.

Even.. for example.

Drive a different way to work once or twice a week. 

Read a book, a publication with different views to your own.                     

Give some help to someone, small spontaneous acts without expecting any thanks: -  

*Let two cars into the traffic.

*Let someone ahead of you in a queue                    

*Thank the person providing a routine service for             you.           

These positive “little things” can be unusually powerful in lifting your mood and overcoming worry. 

The most powerful act is to “keep turning up” for yourself.

Lapsing from Positivity

A lapse is not a catastrophe - old habits have a momentum and even when you have decided to change your life they will creep in.

But new positive habits designed to eliminate excessive worry also build a momentum – building these new habits combined with meditation and relaxation and relentlessly “turning up” will have a profoundly positive impact on your life. 

Remember overcoming worry and dealing with stress can be achieved with a calm mind.

Overcoming Worry > Dealing With Panic

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