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This is a really important post for those who are chronic worriers. Worry is a huge source of stress that can lead to some pretty serious health issues. But you don’t have to struggle with the worry anymore! You have a choice.
Why worry? Many people spend a great deal of their life worrying about every little thing that comes their way.
Now, I will admit that after my ex-husband and I separated, I worried quite a bit. I worried about finances (a lot). I worried about finding a job. And I worried that I wouldn’t meet someone and fall in love again. But I was worrying so much and creating so much stress for myself that I made myself sick. I was dealing with horrible symptoms and felt downright awful all of the time. It was not such a great way to live, because, well….I wasn’t really living. I was allowing fear to control me!
What exactly is worry? It is fear of something that could occur in the future. We tend to spend a great deal of time focused on the future and all of the little (or big) things that could go wrong. But oftentimes we are focusing on the “what ifs” and are busy making mountains out of molehills that don’t even exist yet.
Worrying does not help us. It does not and will not ever change a situation. And it certainly doesn’t give us solutions to our problems. It only creates stress, which ultimately wears down our body and immune system and leaves us sick. And chronic worriers become those who suffer from chronic illness. In fact, those who deal with chronic stress and anxiety are 4 to 5 times more likely to die from a heart attack than those who learn how to manage their stress regularly.
I will be the first to admit that I’ve been a bit of a worrier throughout my life. But I do know this. I faced my biggest fears in 2014 (losing my Mom, separating from my husband, and losing my voice for more than 5 months….I love to sing.) And although I worried about these things in the past, worrying did nothing to help. I faced those fears and came out the other side….and I am okay. In fact, I am healthier and happier than I thought I could be. And I realized that I am stronger than I ever realized. The good news is that we are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We can all handle anything that comes our way. You just need to believe that for yourself.
So how do we give up worrying? We have to stop living in the future and stay here, grounded in the present. That’s where you need to be if you really want to live a full life….in the here and now! If you spend too much time ruminating on what may or may not happen down the road, you aren’t present in your life.
You must also become aware of what you are thinking by checking in with your thoughts on a regular basis throughout the day. Most people are allowing their thoughts to run on autopilot, and are not even aware that they CAN control and even change what and how they think! I have done that, and there is a lot of freedom in not having to deal with the stress of worrying anymore. So I encourage you to check in with yourself. Take a look at what types of things are going on in your mind. It is in an awareness that you can begin to let go of that old, automatic programming.
When you become aware of your thought patterns you can begin to reframe them and refocus thoughts toward something more positive!
This will help you to conserve energy and reduce stress significantly which will ultimately allow you to be more clear-headed and present so that you can find solutions.