Do you feel like you’re in a state of constant worry? If so, then you know that it’s not exactly a good feeling. In fact, it can be downright anxiety-provoking. In extreme cases, excessive worry can lead to fatigue, depression, and physical health problems. Given all of these negative effects, why would anyone want to worry? It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Some people can’t stop worrying because they don’t really want to. Are you one of them? Consider these three signs that you’re holding on to the habit in a futile effort to figure out how to deal with stress and problems in your life.
• You think worrying is necessary.
Do you feel like there’s a genuine purpose for your worrying? Perhaps you feel like if you worry enough, you’ll come up with a solution to your problem or you’ll prevent something bad from happening to you or someone you care about. These are misconceptions, of course, but they’re not uncommon ones. Lots of people are reluctant to give up the habit of worrying because they think that if they do, all of their worst fears will come true. Stop and really consider what you’re accomplishing through your worrying. The sooner you realize what a waste of time and energy it is, the closer you’ll be to kicking the habit. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. If you find yourself “needing” to worry,
practice some calming meditation methods instead.
• You believe worry is a virtue.
When you worry about something or someone, it means that you care, right? Well, yes, but it’s not the only way (or even the best way) to express your love, affection, or empathy. There are many healthier ways to do this, and some of them can actually help you learn how to deal with stress instead of create it. Practicing random acts of kindness or volunteering can benefit you mentally and emotionally while making a real difference in the world around you. Worrying, on the other hand, doesn’t help anyone, and it doesn’t prove that you’re a good person. Remember, it’s your actions that define you, not your thoughts and certainly not your fears.
• You’re not willing to let go.
Lots of chronic worriers have an unhealthy need for control. Do you feel like you always need to know what’s happening next? Do you find it hard to enjoy the moment because you’re always worried about what’s around the corner? If so, then you may benefit from some meditation methods designed to help you deal with uncertainty. Practicing mindfulness and simply being aware of your worries when they arise is a great first step. Don’t try to resist your worries; that will only make them more persistent. Instead, acknowledge them and move on. Try to let them be with you without responding to them. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you ignore your worries, they’ll eventually go away!
One of the first things you should do when attempting to figure out how to deal with stress in your life is to tackle your incessant worrying.
Once you learn to let go of your worries and enjoy the positive aspects of your life, you’ll begin to experience the peace of mind you were meant to have all along.