How can I stop worrying?

Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
Worry is negative guided imagery. When we allow our minds to imagine what "could" happen, it is nothing more than negative guided imagery. Our worries are not real, but worrying will rob you of your life. The fact is most of your worries will never happen, and worrying will only keep you living in a state of fear and uncertainty. Worry creates incredible stress chemicals and will make you sick. Wouldn't you rather live in a state of confidence and happiness? Every time you worry, stop immediately and say a one-to-five word affirmation to stop this nasty habit. Worry is nothing but a bad habit that does nothing good for your life. When I began to worry, I smile and say, "I am so grateful for my life." Gratitude is an antidote to worry.
A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

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A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

Nautilus Book Awards Winners for 2007 (category: Self-Help/Psychology/ Personal Growth) "Like many people, Kathleen Hall found that despite great success and material wealth, she had yet to identify...
If you don't have an anxiety disorder but think you worry too much, the following advice may help you lighten up:
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Listen to music or to relaxation recordings to take your mind off whatever is worrying you. A variety of stress-reducing techniques can help, including mindfulness meditation, body scanning, and visualization.
  • Exercise regularly: Studies have found that exercise improves mood and modestly decreases anxiety symptoms. The type of exercise is less important than its frequency. Exercise regularly; aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on all or most days.
  • Consider biofeedback: If the techniques mentioned above don't do the trick, biofeedback may help. Biofeedback helps you become more aware of your body's responses to stress and teaches you to control them using relaxation and cognitive techniques. A clinician who is experienced in biofeedback can help you do this by measuring specific body functions, such as heartbeat, and feeding them back to you in the form of sound or light.

Every time I do a stress presentation, I ask people who worry to raise their hands. I ask them, "Has anyone told you to stop worrying because it either doesn't help or because what you worry about never happens?"  They all say, "Yes!"  Then I ask, "Did that work?"  They all emphatically say, "NO!"  Then I say, "OK. I'm not going to tell you to stop worrying."  Everyone smiles.

Here is what I discovered about worry....

If you are a worrier, you have a future oriented mind. You are worried about what might happen in a future over which you will or might not have control. You have a good reason to worry. Nearly everything in the future is out of your control. This is why the future stresses you so much and why you worry about it! 

Solution:  Your mind thinks... That is its job. Telling it not to think the way it does, won't work. Give your future-oriented mind something to think about that's useful. Ask your mind to visualize what you want to see in the future. Focusing on what you want in the future rather than what you fear gives your future-oriented mind something constructive to think about. It's happy and you are happier!

Suggested Activity: Creating a vision board of what you want to see in the future is a great project for you. Here is a link to a free article on how to create a Vision Board.

Be sure to like this answer if you find it helpful.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Constant worry and negative thoughts can drain the pleasure and energy from your life, say psychologist Barry Michels and psychiatrist Phil Stutz, Dr. Oz Show guests and authors of The Tools. In this video, Dr. Michels and Dr. Stutz explain a simple way to break through that black cloud of worry. 

Stacy Kaiser

A great way to stop worrying is to distract yourself with another activity, or to focus on all the positive aspects in your life. In this video, psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser gives essential strategies on how to stop the worry once it starts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.