How to Stop Worrying and Let it Go
When I was working with a life coach for my own benefit and personal growth, one of the biggest challenges I faced was the HOW TO… Over and over my coach would tell me to “Just Do It” but if you’ve been in my shoes (and I bet you have), just doing it just doesn’t always work! I’m not dumb. I know I SHOULD do something but I don’t always know HOW to do something no matter how important it is to do that! And I bet there are a LOT of people out there just like me!
For this reason, when I work with my life coach clients, I get very specific with them when they are struggling with this piece of the puzzle. I help them figure out a plan that will work for them rather than just telling them to figure it out on their own.
I realized, recently, that I had been sharing with a lot of people to stop worrying. Stop worrying about what you can’t control since it won’t do you any good anyway. The problem is, HOW?
- Decide – First you have to decide you actually DO want to stop worrying. If, by worrying, you are getting some form of attention or allowing yourself to be a “victim” to the circumstances, this process won’t work. You have to make the decision that not worrying and letting go of your concerns is far better for you than anything you might get out of continuing to worry.
- Review – Take a close look at the circumstances and determine if there is really nothing you can do. Ask for help. Check in with others for feedback, but not from the “Oh whoa is me” attitude. Instead, check in with the mindset that they might be able to provide you a solution you hadn’t considered before. If there is something that can be done, DO it!
- Be Open – If you are offered possible solutions to your worries, consider them openly. Don’t dismiss them immediately. Take the time to give them your best effort and see if you can make them work.
- Change your view – Once you have determined that there is really nothing you can do about a situation, start looking at it from a different perspective. Look at the situation from every possible angle to seek the benefits that are very likely underlying the challenges. If you can’t see the potential benefits, ask for someone else’s perspective on the situation. The best gifts come wrapped in ugly paper. Take the ugly paper off and you’ll find a thing of beauty.
- Consider the odds – How often do your worries really come true? Is it worth the physical and emotional stress, anxiety and frustration you are putting yourself through? A great way to do this is to keep a worry journal. Write down all the things you are worrying about and go back every week or so to update whether or not the worst case scenario actually happened.
- Accept the possibility – Sometimes we just CAN’T see the positive side of a situation no matter how much we look for it. Take a leap of faith and choose to know that there is one there, even if you can’t find it.
- Redirect – Every time your mind starts to wander back to that place of worry, redirect your thoughts to a happy time or place. Or give time to others that may be less fortunate. By getting your mind going in a different direction, it doesn’t allow time to worry.
- Acknowledge and dismiss – The more we fight the worry, the more we worry. Instead, when you find yourself worrying, tell yourself; “Thank you for sharing, now go away.” This allows you to not beat yourself up about the feeling of worry but also allows you to send the feeling on it’s way.
- Focus on Gratitude – Tune in to what you have that is positive in your life. You can not be both positive and negative at the same time. Choose to be grateful for all of the wonderful things you have.
- Consider the future – What are the chances that this will still be affecting you 1 year from now? What about 5 years from now? When you are on your death bed as an old and wise individual, will you still remember this particular worry? Then is it really worth hanging on to?
- Let it go – If you are truly committed to not worrying any more, then going through these 10 steps should make #11 pretty easy. However, if you are still hanging on to worry, go back and reconsider all those benefits you may be getting from keeping worry close. There’s a reason you aren’t letting go. It may take someone else to help you find that reason.
Letting go of worry isn’t always easy, even if you are ready to. Going through these steps will help but sometimes the best way to stop worry is to seek help from an outside source.