With a hectic lifestyle, worries and stress can feel more like the norm than the exception.
Whether it’s debt to pay off, a career ladder to climb, a business to build, or a family to look after, keeping up with daily demand and juggling responsibilities can cause constant worries and stresses.
And never-ending worries and stresses accumulate over time, leading you to burn out and affecting your mental and physical wellbeing.
Find out how, through your worries and stresses, you might involuntarily wish for bad stuff to happen and how to stop them.
Spur-of-the-Moment Worry or Chronic Worry?
It’s normal to feel worries and anxiety when dealing with daily life’s challenges.
A spur-of-moment worry is even helpful, pushing us to take action and solve problems.
But when worries and anxiety become excessive and chronic, they become a problem with a devastating effect.
Because chronic worry never presents a solution but a problem that leads us to stress.
Stress is a Killer
According to WebMD, 75% to 90% of all visits to doctors are because of stress-related conditions.
And physical illness causes a ton of other issues: a loss of income, physical confinement, anxiety, and a threat to an independent lifestyle.
So we need to work on reducing stress.
And to do that, we need to understand that worrying is like praying for bad stuff to happen.
Worrying is Like Praying for Bad Stuff
I’ve noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to happen.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.’s analogy perfectly illustrates the ramifications of worry.
Think about your birthday wishes.
You make wishes with wonderful desperation, hopefulness, longing, and childlike innocence.
You see possibilities.
You pray for good things and expect them to come your way.
Worry is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum.
Worrying is like praying for your worst nightmare to come visit you in your sleep before going to bed.
Who would pray for such a thing, you might say?
Yet you do it all the time when you succumb to worrying.
So how do you stop worrying?
Start with Defiance and Resolution
As in many things in self-help discipline, a resolution has to come first.
Knowing that worry brings you stress and weakens your body and soul, resolve to stop worrying.
Here’s how you do it:
Focus on What You Have Instead of What You Don’t Have
When I had endless self-doubt and unnecessary worry, anxiety, and stress with my blog, I diverted my attention from what I didn’t have to what I did have.
I remind myself of what I have:
- I’m healthy.
- I have a laptop and a reasonable skill set to string a few words together to create a blog.
- There are 24 hours a day equally available to everyone.
- I have access to a wealth of information.
- I have a strong desire to become a successful blogger.
Stop Imagining the Worst
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
We give power to fear by imagining the worst.
No one in their right mind would chant day and night, wishing bad things to happen.
Worrying is like chanting and praying for those things.
And by doing so, we create pain and anxiety that manifest as fear and stress.
So, Let’s Fight Off the Worries
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
Can you picture a person’s defiance and fight?
I can almost see her, closing her ears, shaking her head side to side, and shouting:
Go away! Leave me alone.
She’s like an irate child throwing a tantrum.
But here, she’s fighting off the thoughts of worry, showing how defiant, proactive, and firmly resolved you should be in shifting your thoughts away from worries.
We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.
Treat small worries like fleas.
What do you do when you see fleas?
Ah, welcome, my friends. I wonder where you’ve been all this time! Stay as long as you want.
You freak out. Flick it off. Follow its trail and make sure it’s gone.
You hunt down to see if there’s more. You don’t give it a chance to fester.
Do the same with your chronic worries. Don’t give in to it and let it harbour.
Make the Worry Disappear by Doing the Work
One of my favourite quotes of all time is by Earl Nightingale.
Work never killed anyone. It’s worry that does the damage. And the worry would disappear if we’d just settle down and do the work.
Isn’t it a wonderful quote?
Instead of worrying, sit down and do the work.
Focus on what you can do right now rather than worrying over what may or may not happen.
The moment you do just that, as Earl Nightingale said, the worry disappears.
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
When worrying thoughts occur, move.
Do something. Anything.
Listen to music, read something uplifting, watch a movie, or write a blog post.
Just do anything to get you out of dwelling on the worry.
I often say to myself:
Right, thinking about what’s going to happen in three months’ time will do nothing. Stop it. Just pick one thing you can do now and do it.
Or bring up my life saviour—one powerful mantra that changed my life completely.
A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work.
Your body may feel exhausted after a day of work, but you fall into a sound sleep and wake up well-rested.
Compare a day spent worrying to a day at work.
You carry your worries into a sleepless night and start the following day feeling worse than before.
According to a recent survey, 62% of British people believe in miracles.
Half of the 2,002 British adults surveyed said their prayer was answered in the way they had hoped.
If there is a slight chance of our prayer being answered, imagine the horror of worries that’ll actually happen.
All the more reasons to stop worrying and praying for bad stuff now.
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