Make a Conscious Decision to Worry Less

Few things are more irritating than being told, 'You worry too much!' or 'Just stop worrying!' However, worry can become a habit. It grinds away at your peace of mind and joy. If you find yourself caught in a vicious cycle of constant worrying. Here are specific ways to help break the habit:

  1. Write about or record your worries
    Using a paper and pen, keyboard, or a voice recorder, record your most honest thoughts and feelings. Don't be concerned about grammar, spelling, or even making sense. Don't plan on sharing your writing with anyone'just do it for yourself and plan to destroy it or keep it in a private place when completed. Write continuously for 15-20 minutes. If you run out of things to write, finish the following sentences:

    'The thing I worry about most is...'
    'I feel upset about...'
    'It makes me angry when...'
    'I feel...'

    Keep going until you exhaust your thoughts.

    Record your thoughts in this way regularly - ideally on a daily basis. The results may not be immediate, but over time you will gain a better perspective on your life and a sense of relief at having an outlet to express your deepest thoughts and feelings.
  2. Talk to yourself about your worries
    Isolate the things you are worried about and ask yourself, in the great scheme of life, how relevant is this? Will I care about this in five years or five months? Try repeating the famous excerpt from The Serenity Prayer attributed to the theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr, which is used in all 12-step programs. If you are uncomfortable with the religious implications of a 'prayer' then adapt it into language that makes you at ease:

    'Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.'


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