Help for Chronic Worriers

Help for Chronic Worriers

by Susie Michelle Cortright

Worry helps set us in motion. It helps us muster the motivation to fulfill our various duties, but when worry turns into obsession, it can interrupt our daily patterns and immobilize us.

Zap excessive worry with these eight tips:

1. Know your limits. Create and prioritize a list of goals for your professional and family life. Then, create weekly, monthly, even quarterly to-do lists that take into account your available time and resources.

Recognize that it is not worth your time and energy to obsess over issues, events, and people in your life over which you have no control.

2. Trust yourself.
Each time you find yourself dwelling on some future event, remind yourself that you are capable of handling this problem when it arises. Develop a sense of trust in yourself to handle anything that comes your way.

Charge your "confidence battery" by reflecting on all of your successes. Spend less time worrying about what could happen with thoughts of what did happen...and how well you handled it.

3. Prepare for the Worst.
Prepare yourself to accept the worst. Dale Carnegie offers some classic advice in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. First, identify the worst-case scenario. Accept it. Then, set out to improve upon the worst-case result. Meanwhile, ask yourself, "Just how likely is this worst-case scenario?"

4. Hope for the Best.
A positive attitude works wonders and prevents us from falling into the dark pit of worry and obsession. Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance, frequently tout the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal to record the daily blessings life bestows on us. This Gratitude Journal is a remarkable tool for helping us see the cup as half full.

5. Journal your fears.
Record your worries in written form. Journaling can help you channel nervous energy and pinpoint the real subject of your anxiety.

6. Get help.
A support system is vital, just make sure it does not contribute to your worries. Sometimes, we tend to feed off the anxieties of others. We hear about the neighbors concerns, and we wonder why we haven't been worried about that all along...

7. Keep busy
George Bernard Shaw said, "the secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not." If you're obsessing over something you know is silly, distract yourself. Start a new project. Take the kids out for ice cream. Call your mother just to say hi.

8. Remember your religious faith.
Your religious faith can go a long way in breaking the worry habit. If you see the things that happen in your life as God's will, and you use your energy to understand that will--and not to change it--you will naturally let go of worry. After all, the events in the future are in God's hand--not yours.

coyright 2000 by Susie Michelle Cortright


Susie is the founder and publisher of Momscape, an online magazine devoted to nurturing the nurturers. Read inspiring articles and essays, and register to win free pampering packages.

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