Do you recognize this?
You’re doing everything right. Life is smooth. Happy. And all is well in your world.
And suddenly, seemingly out of the blue things start to fall apart.
You’ve been hit with something to worry about. And if it looks like it’s something serious, a major career mistake, a personal, financial, or health loss, it’s likely that the worry machine will be cranked up to high.
If you’ve ever been kept awake by worry you’ll know that for some of us worry is at its worst in the early morning hours. We toss and turn and find it impossible to stop the negative and fearful thoughts in our head.
And our fears and anxiety take us round in circles that lead nowhere.
The thing of it is, that much of what we worry about are ‘what if’s’.
What if I lose my job, what if my relationship fails, what if I can’t pay my bills, what if I’m seriously ill? And they play havoc on our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Recently I had something serious to worry about. I had medical tests that didn’t look so good. X-rays that looked worse. Concerned calls about more testing. And I began to worry about the worst case scenario.
You don’t want to do this. Don’t get caught up in the vicious cycle of worrying. Once we get caught in it it’s not easy to find our way out.
Turn to what you know works best for fearful, worrying thinking. This is what I did.
1. Stop the worry trolls
Worry is often how we manage uncertainty. And whilst we’re never going to get rid of it entirely, it comes along with the joys of living, we don’t have to allow it to paralyze us and create a stress filled life.
Your worries are like little trolls living in your head that make you see things that aren’t necessarily true, stirring up fear and anxiety. Don’t let them beat you down.
Try calming them down with a whiff of lavender. Studies show that lavender oil has a calming effect on our nervous system. I used it a lot.
2. Don’t believe the illusions
What was true for me was that I was creating images in my mind of the worst possible outcomes. I wasn’t being present in my life.
Present moment living means just that. So I would focus on something in front of me and notice everything about it. Observing it for as long as possible and leaving no room for my imagination to create doomsday pictures in my head.
When seized by worry remind yourself your worries haven’t happened…they’re illusions created by your mind because of unconscious fears and insecurities. And they’re not real in this moment.
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.~ Marcus Aurelius
3. Choosing what to see
Since keeping my imagination in check all day by focusing on objects was an impossibility. I chose images that I wanted to see. In my mind’s eye I heard the doctors’ giving me good news.
Feeling elated and relieved, I saw myself on the telephone sharing the good news with my family and friends. I replaced every negative image that came up with a happy ending.
Refocus your attention on what you want. And if you have to refocus a thousand times a day…that’s ok. You’re worth it.
We have to get used to the idea that worrying isn’t going to fix things and won’t stop bad things from happening. Truth be told it’s just the opposite, it creates problems you never had.
Begin to see over-worrying as a form of self-torture and you’ll find it much easier to choose to see something better.
You and only you can bring peace to your life. It’s easy to waste today worrying about tomorrow.
Remember, just because you think something, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
And even though we can’t switch off our brain, we can avoid getting caught up in every worrisome, negative thought that comes along.
You are more than your thoughts. The biggest part of you who are exists beyond fear and worries.
You have within you the ability to mentally move away from things that trouble you and more towards life as you’d like it to be. Don’t dismiss this ability. It can save you from sleepless nights and crippling worries.
And that’s what I managed to do. I mentally saw the outcome as I wanted it to be and heard the results I wanted to hear…until I finally saw and heard all I wanted in my physical reality. And yes…the good news arrived…I am healthy!
Your thoughts: How do you manage worries. Not the general every day, it might rain and spoil the picnic worries, but those of a larger, possibly life changing nature. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Your wisdom might very well change someone’s world.
Encourage one another.
18 thoughts on “3 Ways to Stop Worry From Stopping You”
I love the idea of stopping the trolls Elle! I’ve been kept awake by worry and anxiety many times – I hate that swirly feeling in my stomach. These tips are really helpful for next time the trolls come uninvited 🙂
I’d forgotten about the swirly stomach Ellen…what a great descriptor. We need to keep those trolls at bay! 🙂
These three suggestions are so powerful, Elle. I also resonate very deeply with this truth: “You are more than your thoughts. The biggest part of you who are exists beyond fear and worries.” I used to worry quite a bit. But at one point, something clicked in me and I realized what a waste of time it is since worry never changes anything and never adds anything constructive to my life. I’m not entirely free of worry now, but I”m more likely to put worry to rest sooner rather than later. Excellent article.
Glad you liked it Sandra…like you, I used to worry a lot more and for a lot longer. And even though intellectually I always knew it was a useless exercise, mentally and emotionally I found it hard to stop. And now it’s easier…I have more tools in the tool bag to help me out. Growth is a wonderful things! 🙂
Worry can certainly ruin any moment. But I agree that even if we self correct many, many times it is worth the effort to break the worry habit. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Hi Sandy, how lovely to see you here. and as we all know…it’s not easy to be always in control of our thinking. Our monkey mind can play havoc if we allow it. 🙂
Thanks for these useful suggestions. I have found all of them to be very helpful in easing my anxiety. I don’t deal with it much anymore, but when “a troll” does pop up, I find visualizing, thought reframing, and mindfulness always works for me.
Hi Debbie…these are great techniques that you use…I’ve found that I need different tools in the tool box for different occasions of worry so these are really helpful to add! 🙂
love stop the trolls, and yes illusion is just a false thought or idea, I go to my happy place the beach or pull out a good novel, that worksfor me
I love the idea of your happy place Suzie…we all need to have one of those and a walk in nature always does the trick for a while…a good place to get centred again. 🙂
Love this line, Elle – “Your worries are like little trolls living in your head that make you see things that aren’t necessarily true, stirring up fear and anxiety.” What a perfect analogy. When I jump to thinking about a future I can’t predict, the worrying can start. Great suggestions, here. Thanks!
Hi Cathy…you can tell I’m speaking from experience here. It seems to me that now it’s just about accepting worry will occur sometimes, and not allowing it to take over and run the show. Who wants trolls running around in your head??? 🙂
Thanks for posting ElleSommer…..
I appreciate yours sentence – It’s easy to waste today worrying about tomorrow.
Your article help to learn – how to live?
Hello Aniket…it’s lovely to hear from you. I do hope it gives you some information to support you in living your greatest life possible. 🙂 I have removed your link because it looked a lot like spam.
Hi Elle, I couldn’t agree more, our thoughts and worries are not reality, negative thoughts gives us disappointments, depression and frustration, kills joy and happiness. Do not let worries take control. We are more than our thoughts and worries. Thanks for sharing. Great Read!
Hi Noah…it’s nice to hear your thoughts on the matter. As always I appreciate you taking the time to share with us. 🙂
Thank you so much.. this is so real. Worrying ruins our present and attracts all the negativity into our future. And as simple as you mentioned is just a decision to move your thoughts away from what worries you and engage in the better that is in life. Lots of love
Hi Soha…glad you enjoyed this article…I love what you say about deciding to move your away and engage in life in the happiest of ways. 🙂