If you find yourself worrying often, you know how difficult it can be to drive out negative thinking and relieve the feeling of anxiety. While worrying is a healthy response in some scenarios, many people find themselves worrying excessively in their daily lives.
Worry can occupy large space in your mind, eliminating space for more healthy, productive thinking. If you want to break free from worry, I have 15 simple ways that will show you how you can begin worrying less.
How to Stop Worrying About Everything
Unfortunately, worrying can become a very habitual way of thinking – and it can quickly take over all your thoughts. Worrying less is an important part of supporting mental health and feeling more in control of your life and choices.
When it comes to breaking free from worry, the goal is to find healthy coping mechanisms or distractions that help minimize the destructive thinking.
Mastering your concerned mind is an effort in worrying less, and realizing some level of worry is normal and healthy.
15 Ways to Break Free From Worry
Breaking free from worry may feel like an impossible task for the chronic worrier, but thankfully there are many actions you can take in your daily life to ease your anxious mind.
Next time you feel an episode of worried thinking coming on, try these top 15 ways to break that cycle:
#1. Ask yourself, “will worrying make a difference?”
From the moment you wake up in the morning, you only have a finite amount of time to think productively. Realize that, in most cases, worrying won’t affect the outcome of the situation that is troubling you.
Remind yourself that worrying is rarely a good use of your time, and determine how you can free up more mental space for better thoughts.
#2. Redirect your thoughts to a happy place
It can be natural to worry, and it is a good idea to practice turning pessimism into optimism.
For example, instead of saying “I don’t think I’ll get the job I applied for,” tell yourself, “My skills are a great fit for this position, and I hope the hiring manger sees the value I could bring.”
#3. Find a productive distraction
Worry can take over your daily thoughts, which is why it is important to replace the negativity with a positive distraction.
When you find yourself worrying, distract yourself with your favorite activity, work, family time, or anything else you enjoy.
#4. Talk to a friend or family member
Your friends and family can serve as your greatest support system. Ask for a loved one to listen to your concerns, and provide meaningful advice on the situation that is bothering you.
A conversation about your worries may help you feel like you’ve lifted a weight off your chest.
#5. Discuss your worries with a counselor
In some cases, excessive worrying can indicate an unhealthy state of mind, or a medical condition like an anxiety disorder.
If you’re concerned that you spend too much time worrying, book and appointment with a licensed counselor to get a better assessment of why you worry, and learn healthy coping strategies.
#6. Find your worry-free mantra
A mantra is a short, powerful phrase that speaks to your goals and supports a positive attitude. Research mental health mantras and repeat them often.
Worry-free mantras include, “let it go,” “take a deep breath,” and “this is only temporary.”
#7. Escape your worries through music
Both the lyrics and the rhythms of your favorite music can help calm your mind and ease your worries.
Take time to truly focus on the music, whether you wear earbuds on a walk or set your playlist while in the bath, so you can use it as a form of relaxation therapy.
#8. Schedule time to worry
While this may sound counterproductive, it can be beneficial to schedule time to worry. Block off 15 minutes on your schedule to reflect on your worries, produce rational thoughts and end this time with a healthy conclusion.
Once your time is up, tell yourself you have no more time left to worry and find something new to think about.
#9. Start journaling about your worries
Putting pen to paper is a great way to organize your thoughts and make sense of the things in life that are bothering you.
Start by writing a list of what is worrying you, and see where your creativity takes you. How you write in your journal is entirely up to you. You can write notes, stories, thoughts or even draw pictures.
#10. Take actions to ease your concerns
If you find yourself constantly worrying, consider ways you can take action to reduce your worries.
For example, if you’re worried about passing a rigorous exam, start a study group or re-read your materials so you feel more prepared.
#11. Avoid unnecessary research
Search engines and social media are readily available at your fingertips, which can make it easy to start researching your problems and spiral down a rabbit hole.
While light research may be helpful in some cases, you may increase your worrying by finding extreme situations in your research or accessing information that isn’t reliable.
#12. Exercise when you feel worried
Studies suggest exercise is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and distract yourself from negative thinking.
When you feel worried, try taking a jog, practicing a sport or visiting the gym to boost your mental wellness.
#13. Experiment with herbal remedies
There are many herbal remedies that are known to help support a healthy mind.
You may find that sipping on a warm mug of chamomile tea or experimenting with essential oils, like lavender and lemon balm, can relax your anxious thoughts.
#14. Read a fictional book
A good book can help you escape the negative thoughts in your own mind and temporarily take your perspective to a new world.
Reading is a healthy way to support positive mental health while serving as an entertaining distraction for your worries.
#15. Remember practice makes perfect
Training your mind to worry less is not as easy as a flip of a switch. It involves a great deal of practice, mindfulness and redirection of thought.
Practice worry-free tactics often to help achieve a more optimistic attitude long-term.
The Benefits of Living Worry-Free
Living with a worry-free attitude can help you feel happier and healthier, and it is an important goal to strive for if you find yourself worrying excessively.
There are many wide-ranging benefits of living worry-free, including:
More “mental space” for healthy thinking
Less feeling of anxiety or panic
Improved control of important life decisions
Positive influence to others in your life
Better overall health as a result of reduced stress
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to become an excessive worrier, but you can break the cycle of anxious thinking by practicing healthy distractions and mental wellness techniques in your daily life.
If you stay focused, think productively and find a better alternative for your worried thoughts, you will notice a huge change in your daily mindset and mental well-being.
The path to a worry-free life begins today with these 15 simple steps. Share your thoughts in the comments below!