How to Stop Worrying and Start Taking Action

Stop worrying about what needs to be done and focus on what CAN be done.

But how do you stop worrying?

“The problem for worriers is that they use worry as a way of reacting to everyday life events as well as big occasions. In these everyday incidents, worry is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut… The worried mind is unfortunately hyperactive, unfocused, repetitive, and undermining. To get the better of worry, we have to learn to save it for the big occasions and not use it as a one-size-fits-all approach to everything in life.”

Kevin Meares and Mark Freeston, Overcoming Worry

The fundamental question that drives worry is What if?

And underlying what-if is if-then.

Usually if-then is a rule about the way the world works (or should work), or what things will mean.

What if I can’t stick to a nutrition plan? Then it means I have failed.

What if I get hungry later? Then I will be uncomfortable and that will be intolerable.

What if I don’t get these instructions exactly right? Then this will not work.

Typical “worry rules” are very rigid. They involve a lot of all-or-nothing thinking (e.g. I worry that I will not get this perfect, because if I don’t succeed 100% then I am a failure).

Worries thrive in the dark, musty recesses of our brains. But they die in bright sunlight.

Notice and name your worries. Try to understand what the worry might be trying to protect you from.

Underlying worry are needs for safety, security, and certainty.

Write them down in your journal.

Soon, you'll have less worry.