5 Ways Worrying Robs You of Happiness and How to Stop

Worrying is a destructive habit, yet, everyone unwittingly does it. It costs time, energy, and ultimately your sanity if you aren't careful. The best way to stop worrying is to recognize it isn't helpful and choose to break that pattern and replace it with more constructive one. Understanding the five top reasons negative deliberations are a bad idea can give you the incentive to stop tormenting yourself. Discovering how to shift your thoughts provides the power to do so.

Worrying depletes your precious energy

No one has unlimited amount of daily physical, mental, and emotional energy. Some people naturally have more or less than average, but still everyone starts their day with their own limited amount that get depleted throughout the day. What do you spend your limited daily energy on? It is important to use that energy wisely. You need to use it on tasks and activities that are aligned with your objectives and get you closer to your goals.  If you can stay focused, motivated and productive you will have a wonderfully fulfilling day.  Worry (and its close friends, fear and negativity) is a clever thief that robs you of your precious energy. You will simply not have enough energy left to complete your tasks and have a satisfying day if you allow worry to take charge of your mind. The best way to overcome worrying is to calm your mind, stay focused, and become determined and productive.  Courageous action toward your goals is the ultimate worry killer.

Worrying doesn't change the situation

All worrying changes is your state of mind, making you anxious, nervous and distracted. The exact opposite of what you need at that moment. You might imagine it's necessary to focus on concerns, to pay attention to them, to analyze them, and to try to alter what's troubling you. Indeed, you may think that when you worry, your mind seeks solutions to the challenges you face. But that is a lie that worrying makes you believe. Worry often goes around in circles, creating imaginative scenarios in your mind, rather than coming up with answers. The repetitive cycle of negative thinking damages your well-being. It causes emotional, and eventually physical distress. Worrying never alters circumstances; it just eats your peace and causes inaction. What gets your mind to find solutions to your problems is constructive thinking, planning followed by immediate action. Its that action that changes the situation not worrying.

Worrying wires your brain for negativity

Each time you repeat worries, neural connections are made in your brain to accommodate your new habit. The more you worry the stronger those neural connection become. Worrying becomes second nature, as your mind spirals down old networks of problems. Trying to break the habit is hard, but it can be done. Until you decide to change old patterns of behavior, though, you endure mental and emotional distress.  Be mindful of your worrying patterns and slowly try to break those patterns by redirecting your thoughts toward doing something about them.  Next time you start worrying, immediately say (out loud if you can) “STOP. This is not going to help me. What can I do about this? What is a small action I can take instead?”  And then get busy doing something.  Make that your new pattern.

Worrying blocks creativity

Even though you worry in an attempt to find answers, the opposite can occur. You are so anxious or fearful that any solutions to your dilemmas are blocked from sight. The mind needs focus, calmness and peace for creativity. Mental and emotional stress causes creativity to drop, so solving the issues that led to worry becomes impossible. If you want to generate ideas and be creative, you need to stop worrying and get busy taking effective action. That will not only refocus you toward find a solution but it will also calm your mind down. This will give your creativity a chance to take over.

Worrying increases feel-bad hormones

Worrying has physical consequences. It depletes your immunity since it increases “feel-bad” chemicals in your body. Your cortisol levels rise, making catching bugs and diseases easy. You go into a state of fight or flight. While in survival mode, parts of your system slow down, and others go into over drive, readying you for a fight or quick exit. Your digestive capacity suffers, and your powers of deduction worsen. Soon, you're not in a fit state to see the way out of your situation. No wonder we feel so tired and depleted after worrying. Ever wonder why positive, confident and action-oriented people are healthier?

The best way to stop worrying

Worrying is habit forming. Like any habit, to stop worrying, you need to break the pattern, override old behaviors and replace them with superior ones. Two things happen when you worry; your mind becomes overactive, and you dwell on negativity. Destructive combination. To change matters, you have to calm your mind and slow your thoughts. Next, you replace old thinking patterns with new, positive thoughts and ultimately constructive actions.

Meditating is a simple way to quieten your mind. Practicing mindfulness is another way to notice your worrying feeling as soon as they arise. Positive self-talk is another beneficial tool.

Focusing on your breath moves your attention from worries spinning around in your mind to the sensations in your body. When you notice the process of taking deep, slow breaths, you don't attend to worries. The longer you leave your concerns alone, the faster they fade. Meditation also involves allowing fears to surface and pass without getting involved with them. Thus, when a concern arises, you know it's there, and don't try to make it go away. You go back to thinking about your breath, and the unwanted thought naturally passes. Once you are in this calmer state, your creativity and positivity will automatically take over.

To stop worrying, meditate on a regular basis. Introduce the practice gradually. Allow five minutes initially, and lengthen the time to twenty minutes over two or three weeks. As you get used to quietening your thoughts, use your new practice to dispel worries even when you aren't meditating. When you notice worrying thoughts arising, focus on your breath, calm your mind and body down and take on a neutral task or activity.

Next, create new neural connections in your brain using positive affirmations. Every morning, repeat statements like "I cope with any situation I meet," “I am strong and wise enough to handle anything” and "I know I can find the answers." Do the same before sleeping.

Worrying can't help you; it can only do you harm. However, you can change your mindset by meditating and repeating positive affirmations. New thought patterns will emerge that override negative thinking, and the habit of worrying will fade. Once this happens you will create a new habit. When you encounter a negative or challenging situation your mind will immediately calm itself down, search for best possible solutions and gets you to take action to get you out of that situation or resolve the issue. Imagine how much better your life will be with this new pattern.

By Rafael Tomik for BeGreat.com

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