How to manage your worrying

What if there was a way to start to manage your worrying?  Stick with me and I’ll provide you with some tips and tricks that I’ve learned that are working.

Why do you worry?

There may be lots of different reasons why you worry.  I’ve worried about anything and everything in my life. It was as if I needed to worry about what I was doing or it wouldn’t be right.  I’ve been worried about how something was going to turn out.  In that process of worrying about how it would turn out, I worried about how I was going to make it turn out and all of the steps involved in that. It was so stressful.

I would go to bed anxious and worrying.  Then wake up in the middle of the night, worrying more.  My mind was always in the ‘what if’ space.  Always thinking about the worst things that could happen and believing they would.

[Tweet “It is the trouble that never comes that causes the loss of sleep. – Chas. Austin Bates“]

For me I noticed that the reason I worried was to feel in control. Worrying supported my sense of being in control. That’s what I thought anyway.

explore your anxiety

Why worrying doesn’t help

Hard and all as it might be to come to terms with, we are not in control of anything that we do. We might think we’re in control and believe we ‘feel’ in control.  Sorry to disappoint you.  None of it is real.

That’s why worrying doesn’t help us in any way.  How many times have you spent hours, days, weeks, months worrying about something and when the time has come for that event or something to happen, it’s taken it’s own path and what you were worrying about either happened or didn’t: totally out of your control. If you’re like me, it’s often.

I’ve spent months worrying about how something would turn out.  An example was my daughters wedding. She was worrying about everything.  And I mean, everything. I was her accomplice. I worried just as much about what she was worrying about.  That made it worse for me.  Not only was I worrying about everything, I was also worrying about her and how she was feeling. I was trying to make things right for her and worrying that I wasn’t. I was worrying that her day wouldn’t turn out how she wanted it to.  She was worrying about that too.  Double the worry.

[Tweet “Don’t think too much. You’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.”]

When her wedding day arrived, everything ran smoothly. And when the one thing that went wrong happened, it wasn’t a big thing, and we managed it, in the moment. We hadn’t planned for it. We hadn’t even really thought about it to be honest. So, our worrying was for no good reason.

What I noticed about my worrying

Looking back on those months of organising my daughters wedding what I’ve noticed now is that whilst I was worrying I wasn’t really present.  During those months I wasn’t really with her, supporting her in the best possible way.  I wasn’t getting in touch with my own feelings and expressing them.  There was no way I was supporting either myself or her in the best possible way.

There were days when it felt such a burden to be organising the whole thing. I felt as though it wasn’t going to be right and that made me so sad. I had the whole event not turning out.

Whilst it’s okay to feel your emotions, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time emotional, anxious, tired, stressed and overall overwhelmed with the whole process.  Being this way didn’t allow me to be the strong person that I am.  The person, who in the present moment, is strong, supportive, nurturing, caring and happy.

[Tweet “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom“]

My tips for how to manage your worrying

Stop and take a breath

Often when we’re so busy in our head worrying we forget that we are breathing. Stop. Focus on your breath. It helps to bring you back down out of your head where all of those worrying thoughts are swirling around.

Notice where you are in that moment

Now stop and look around you.  Feel your feet on the ground, or where ever they are in this moment. Look around you.  Become really aware of your surroundings.  What do you hear?  What do you notice, is it warm or cold?  Notice the sensations in your body in that moment.

[Tweet “Worrying doesn’t change anything!”]

manage your worrying

Ask yourself what you’re worrying about

Focus on what you are worrying about.

  • Is it something in the future that hasn’t happened yet?
  • Who is actually responsible for what you’re worrying about, is it you or someone else?
  • Is it something in the past that you can’t change?

Slow down your thinking

Notice if you’re thinking about something in the future.  Your worry is about something that has not happened yet.  You have no way of knowing how it will or won’t turn out.  Write down a list of the worst things that could happen.  Putting these fears down on paper will help you to see them.

And, if you’re thinking about something in the past ask yourself if you can change it?  It’s happened. You have no control over it. It is now a memory.  Write down a list of what you should and shouldn’t have done differently.  Putting these thoughts on paper will help get them out of your head.

Are you responsible for what you’re worrying about? A lot of the time I notice that I’m not.  I worry about things that are other peoples responsibility.  I am in their business. This is not valuable to me or them. What’s best for me is to stay in my own business.  It is far less stressful.

If it is my responsibility, then take a piece of paper and write down how you think you would manage this situation, what would you do?  Writing it down helps solidify what is travelling in your mind.  It may make you feel a little lighter.  It may mean that you head isn’t quite as busy.

[Tweet “Health will improve almost at once when worrying ends. – Neale Donald Walsh“]

The benefits of not worrying

I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping better.  I go to bed and my mind is quiet.

The shift that has also happened now that I don’t worry is that I am more in the present.  I’m noticing more and more what is happening around me, including really being present with those I am with.  It makes a big difference.  I don’t feel as though I’m ‘trying’ any more either. Life is flowing around me.  It’s a very different feeling to the one that used to fill my day.

About Karen Cherrett

Karen is a Certified Facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie and a trained Counsellor. She wants to be of service to improve your peacefulness through self-inquiry. Karen supports individuals, businesses and practitioners.

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