10 Techniques To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
Chronic worrying is a habit that oftentimes does more harm than good. However, with mental repetition, You CAN learn to stop worrying about things you can’t control and not give your attention to them.
Worrying can be somewhat useful when it drives you to solve situations and take action. But if you’re constantly battling with “what if” and worst-case future scenarios, being worried becomes a problem of its own.
Reducing its volume will benefit you greatly in life and is well worth the effort.
You can literally train your brain to remain grounded, calm, and collected, even when things don’t go your way. Eventually, you’ll get used to looking at life’s hurdles with a more optimistic mindset.
Wouldn’t it be nice to face things with clarity and a sense of peace, rather than losing your balance over the small stuff? When you’re worried too much, you don’t have access to logical thinking.
Your limbic system is activated and screaming ‘danger!’, which makes it impossible for your cortex, the rational part of your brain, to call the shots.
In order to understand the worrying cycle, you first have to let go of the belief that this tendency always serves you well.
Once you acknowledge that worry is usually the problem and not the solution, you can regain control of your emotional state.
Why Are You Worrying About What You Can’t Control?
In order to stop the routine of worrying, you have to figure out why you’re reacting this way in the first place. Not everybody worries for the same reason.
Negative automatic thoughts: You saw grownups react this way, so you learned that this is the appropriate way to handle life challenges. You thought that this reaction was normal because that’s what the adults did. You’ve absorbed what’s out there without screening it or questioning it until this emotional reactivity has become a pattern.
Sense of control of events: when you are concerned about something, it gives you the illusion you are in control. It’s illogical thinking of “if I worry about it enough then I have control over this”.
But you can’t be further from the truth, because when you’re panicking, you actually cannot control anything. Besides, life is dynamic, and you cannot manage most of what’s going to happen. So the best way to achieve the desired results would be to calm down until your amygdala turns off.
Generalized anxiety disorder and/or OCD: Chronic, excessive, irrational, debilitating worry is a symptom of these two anxiety disorders.
The good news is that you can train yourself to alter your looping worry programming. My special track is designed to put you on the path of facing life’s circumstances with ease and peace.
The Negative Influences of Worrying
You may worry because you mistakenly believe that it will change the situation. Panicking does impact your life, but not in the ways you think it does.
Excessive worry about things you can’t control drains your energy and leaves you depleted and lethargic. When you’re exhausted, you’re far less capable of coping with obstacles logically and effectively.
When you react to different situations with fear, rather than from your center, you are only going to make things worse. You make impulsive decisions to find immediate relief. But later on, most chances you’re going to regret you haven’t waited a bit longer for things to get clearer.
When you worry about things you can’t control in the future, you prevent yourself from taking the right actions. Even if you come up with a good solution, you’ll feel less motivated to follow through on it.
Constant concerns also hurt your levels of happiness, health, and well-being. Just as stress that’s beyond your control can affect you physically and psychologically, so can non-stop worrying.
If you come to be known as a worrier, you may find that your social life is negatively impacted. Nobody wants to hang around the Debbie Downer at a party.
Worry is about focusing on the future, not the present. By ignoring the moment, you’re missing out on… life. You know that’s the case, and even though it’s so frustrating, you simply can’t bring yourself to let go of the obsessive worry thoughts.
If you spend time practicing the 10 exercises I present below, you’ll see all sorts of positive outcomes that will naturally support your efforts to reduce worry symptoms.
Ways To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
Challenge negative thoughts
If you tend to jump into a negative scenario right away, it’s an irrational cognitive mistake. Accept the possibility that you might have pessimistic thinking that requires improvement.
If you want to end the worry that later on escalates to anxiety, you need to shift your limiting beliefs. Start by spotting the scary thought.
Explore your fears about what’s frightening you. Question the thought that causes you this mess in your head. Awareness is the number one secret to overcome worry.
- Is there any proof that this thought is true or not true?
- Is there a better way to look at the situation?
- What are the chances that what I’m afraid of will actually happen?
- And if what I’m worried about will manifest, would it really be that bad?
- Could it lead to something positive, such as expansion and growth?
- Is this even my worry, or is it a learned behavior that does not belong to me?
- Do I feel more in control when I worry about this, or am I losing control over my emotional stability?
Positive affirmations are also a practical toolkit to stop worrying about things you cannot control as long as you use them correctly. Check out my post on 5 ways to use positive affirmations.
Focus on solutions and not limitations
Most people are troubled by imaginary scripts. That is, they’re hung up on things that COULD happen. You can’t solve an issue that hasn’t come up yet.
Sure, you can list potential strategies to hypothetical situations that cause you to worry endlessly. But do you really want to waste your precious time and energy on such tasks?
Solutions to circumstances that haven’t happened are useless to you. Andrea Schulman wrote a great post about imaginary problems at Raise Your Vibration Today.
It’s also helpful to consider Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, the short version of which reads as follows:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Accept the uncertainty of life and let go of control
Thinking about what may go wrong DOES NOT make life more predictable. It just makes you more anxious.
So how to stop worrying about things you can’t control? Restrain your need for certainty and immediate answers. Not all of the pieces of your solution must come now. You don’t have to figure it all out at this exact moment. Instead of resisting change, try to see the beauty it presents.
Dr. Fab Mancini produced a great little video called “Strengthen Your Faith in the Universe.” If you trust that everything always happens for a reason, you’ll find it easier to let go of worry and simply move forward, trying your best.
Learn to calm down
As silly as it sounds, some people are not being able to just chill and unwind. Many even find themselves feeling guilty for even daring to relax. But relaxing is exactly what you need to be more productive. Instead of wallowing in your concerns, learn to calm your nervous system.
With the right resources, relaxation can come easier with time. My special meditation tools are designed to shift toxic patterns and literally retrain your brain.
Binaural Beats is another excellent way to tune into immediate tranquility in only a few minutes! Your brain registers the healing frequencies and sync with them almost immediately.
Explore physical relaxation: Worry is more than just an emotion. It’s also a physical reaction of the body to a threat, whether it is real or imaginary. You breathe faster. Your muscles become stiff. And your heart beats hard.
But when you’re at ease, your muscles are loose. You breathe slowly. Your blood pressure is balanced. And you can think clearly.
Your body cannot be tense and relaxed at the same time.
When your body loosens, your brain has to catch up with it.
It’s helpful to incorporate a method called “deep muscle relaxation” in your attempts to keep the worry down a notch. Dr. Wilson from The Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center of Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, explains how to do it here.
Practice mindfulness to stop worrying about what you can’t control
One of the best tactics to implement starting from today is learning to be present at the moment. A mindfulness practice that includes regular meditation keeps your thoughts from going too far into the past or future. That can so helpful to inhibit spirling worry from rolling downhill.
Check out this post at Selfication to get started.
If it seems scary to you, just try it for a few minutes. You can also use this while performing housework or exercising.
Simply focus on what you’re doing and even if your thoughts are drifting away, keep on bringing back your focus to what you’re doing.
As a matter of fact, studies have found that people are the happiest when they are in tune with the moment. It can be doing the simplest things. For example, when washing dishes, your entire focus is aimed to wash the dishes, instead of taking mind trips.
Focus on joy instead of worrying about things
If you tend to worry a lot, you may be lacking joy in your life. It’s not selfish to pursue pleasant things; it’s essential to your health.
If you’re really don’t want to worry anymore about things you can’t control, start by becoming familiar with feeling joyful. An article at Trans4mind published lists some great ideas for you to try.
Just like worrying, joy can become a habit too. Every time you find yourself counting all the things that don’t work out in your life, immediately shift your attention to something that makes you happy. If nothing comes to mind, then just start laughing.
That simple yet powerful exercise can send the message to your brain that there is nothing fearful to be worried about.
Laughing yoga can get you into the habit of welcoming joy into your reality. There are many YouTube videos available for you to practice it.
Eat more mangos!
According to Japanese researchers, the simple act of peeling, cutting, and eating a mango can diminish your worry levels and relieve built-up tension.
Studies have proven that inhaling the scents of foods rich in linalool, such as mangos, can support your efforts to stop being so worried.
Linalool is a chemical that has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. This chemical also stimulates your body’s production of relaxing hormones and vitamin A.
Linalool also can be found in lemons, basil, oranges, grapes, lavender, and cinnamon. The next time you’re upset, make an anti-worry beverage by blending the following:
• Orange juice.
• Fresh Mango.
• Pure maple or agave syrup.
• 3 ice cubes.
Also, you might be interested to check out my favorite 7 natural ways to reduce stress.
So can you really develop skills to lessen worry about things you cannot control? Absolutely. If you’re truly committed, making this change isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You’ll quickly see a difference in your outlook and your reality.
Instead of feeding the worry monster, by awareness alone you can start taking responsibility for your well-being, remove ineffective inner chatter, and finally experience ease & abundance.