Why Do You Worry So Much?
Are you the kind of person who worries all the time?
I believe worrying is a habit, and we do it for a couple of reasons. Maybe you got into the routine at some point when you had legitimate stuff to worry about -- whether it was a chaotic family situation, feeling unsafe, not having enough money, or something else that triggered you to feel insecure and unsupported.
This constant state of vigilance can lead us to become chronic worriers, to the point where it’s distracting from life and keeping you in a perpetual state of unhappiness and stress. You may even believe that worrying is productive...that if you didn’t worry, you wouldn’t be able to solve your problems and things would get really out of control.
If we remember that handy Universal Law of Attraction, we know that we are always attracting people, events, circumstances, and experiences into our lives with the energy we are generating. So, it follows, then, that since worry is negative energy, it attracts more negative things. In short, the more you worry, the more things you will have to worry about.
How Do You Stop Worrying?
For someone who has relied on worry as a cozy partner for most of their life (raise your hand!), it’s not so easy to just stop worrying. Even when you know that worrying isn’t productive, and wish you could stop, it’s one of those things that feels so familiar that it almost seems like you can’t survive without it.
If you are aware of how worry is sabotaging your life and want to do things differently, here’s a handy guide for how to handle worry thoughts in a more productive way:
3 Simple Steps to Break the Worry Cycle
1 - Can you do anything about the thing that’s causing you to worry?
Sometimes the worrying is “justified” in the sense that there’s something you really need to fix and do have control over. If that’s the case, quit worrying about it and go fix it. Sit down, write down the problem, brainstorm solutions, and come up with a plan for how to address the problem right now.
2 - What are you using the worry to distract you from?
Consider whether you are using the habit of worry as a convenient (and familiar) distraction from something else that you really don’t want to deal with. Sometimes I find myself literally creating things to worry about when I’m procrastinating. It usually falls into the category of over-analyzing something someone said or anticipating an unpleasant event that hasn’t even happened.
“When my husband said that [completely innocent thing] this morning, what did he really mean? He didn’t really seem that interested in me yesterday. Maybe he was just tired, or maybe he’s not attracted to me anymore. I wonder if he’s losing interest in our marriage. What can I do to fix this?” etc...etc...etc…
In these kinds of situations, once you’ve become conscious of what you’re doing, it’s possible to turn things around by having an internal dialogue about it. Tell yourself that you’re making up things to worry about, and ask yourself what you are trying to distract yourself from. I find this to be a reliable way to break out of the cycle and focus on what I really need to do. You might be surprised by how good you’ve become at using worry to help you escape or distract from unpleasant tasks or situations.
3 - If you weren’t worrying, what amazing things could be happening?
Worrying stifles your energy and your ability to create positive change. It drags down your vibe, puts your attention on what you DON’T want, and prevents you from focusing on progress and personal growth.
When you find yourself worrying, think about what you positive things could be happening instead. If you weren’t wasting your energy with worry, what could you accomplish? If you didn’t get distracted by these negative thoughts, what wonderful things could you pay attention to and magnify in your life?
Getting into the habit of immediately shifting your thoughts like this is something that will serve you well in every area of your life once you get the hang of it. It’s a muscle that you probably haven’t exercised in a while if you’ve been a chronic worrier, so you’ll need to practice a bit before it becomes second-nature.
Breaking the cycle can be as simple as noticing the worry, giving it your full attention to see where it’s coming from (and if there’s anything you actually need to do about it), and gently challenging yourself to shift your thinking in a different direction.
Try using these worry-free Daily Affirmations:
I am safe and supported in everything I do.
My life is harmonious and peaceful.
I put my attention on what I want more of.