Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.
October 24, 2021 · 8 min read
People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. - George Bernard Shaw
“What if I am not prepared enough and will face a failure?”
If you really think about it, worries are nothing else than thoughts. They’re predictions which we try to avoid or prepare for them better.
To some extent, living a worry-free life is somewhat achievable. Nevertheless, that will require for you to change your life values and living standards.
On the other hand, you can choose to cope with the worries in a more efficient way. It all depends on you and what do you expect to achieve in life.
Here are a few reasons that you might find relatable as to why you aren’t free from worry:
Such worrying happens because we step on a trigger and then we start asking “what if?” which leads us to worrying thoughts. When we have worrying beliefs, we trigger anxiety at the same time.
Anxiety leads us to two outcomes: cognitive avoidance and inability to solve problem efficiently. Ironically, the more we avoid a worry, the more we start thinking and we can’t have peace of mind.
While sometimes anxiety helps us to think more efficiently and solve problems quicker (think about procrastination), but the more often we are anxious, the worse our ability gets to use anxiety to our advantage in stressful situations.
If you are willing to live below means and have low living standards, then you can break free from the worries completely. If you are comfortable with modest wage, having very little responsibilities, living only on your own, sacrificing relationships and materialistic world while maintaining your basic needs, it’s totally achievable.
However, if you want to live at least by average standards or above average, not facing worries is nearly impossible. But, you can control your feelings towards the worries and learn how to control them.
Remember that worries come from things that we don’t understand or are afraid of. If you can eliminate them, you’ll live a worry-free life.
It’s nearly impossible to break free from worries if you aren’t willing to sacrifice quality of your life. Surely, you can grow a tougher skin against a worry, but there’s always going to be at least a small sense of worry depending on how tough the situation is.
Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment. - Dale Carnegie
There are people that retire by 40 or even by younger age to avoid worries. People sacrifice their relationships, financial stability by doing so. But for some people that works out just fine.
There’s no correct way of living, although you must at least meet the basic requirements to take care of your health and fulfill your basic needs. As long as you’re kind, have no intentions to harm anyone, you can live however you want.
You heard me right.
Just as there are benefits of being worry-free, there are also benefits of worrying. To free yourself from worries, you have to understand that there is a positive side of worries.
It’s crucial to understand that usually with every negative in life there is also a positive element. Chasing only happy feelings is only one side of a medal. To really appreciate happiness, you have to understand where it comes from.
Healthy amount of worrying is actually beneficial:
The main reason to shift your focus is to temporarily get away from the situation so you can reassess it better afterwards.
In some scenarios, shifting your focus somewhere else can solve the worrying problem. In more severe cases that might not work because worrying causes too much problem and mind chaos.
Shifting your focus can be done in a few ways:
Challenge your outlook to the root problem. It’s a common situation that our minds tend to exaggerate the situation.
Here are 3 steps to solve the root problem:
For example, you are worrying because you have job interview in 3 days. Obviously, you are anxious because you want to get this position. You are afraid to fail the interview.
Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens new avenues. - Cullen Hightower
To solve this problem, you need to be prepared as best as you can. That’s why you’ll have to do some research about the company, be prepared for most frequently asked questions, show your knowledge and expertise about the field.
People tend to think more and do less. By reversing this and doing more instead of overthinking, you can minimize the fear to increase the likelihood of success.
It’s especially hard to maintain focus on only one activity these days. Wandering thoughts in the past and future don’t allow to enjoy the present moment which result in worrying.
The essential of mindfulness is to focus on the present without being judgmental about it. Mindfulness helps to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety, depression.
Mindfulness can be practiced by:
Talking to people that you trust has a therapeutic effect. Talking to others benefits you in these ways:
In short, conversations create a comfort feeling and make you process confusion more effectively. Sharing your thoughts may clear your doubts and worries. Communication is a powerful tool that is often too neglected.
Perhaps your worry and anxiety aren’t related directly to social networks but it can still have an impact. It was found that being envious of other people in social media may affect the level of anxiety and depression.
For example, you’re very worried how you will look tomorrow in your wedding suit/dress. You open Instagram, Facebook, or any other social network platform and you see full feed of beautiful people. That ruins your confidence and the next day may not be that amazing if you don’t feel good about yourself.
There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem. - Harold Stephen
The more you tend to fall for addictions, the worse social media for you is. That’s because you will be endlessly scrolling through the feed and you will be both consciously and unconsciously devaluing your self-worth.
The truth is that in reality people don’t look like that as they look in social media. They play with the angles of photos, use editing programs, and use other tricks. Use social media in moderation and be mindful of it.
The more you stay in your comfort thinking zone, the harder for you it is to accept different points of view and challenges. This results in worrying about all obstacles that you face in life.
Whatever you believe is engraved in stone. Fixed mindset always has to prove itself that it’s worthy and intelligent. On the other hand, growth mindset is based on passion to learn instead of the need of approval.
Feeling hunger for approval creates insecurities and worries. The passion to learn perceives the world different than fixed mindset. Every mistake is seen as an opportunity to improve instead of a barrier that is impossible to overcome.
Therefore, growth mindset leads us to never ending improvements and freeing our minds from worries and other negative thoughts.
Adopting growth mindset is not hard. The only inconvenience is the time needed to shift from fixed mindset. The time it takes to achieve growth mindset differs for everyone. However, you’ll gradually see improvements in your personality and the benefits.
Here are basic principles how to develop a growth mindset:
A research has illustrated the benefits of slower tempo music. It says that slow beats encourage both mind and muscle relaxation. It’s an effective way to relax your mind, prevent stress, and become worry-free.
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. - Henry Ward Beecher
Listen to music that you feel like is soothing and slow. Everyone has different taste of music and slower tempo songs can be found in a lot of genres.
Personally, I like slow jazz. Regardless of the study, I can feel the benefits myself. It’s a great tool to cool down yourself and unwind after a long day of work and other responsibilities.
The feeling of gratitude has the power to make you appreciate everything you’ve got and ability to experience. It’s an appreciation what we receive and acknowledgment good things happening in our lives.
Gratitude helps to lift the spirits up and reduce anxiety. There are numerous studies how gratitude helps to improve our well-being.
Some ways you can practice gratitude are:
Unhealthy eating may not let you free from worry and be happy. Processed foods stimulate anxiety by increasing inflammation within the body. High inflammation impacts central nervous system which influences our mood. That’s why anxiety and worries kick in.
Some more particular foods, drinks to avoid are coffee (caffeine), sugary drinks, sugary products (cakes, cookies…), alcohol, artificial sweeteners, processed vegetable oils, processed meals, meats, and cheese.
It’s very straightforward – you have to eat more fiber and as little of processed foods as possible. However, it’s definitely easier said that done.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. The most important thing is to start. Try drinking more water instead of sugary and energy drinks.
A healthy gut translates to a healthy mind. It has more benefits than just releasing tension from worry.
According to psychologist Shawn Achor, only 10% of happiness depends on the environment ant 90% depends on our psychological behavior.
The problem with our society is that we keep chasing after goals without enjoying the present. Whenever a person achieves a goal, he feels only very temporary feeling of happiness. After that, another goal is set and the cycle of never-ending chase of happiness starts again.
I never worry about action, but only about inaction. - Winston Churchill
The secret to being happy and worry-free is the ability to enjoy the actual moment.
You can do that by implementing methods that psychologist Shawn Achor recommends.
You can do that by implementing methods that psychologist Shawn Achor recommends.
After practicing these activities for 21 days you’ll begin to notice noteworthy results in your happiness.
Besides, when you’re happy your productivity rises from 20 to 30 percent. You’ll be more likely to achieve success in that way. Here’s a video for more in-depth information:
Getting sufficient amount of sleep can free you from worry. It’s a very common problem that’s overlooked.
The more deprived of sleep you are, the less time your body and mind have to recharge. Because of that you will feel sluggish, irritated, and your brain cannot function properly. Even minor irritations can transform to worries and stress.
Rule number one is, don't sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it's all small stuff. - Robert Eliot
All in all, getting a full night’s sleep will improve your mood, productivity, memory, and a lot more. To get more sleep, consider:
This might sound counter intuitive but thinking about the worry can help you free from the worry, according to the psychologist Ramy Nader. By emotionally exhausting your thoughts, you can start living a worry-free life.
Allowing yourself to think about the worry will make your mind to get bored. Do you remember the first time you got your driver’s license? It sure was very exciting! Driving was the most interesting thing to do.
However, after some time of driving it’s no more as exciting. In fact, the daily commute to school or work by car makes you feel slightly annoyed by the traffic.
Similarly, the worry you have won’t have an impact like it used to at the first time.
The only obstacle you might face with this approach is that you have to be prepared to think of even the worst scenarios that can happen. Some people might not be prepared for such thoughts. To make the worry even stronger, you should practice facing the worry as if it was present.
It’s important to note that this approach is not for everyone. It makes you extremely uncomfortable. You shouldn’t do it for every worry you have. Such cognitive exposure method should be used only for severe cases. Nevertheless, if you can overcome this uncomfortable feeling, your worry will vanish away.
If you still can’t free yourself from worry, try looking for help. Sometimes the situation may look overbearing and in those situations guidance and assistance are necessary.
A good therapist can bring your mental clarity to light. Any phobias, stress, anxiety can be managed and controlled. Opening your feelings and working together will maximize the effectiveness of the therapy and will lead you to a calmer and more controlled life.
Minimizing the worrying thoughts can be done through mindfulness and other supplementary well-being techniques.
Worries are based on the worst possible outcomes and it’s a game that our minds play with us. Just like our immune system fights against diseases, our minds have to become our allies and fight against worries.
Instead of thinking about the worst possible outcomes, let’s think about the best possible results. Such mindset shift can completely change your life if you’ll be mindful of this concept.
Finding a balance between happiness and slight worrying can make you incredibly powerful person. Let successful thoughts flow through you and shape your best version of life.