It was at a nice Italian restaurant, where all twenty-five guests huddled around a massive dining table. While I had a dessert and herbal tea, everyone else had cocktails, shrimp scampi, chicken parm, and talked about manifesting their ideal lives.
Somehow through the course of the conversation, the topic drifted into how as parents, we naturally have to worry. The consensus was its part of human biology to worry about our children.
As the conversation continued, it became painfully obvious to me that for many of the dinner guests, they didn’t just worry about their children. Their children just became the reason and purpose for their worry.
Truth is, worrying is a choice. While our biological reactions to stress we have no control over, we do have a choice when it comes to how we cope with stress. For those of us in a constant state of fight or flight, we’ve simply allowed the stress of our lives to feed our stream of nervous energy.
By Law of Attraction standards, the more you worry, the more the universe will deliver you all the things you are worrying about. So it’s not in anyone’s benefit to worry.
Here are five things to keep in mind so you can learn how to stop worrying today.
How to Stop Worrying
Is There a True Threat to Well-Being or Survival?
Anxiety and worry are biological responses both humans and animals experience when we feel threatened. It was designed to feed our bodies energy if we are being chased by a predator so we can get away from it and live. So it’s a necessary bodily response and useful in the right circumstances.
It’s safe to say that in this day and age, the vast majority of us are not being chased by anything trying to eat us. Instead we’re being fed information and content that provokes this reaction in us, and we’re feeling it biologically but there is no real threat to us physically. Even in the most tragic instances like a job or home loss, or loss of a loved one, you are still breathing and alive in those worst case scenarios.
If you find yourself more anxious after reading the news, scrolling social media, or spending time with specific people, take a break for a while. You’ll most likely find even a short time away is enough to get your body rebalanced and your mind feeling better again.
You Have Control Over Yourself, But Not Others
This is a key thing to understand especially for people who worry about others besides themselves.
Ultimately, the person you are worried about has their own thoughts, energy and life path that’s separate from your own. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to control how another person thinks, feels or reacts.
In trying to control them to do what you want, you are actually doing them more of a disservice because you are not accepting, trusting or loving them for who they truly are.
For those of us with children, I’m not saying that we should just let them run wild. Kids do need discipline and structure. It’s instead learning to embrace that our children are individuals and are experiencing the world in a different way to us. As a result, they’ll have age appropriate actions and reactions to it.
As an example, there’s really no reason to worry yourself sick the next time you take an infant on a plane and they cry. That’s what infants do! It may not be pleasant for other passengers but neither you or your child did anything wrong or create that situation.
When you chose to release your need to control others, it can become incredibly liberating! You go from worrying about everyone to only having to worry about yourself. That alone can decrease stress tenfold.
You Can’t Control Outcomes
While we can’t control people, we also can’t control outcomes.
I remember once as a child, I practiced the cello 8 hours a day attempting to get into the NYSMA All-State Orchestra. All the practice paid off, I received a perfect score of 100. However, I still didn’t get into the orchestra, the competition was just too great that year.
Did it mean I was an untalented cellist? Of course not! It just meant there were that many kids out there that performed just as good and better than I did. I had to not take the situation personally and instead view my achievement for what it was… a perfect score.
Not being accepted to the orchestra that year also had zero impact on my life now that I’ve moved into adulthood, it was a non-event. So for all the worrying I did as a child on what would happen if I didn’t get into it, it all served zero purpose. Looking back on it now I wish I had spent that energy elsewhere.
All we can do in life is prepare the best we can. After that point, it’s outcome is up to many factors outside of our reach, whether that’s actions by other individuals or even fate. Ultimately we can’t control the outcome of anything. So worrying about it excessively is self-induced craziness.
You Only Put Pressure On Yourself
Coming back quick to the All-State Orchestra, guess who it was who decided it was important for me to get into it? This may be surprising considering I was only a child, but it was myself! My parents put zero pressure on me to practice to get in. It was something I wanted to achieve for myself.
If the source of your worry is due to pressure to perform or for a certain outcome, it may be helpful to meditate on where the source of that pressure is coming from. Even if you are feeling the pressure from external sources (parents, employers, etc), you ultimately do still have a choice for yourself whether or not you want to take on that pressure yourself. This speaks directly to the point made above that we can’t control others.
No one forces us to do anything we don’t want to do. Identifying the source of your pressure and whether or not you want to accept that for yourself is a great start to attempt to release some of it.
Try Giving Yourself Some Space
Ultimately worry stems from a sense of fear. Fear of losing control or not receiving an outcome you are hoping for are extremely easy thoughts to come to mind when we are overburdened and stressed. This is since we’re already in such a precarious state trying to keep our lives moving and functioning smoothly.
If you find this happening to you, take an inventory of what you absolutely have to be doing and anything that isn’t necessary, take a break from it. It may give your mind the space that it needs to cool down and restart up with less worry and anxiety tied to it.
The best way to stop worrying is to relinquish the control you are seeking over situations, people and outcomes. The sooner you are able to release your expectations, the calmer your mind will feel and the less chaotic your life will be.
What’s the thing you worry the most about? Leave a comment below.