11 Life Changing Practices to Stop Worrying
“If it can be remedied, why feel unhappy? If it can't be, why worry at all?” – His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
Worrying functions much like an avalanche of the mind. One small thought persists and then generates a bigger thought, which then generates additional thoughts, and then you’re rolling with it, picking up speed and more worrying thoughts at an unbelievable rate.
Worry is draining both mentally and physically and can radically change your mood in minutes when you let it take hold. Too much worry affects your happiness and your ability to let go and move forward.
But I get it… Sometimes worrying sneaks up on you!
It did for me just yesterday. I had been in California attending a conference. And while it was a great event, when Monday rolled around, I was so happy to be heading home!
The thing is… Despite getting to the airport 2 hours before my flight as recommended, I almost missed it!
There I was, standing in a ridiculously long line security line at the airport. The red light from the digital clock overhead practically taunting me as time swiftly passed, and that line soooo slowly trudged forward.
10 minutes until boarding time quickly turned to 5… Then, when it was 10 minutes past the time I was meant to board the plane, I felt myself start to worry.
I really did not want to miss that flight, and my ego chimed in that that was exactly what was going to happen.
As you likely know, worrying is a slippery slope.
When you worry, the energy tends to escalate, and nothing positive comes from it.
Luckily, I caught myself.
Here's what I did…
I focused my energy inside, surrounded myself with light and angels, cleared my energy, and very deliberately said in my mind…
“Angels, PLEASE help me to make my flight.”
“You'll make it…” I heard in return.
“We're going to make it”… I repeated out loud for both myself and my husband to hear.
I then made the commitment to stop checking the clock, to release worry into the light and to be fully present in the moment, to breathe, and to trust that when my flight lifted off the ground in a few short minutes I would be on it.
And you know what?
As I found my seat on the plane, slightly out of breath and sweating from running to the gate, I felt gratitude…
For being on the plane of course but also for having the tools to stop worry in it's tracks.
And so today, that's exactly what I want to share with you.
That even if worry sneaks up on you like it did for me, you can shift out of it!
There are actually a number of easy techniques that, if practiced regularly, can be used to drop the worry and relax your mind to bring you into a more positive, peaceful and enjoyable state of mind.
11 Ways to Stop Worry
1. Determine whether you’re worrying about the present or the future.
Awareness is key, because it is highly likely that many of the things you're worrying about, are things that haven’t actually happened yet, and likely will never happen. It’s really eye opening when you stop to ask yourself whether the stress you're generating is over some future event that you’re trying to control or something that’s occurring in the present – which you might actually be able to effect.
Take a look back at some of your recent worries and ask yourself how many of those things that you feared actually came to pass? If you’re honest, the answer is likely to be: not many. Worry is a habit and the worry avalanche eventually takes on a mind of its own, convincing you that things which haven’t happened are the most terrible things in your life.
Remember to question the origin of your worry, when your mind starts to run out of control. This can help you to return to the present and keep you calm so you can let go of a worrying thought before it takes over and begins to avalanche out of control.
2. Get to bed earlier
There’s some interesting research that indicates that people who go to bed late and/or don’t get enough sleep are more likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed by persistent negative thoughts than those who get to bed earlier. These night owls have a higher tendency to dwell on the past and stress about the future. They also have higher rates of PTSD, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety.
So while it almost sounds too easy, something as simple as getting to bed an hour early can make a difference when it comes to worrying. Can't sleep?
3. Get specific about your fears.
Worries are often vague and unspecific. You worry about something that might happen “one day,” or you just run with an underlying certainty that something “won’t work out.”
Another question that I’ve found to be helpful with how to stop worrying is, “What’s the worst that might happen?”
When forced to answer this question, it’s always obvious that the worst that could happen isn’t actually that scary and/or is relatively manageable or fixable. Alternately, the answer to this question may be incredibly over the top, and almost comical which can help you to see your worries are a bit irrational, which is the first step in letting them go.
Get specific about what you’re worrying about in order to decrease its power.
There are roughly a billion studies that show the benefits of deep breathing on our physical and mental health. Taking this pause will calm you down and give you space to feel your way around the worrying thoughts.
One technique that I’ve mentioned before is to inhale slowly and deeply, then hold the breath for a couple of seconds before exhaling slowly and deeply, once again pausing to hold the breath at the end of the exhale. Do this for just a few minutes and the clarity that was lacking will certainly come.
For a simple, and free breathing meditation, click here!
5. Hand your worries over to the angels
I get it, “handing your worries over to the angels” sounds too good to be true, but the thing is… It works! So the question remains, how do you do this?
It's actually quite simple. Just ask your angels for help by saying something like “angels help”, and then start telling them what you're worried about and what you would like help with!
Another way of handing over your worries is to write down what is bothering you. Journaling in this way serves to empty your mind of the fears spinning around. The process of writing helps you to organize your thoughts and release the responsibility of worrying about things. It also brings clarity and space when your thinking is tight and crowded.
Once you've written down everything you're worried about, finish by writing, “angels, please help me with all of this.”
You can then burn the letter, tear it up, or put it in a “worry box” knowing that you have now invoked support from the angelic realm in letting go of worry, and in helping you navigate through whatever it is you were worried about in the first place.
6. Walk in nature
When you're in a state of worry, it’s sometimes because you’re ungrounded and disconnected. Going outside and putting your feet on the earth, soaking up some sun, breathing fresh air, and expressing gratitude for the fantastic beauty found in nature is a great way to lower stress levels and get some perspective.
In fact, walking in nature is a cure all for many things and is a good practice even if you’re not particularly worried about anything.
Plus, exercise releases your endorphins which serve to create an energized and empowered feeling within you. It’s a win win because exercise brings increased physical vitality and strength, but it also helps you move away from the worry avalanche that would otherwise overtake you.
7. Step back for a bit
Life often requires you to juggle many things simultaneously. When your plate is full, it’s really easy for a worrying thought to take over. But it’s at these moments when we’re the least resilient and able to cope. There’s no need to try to tackle everything at once.
When you’re having a moment where you feel mentally vulnerable, and worries are creeping in, remind yourself that you don’t have to think about them right now. Tell yourself you’ll think about them later. After you’ve eaten, after you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, after you wrapped up a project, gotten the laundry put away. Whatever you need to give yourself permission to come back to it. It will keep till your stronger.
With enough practice, this one can make a big difference in your life.
8. Talk to a friend
Shine some light on those persistent fears and you’ll see how much better it is to share. Even just the act of saying your worries out loud helps you get a more realistic perspective, but spend a couple of minutes talking with a good friend and might even be laughing at yourself and wondering what you were so worked up about.
There’s also the added benefit that your friend might have some great advice to share.
9. Be here now
The practice of slowing down and acting with awareness and intention helps to keep you in the present moment. And generally speaking, the present moment carries no worries with it. It’s the past and the future that really throw us for a loop when it comes to wondering what might have been or what will be.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying stopping all activity and taking two minutes to practice mindfulness. Become aware of the room you’re in, the sounds you hear, the things you see. Open up your senses for just a couple of minutes and put some distance between your worries. When you’re mindfully focused on what’s happening around you, you’re practicing being fully present.
10. Determine one thing you can do.
One of the best ways to shift out of worry and doubt is to shift into action. Ask yourself what is one small or simple thing you can do right now to start improving your situation or even just letting go of your worry. Make sure it’s something easy enough to be done right away, but large enough to give you some satisfaction and relief.
Once you’ve taken your action, set the intention to let the worry go for the time being until you’re able to take another step.
One step at a time you can create huge and positive change in your life. Don't get bogged down in worrying about how everything is going to unfold… Just take your next step and trust that after that your next will appear.
11. Make sure you're energetically clear.
Oftentimes getting stuck in a state of worry is a result of taking on lower vibrations and foreign energies from other people or surroundings. Plus when you start worrying, you become more receptive to taking on even more lower vibrational energies, starting a downward spiral.
Clearing your energy can help you to quickly stop the downward spiral and shift into a more positive state.
Call in your angels and white light to cleanse and uplift your energy.
And finally, The Spiritual Cleansing Sessions are a wonderful way to shift out of doubt worry and fear, and into a peaceful, fulfilling, and high vibrational life!