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How to Stop Worrying So Much

The following tips come from experience. I've always been prone to too much worry, and still am. Fortunately, I have learned some techniques that help me and others who have used them. Although this may be a more general self-help topic, I am including this look at how to stop worrying here because having too many worries really gets in the way of effectively using your brainpower.

Make a Decision

One of the surest ways to stop worrying about an unresolved issue is to make a decision. In fact, even bad decisions may often be better than doing nothing. It can immediately resolve the stress when you finally decide to quit that job, buy that house, or make that phone call. Nothing can crowd and cloud your mind with worry quite so much as decisions waiting to be made. Just make them, and if they prove to be bad decisions, make new ones.

Act on Your Decisions

Any action towards a goal tends to diminish worry. Sitting and thinking too much about a goal, especially if you dwell on the hurdles, will cause you worry and stress. Plan well, but when planning drifts towards worrying, start doing something positive.

Confront Real Problems

How do you stop worrying when there are real problems? Confront them head-on. I had to sue someone over a business matter once, and I was worrying about it for weeks. When I finally just filed the papers, got him on the phone, and came to an agreement, my stress was gone. I didn't get everything I wanted, but just resolving the matter made life better.

Unless you are really prone to dwelling on past losses, you can probably see that there is more mental pain in thinking about a possible loss than in the loss itself. If you lost a thousand dollars in the stock market a while ago, you will probably suffer less from that now than you would from wondering if you'll make it on time to a concert you paid $30 for. More than the problems themselves, it is the anticipation of problems that causes worry. Confront them head on as soon as is possible, and resolve them to the extent possible.

Use Mental Categories

If there are too many things going on in my head, I write them down on lists and I feel better. You have probably had similar experiences. If you are thinking too much about something, and you stop to schedule a time to work on it, then it is easier to mentally let go of it. Write down that phone call you need to make on tomorrow's list, and you'll feel less worried now. You are creating "mental categories," when you do this. Even just telling yourself something like, "There is nothing I can do about this until Monday," can put a worry into a category of "nothing to worry about now."

Stop Worrying by Meditating

Meditation can be a great way to relax and diminish your anxiety. If you don't want to take the time for more involved meditative practices, just close your eyes, let the tension out of your body and take several deep breaths through your nose. Alternately, there are brain wave entrainment CDs now that will do all the work for you. Just pop on the headphones and they'll relax you by slowing your brain waves.

Whatever technique you use to stop your worries, make them a habit. They won't work if you forget to use them. Until they become automatic, you may want to carry a card with a list of your favorite techniques or tricks.

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The Meditation Program

This is one of the most cutting-edge brainwave tools currently available. The eight levels included take you from the beginner level (mid-Alpha) right through to super-advanced (mid-Delta). I use these and they are very relaxing. You'll go into a meditative state the first time you put the headphones on and pop one of these CDs into your player. - Steve


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