Opinion: Sometimes worry Is the product of making everything your problem

CJ Coombs

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Photo by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash.

We all worry. We worry when we don’t need to. Sometimes we worry about things we imagine. Sometimes we create problems that don’t exist. We need to motivate ourselves to worry less. We even worry about not having enough time for anything and that’s something we can control. Wonderful things happen to our levels of stress and anxiety when we worry less. Below are some suggestions to help you worry less.

1. Stop borrowing worry

Imagination is downright nasty sometimes. You can sit there worrying about something that has never happened or you think it could happen. Still better, you imagine what life will be like if it does happen. Then you get tears in your eyes. Why do we do that? First, it didn’t happen. Second, you might want to turn off the imagination that isn’t realistic (unless you’re writing a fiction bestseller).

Stop setting yourself up to feel doomed when the event hasn’t even happened. 

If you have faith, trust it. If you’re a positive thinker, don’t go down the negative valley hole.

It’s so crazy sometimes when you worry about people close to you and before you know it, they jumped off a roof or were in a car accident, but IN YOUR HEAD, not in real life.

This isn't to be confused with catastrophizing. I'm only referring to events that we seldomly imagine.

2. Have control over your self-imposed problems

Learn to recognize when you’re creating a problem by worrying about a non-event. It’s a little silly if you think about it. If you stop this way of thinking, you’ll have one less made-up story on your shoulders to worry about. Then, you can be happier.

Go get some ice cream when you go through a day not practicing this habit. Because it is a habit. It is self-imposed. It was manufactured in your head, right? It’s a form of negative thinking that gets molded into the worst possible scenarios.

Think about an article in a tabloid about the latest celebrity. Most of us know it’s an exaggeration or fabrication. We don’t believe that the article is totally true, and we don’t change our lives around those articles. The negative thoughts in our minds are just like those tabloid stories. The problem is that if we don’t step back to gain a more truthful perspective, we may let worst-case scenarios run our lives. (Source: Psychology Today.)

3. Try to motivate yourself from worrying about everything by being aware of your thoughts

When it comes to problems, we all have them. Worrying is not healthy. Caring is okay and doing the right thing is okay, but worrying about something you have no control over will consume you if you let it.

And if you think you have more problems than your next-door neighbor, write them down. Then, read your list. How many of them are actually problems? How many of them are something you created?

Are there a couple of things on your list that aren’t really your problems? But you made them your problems?

It’s true that some problems are real challenges that you need to find a solution to but sometimes what you think or feel is a problem just isn’t at all. 

Some events create responses, invite different opinions, or are perceived in different ways by a handful of people. Maybe you don’t have a problem but the way you perceive it, you’re creating a problem. 

When you constantly worry, you create unnecessary stress and anxiety. Check out How to stop worrying: 11 steps to reduce stress and anxiety for some tips to get worrying under some control.

Sometimes it comes down to your outlook. Now that we’ve covered that topic, let’s move on to why you might be worrying about how you never have time for anything.

4. I wish I could go with you, but I just don’t have any time

The ongoing response we should all win an award for is “I’m sorry, but I don’t have the time.” Never having time, always being too busy--this is either a problem with scheduling or maybe you don't want to make the time for something.

Do you know how many people use time as an excuse not to commit to something? Even I’ve said it when I was overwhelmed with my personal to-do list. Here’s the thing, if there’s something you really want to do, you’ll make the time.

Get organized and prioritize your life if the lack of time is truly a problem. Maintaining your schedule will show you that you have windows of opportunity for free time. 

Plan your meals. Plan the days including the weekends. And don’t think you need to fill in every single day with something to do. Take a day off.

Stop using the lack of time as an excuse not to have fun because part of life is getting out there and creating some joy. Don’t be the person that gets stuck in that negative valley so you can complain about not having any time left. 

You‘re’ not the busiest person in the world. If you really want to do something, you’ll figure it out. We all have busy and full lives. You have to make life happen. Nobody’s giving out awards to the busiest person today.

You certainly can’t worry about not having enough time if you’re the one who filled your hours with too many things to do. Not everything on your list is really urgent.

According to Shonna Waters, PhD. in 10 ways to take time for yourself even with a hectic schedule, "Putting aside some time that’s truly for yourself means you get to spend time on your own doing what you want to do, not what anyone else thinks you should be doing." It's about practicing self-care.

5. What happens when you stop worrying?

Once you know your self-worth, you stop worrying about things like how you look, if you’re having a bad hair day, or if someone might think your new shoes are ugly. I say, who cares? Once you start believing that you’re good enough, all those little details that come through those voices in your head will disappear. 

You’ll worry less if you stop comparing yourself to other people. When you compare yourself to others, instead of looking at the root of why you do that, you’ll start judging others to compensate for how you’re feeling about yourself.

Never think you’re not good enough in anything you might be pursuing. If you allow yourself to think that way, you set yourself up to worry about it. And you do not need someone else to encourage you to feel good about yourself. You can do that. You can be hopeful. You can build yourself up.

And only you can stop worrying. You can take on your own problems and find solutions to them.

Stop putting weight into the buckets on your shoulders. Tip those buckets so some of that worry escapes. You’re the one that keeps filling them up and you can’t possibly like that.

Take responsibility for your own desires and goals and even achievements. Stop thinking, “I’m never going to have what I want,” or “I’ll never be happy.” 

Stop with self-doubt. There is nothing you cannot do if you put your head into it. Nobody is stopping you from reaching a goal but you.

There’s so much beauty in the world and you’re part of it. Let go of worrying.

Thanks very much for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO
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