Are you a worrier? Would you like to get rid of worry? In this article you’ll find out where worry comes from and what you can do about it.
Why Do We Worry?
Worry is simply a form of stress. Stress isn’t good or bad, it is simply how we deal with problems. It gets our bodies ready to fight, freeze or flee when presented with a threat.
Worry, on the other hand, doesn’t come from as a result of a threat. It comes when we hallucinate about what might happen to us in the future. What happens if I lose my job? What happens if the housing market tanks? What happen if…
Your brain, like all other human brains, hasn’t evolved to handle the stressors of modern day living. It operates much like human brains have operated for the last 250,000 years or so. This is even though life today is much different than the life your ancestors were living 250,000 years ago on the savannahs.
It’s Not Your Fault
Well, it’s not entirely your fault that you worry. We’ll talk about this in a moment. Before we do that, let’s take a look at what happens to animals when they are stressed.
Animal experts tell us that animals don’t suffer from chronic stress. Humans, on the other hand, do. Here’s why.
White-tail deer are among the most skittish of animals, but they aren’t big worriers. When faced with a stressor they deal with it as it happens. Then they quickly calm back down.
If a deer gets thirsty, they get a drink. Problem solved.
If a deer gets hungry, they find a plant to eat. Problem solved.
If a predator threatens a deer, they run away until they feel safe. Problem solved.
Maybe being a deer isn’t so bad after all!
Modern Origins of Worry
- Your brain is wired to deal with immediate issues.
Like the deer, your brain is still wired to deal with short-term stressors. Unfortunately, today much of your life isn’t short-term. You worry about putting a new roof on the house next year, saving up for college tuition, or when you might need to replace the car.
These aren’t single action problems. You won’t be able to solve them in the next few minutes. These are long-term, future challenges.
2. Your brain wants to solve the problem right now, but it can’t.
Since these types of problems can’t be solved in the next few minutes, your brain worries. 250,000 years ago, anxiety resulted in taking an action that would relieve that anxiety, right now. But next year’s car purchase doesn’t give you that option.
Stress is a feeling of discomfort to motivate you to take action to relieve the stressor. Your brain believes that maintaining that discomfort will eventually get rid of the problem. But when the stress continues day after day, it results in chronic stress.
The truth is our brains are too primitive for the society we’ve created. Since removing the source of the discomfort isn’t always possible, you need to have strategies to get rid of worry and anxiety.
Use these strategies to get rid of worry and anxiety:
1. Deal with uncertainties
Worry is about things you hallucinate might happen to you. They are things in the future. Most of these will never happen.
Be sure what you are worrying about is real. That’s why you must deal with uncertainties. Uncertainty will drive you bonkers. Instead of worrying, do what you can to minimize or eliminate what you are worrying about.
If you have a stomach pain that won’t go away, go see the doctor.
If your car is making a funny noise, take it to the mechanic.
If you think your friend is upset with you, ask them what’s going on.
2. Take action daily.
Worry is non-productive. Instead of worrying, use your time to do something productive.
If you’re worried about your retirement, spend some time creating a budget and figure out how you can earn more money. This will engage your brain in problems it can solve soon.
If you’re worried about your health, spend time each day exercising and finding ways to eat healthier. Not only will this focus your brain on what you can do now, the exercise will release some stress!
3. Put your worries on paper.
Put the things that worry you down on paper. Spend your time and energy making a list of your concerns each day. Then make a plan for what you can do about them and focus your energy on working on your plan. This is how you take control.
For example, if you’re worried, you’re not exercising enough, you can make a plan and take action to resolve that issue. It’s under your control.
4. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is training your mind to live in the present. Worries exist in the future. The more you can live in the present, the less your worries will be.
Not only will mindfulness help reduce your worries, it will help you get a lot more things done.
The way to get rid of worry is to take action!
When you take action to resolve an unfavorable situation, your brain relaxes and releases that worry. Even if you don’t completely resolve the situation, you will worry less when you move from thinking to taking action to resolve it.
Adopting an optimistic attitude that your plan will work also helps!
Worry never solves anything. It takes time and energy away from things here in the present. But you can get rid of worry!
Stop thinking and start taking action! Use these ideas to move you toward where you want to go instead of worrying about your current situation.
This is how you get rid of worry.
Tired of worrying? Want to discover your inner peace and learn how to stay calm in the stormiest of times? Then pick up a copy of Modern Mindfulness: How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World – it’s waiting for you on Amazon! Let go of your worries and take back control of your life today.