We all have worries throughout the day. They can be as simple as “Did I lock the door when I left?” or as deep as “Will I be happy with this new job?” Add all of these questions and concerns up, and you can find yourself trapped in a dangerous cycle of worry. Not only is this an uncomfortable feeling, but it can even have long-term effects, so it’s important to understand why you worry and learn how to live a worry-free life.
What is Worry?
Worry is a natural human behavior that stems from fear of the future. According to Psychology Today,
Worry and stress are a part of everyday life, but prolonged periods of constant worry can lead to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Going through a rough patch of worry and stress won’t develop GAD, but several months or even years of constant worry can train your body to naturally fear the future. The National Institute of Mental Health says that GAD is associated with the constant worry of things that may not even be a likely threat. In essence, fear of danger becomes fear of the unknown.
Why Worrying Doesn’t Help
Worrying might bring your attention to important matters, but it doesn’t fix them. “Worry” and “action” are not the same things, so worry should only be a small part of an action plan. Getting into a cycle of worry, however, makes you less likely to take action to solve your problems. Worry and fear of a situation can make you believe that the obstacle is too big for you to handle, making you quit before you even try. By living a worry-free life, you can be sure to always take one even the biggest of problems, so follow these 13 steps for living a worry free life.
13 Ways to Live a Worry Free Life
The most popular mental health treatments involve self-help and lifestyle changes, according to the National Institutes of Health. By integrating these changes into your lifestyle and by practicing some of these steps, you can help yourself live a worry-free life.
1. Talk to Someone
When you’re struggling with worry and stress, it can be easy to seclude yourself away from others. By talking to someone, you can ease the burden of your worries and even receive help. You can talk to a friend, a counselor, or even a professional, and you’ll feel better for expressing your concerns. You may even realize that some of your worries aren’t as severe as you thought.
2. Write Down Your Concerns
Just like talking to someone, writing down your worries involves expressing your concerns. By taking them out of your head and putting them on paper, you can see what’s bothering you more clearly. The act of writing can even be therapeutic in itself, helping you lead a more worry-free life.
Meditation is a natural remedy for many mental health problems, and worry is no exception. Meditation comes in many forms and can be as simple as contemplating your thoughts for a few minutes a day, or as complex as scheduling an hour of silence every day. By finding out what works best for you, you can come up with a routine of meditation that reduces your anxieties and makes your life more worry-free.
4. Live in the Moment
Most of our worries come in the form of intangible fears of the future. We often wonder how our mistakes today will harm us in the next few weeks. Or we worry about whether or not we are going to be financially secure in a few years. By living in the moment, you can take action to solve your most immediate problems, which will reduce your overall stress. A worry-free life starts by taking on the challenges right in front of you.
5. Make a Plan
Often, worry can cause you to procrastinate tackling out daily duties. Try making a step-by-step plan for solving your problems. By having a clear plan, you take the mental burden off of yourself when it comes to these challenges. Instead of having to react to troubles as they arise, you only have to take the next step of your plan.
6. Take it One Step at a Time
One of the most important parts of living a worry-free life is to not get ahead of yourself. When you’re working on a big project at work, thinking of all of the effort you’ll have to put in makes the project look much harder than it is. By looking at what’s directly in front of you, you’re more likely to finish that task before moving on to the next one. This way, your workload and your worry stays in check.
7. Face Your Fears
Sometimes our worries are justified. We may have a tough conversation with a family member coming up, or bad news to deliver to a coworker. Worrying about these problems simply prolongs the stress, so face them head on. It might be tough at first, but you’ll have grow as a person for the experience, and you can move on.
8. Get Active
Exercise, travel, yoga, anything to get your heart pumping and your mind off your worries. It’s no secret that a healthy mind needs a healthy body, so maintaining an active lifestyle will have a host of benefits. Not only will your physical health improve, but you’ll be less stressed out, more fit to take on your workload, and you’ll have the emotional clarity to handle your worries. You’ll have a better perspective on your problems, and that’ll help you to live more worry free.
9. Distract Yourself
Sometimes you’re stuck in a cycle of worry, and the best solution is to break the cycle. Instead of rushing into your problems head-on, it can be wise to simply take your mind off of things. Watching a movie, cooking a nice meal with your family, going out with friends, or catching up on your hobbies can stop a cycle of worry. After that, you can jump back into your normal work rhythm without missing a beat.
10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You have to send that email before noon, you’re out of eggs, the tire pressure is low, and you left your wallet in the office. In the moment, this can sound overwhelming, but next week, tomorrow, or even in an hour, none of it will matter. There’s an endless stream of small things to worry about, but none of it’s really going to have an impact on your life. It’s better to just not be stressed by these things in general, clearing up your life to be more worry free.
11. Spend Time with Those You Love
You don’t live for your job, your car payments, or your fitness goals. You live for the relationships you’ve formed and held over the years. By spending time with those you love, the pressures of work and the worries of life will fade away. Even if you’re worries seem insurmountable, your loved ones will be able to help you overcome these obstacles, making your worry free life one step closer.
12. Don’t Take On Other People’s Problems
Most of us have a problem saying “no” at work. Maybe a friend is going through a rough spot, and they rely on you for more emotional support than you can provide. Or you have a family member in need of financial help. In all of these situations, you’re at risk for taking on someone else’s problems, which can magnify your own worries. To live a worry free life, you need to make sure that you help those around you without taking on the weight of all of their problems.
13. Stay Positive
Maybe the most effective way to maintain a worry-free life is to stay positive. By reminding yourself of all of the things going right in your life, or by persevering through the troubles, you can stay positive and know that in the end, you’ll come out on top. Your worries were just worries.
25 Quotes on How to Live a Worry-Free Life
Some of the greatest thinkers in history have had their worries. Here are a few of their sayings to motivate yourself to live worry-free: