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How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying… in a Minute

Do you want to know how to stop worrying in a minute? How we think about things can have a strong influence on our well being. Personal development pioneer, Dale Carnegie, suggested a way to manage worry. Firstly, face the worry, and the worst-case outcomes we dread. Then take steps, the things we can do, to limit those possibilities.

This is one of our Manage in a Minute pages. These contain essential tips on fundamental management topics. No fuss or side-tracks, they get straight to the point. Here, in a series of bullet points which can be read in a minute (ish!), are some essential tips on how to stop worrying.

How to Stop Worrying and be Happier

Here are some steps adapted from Carnegie to help you face your worries, then plan and act to overcome them:

  • Ask yourself – what is stopping you from doingsomething; from positive action?
  • Write down precisely what you are worried about;
  • Write down the worst thing that can happen (remembering that what you usually think mighthappen is not necessarily what will happen);
  • Prepare to accept what worries you, if you haveto;
  • Write down what you can do about the worry (things you can do to limit or remove the worst thing you thought of);
  • Share your worries, situation and plans with people you trust;
  • Start acting on the things you can do, straight away.

If the situation is already a difficult one then:

  • Try to calmly proceed to improve on the worst;
  • Use the sprouts first principle! Do the parts you dislike most first, to get them out of the way.

What if your worry is over something that could prove to be very positive? Amazingly, we can worry just as much over potentially positive situations as the more obvious negative ones. If you’re holding back on making a decision about a potential opportunity, then:

  • Ask yourself: “If I wait, how much better will a later solution be?”
  • Visualize that you’ve decided to act on one of your possibilities. What does success look like?
  • Imagine your success was completely guaranteed. What bold steps would you therefore take?

How to Stop Worrying: Things to do to be Happier

Eminent happiness researcher, Dr Michael Fordyce, proposed several fundamentals for a happier life. Here are some practical steps which you can adopt now:

  • Spend more time doing things that make you happy. Being active and busy in the positive sense deters worry because there is less time to worry! Become active doing happier things!
  • Socialize and build your network of friends. Friendships build happiness and can reduce the likely time to worry. Friends also provide a valuable way of sharing a worry.
  • Lower your expectations and aspirations. Generally, there’s nothing wrong with having a level of contentment about where you are now. By thinking positively, you could be happy with what you have! Elsewhere we have referred to this idea as the principle of enough.

How to Stop Worrying in More Than a Minute?

If you do have the time to read more on this topic, look at some of our articles on Stress orHappiness. Or link to some of our other detailed discussions from the Management Tips page.

Still pressed for time? Follow this link for the full list of Manage in a Minute pages.

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