How To Overcome Worry

Some tips on how to overcome worry.

Let us not worry
About the future.
Let us only do the right thing
Today,
At this moment,
Here and Now.
Let the future take care of
Itself.

– Sri Chinmoy [1]

When we worry about an event that may not occur, we waste precious energy and time. There is a philosophy that if we worry about something it is actually more likely to happen; we attract the negative event through our negative thoughts. Worry never helps, but leaves us without peace of mind. It is good to be able to overcome unnecessary worry. These are a few steps which will help.

Concentrate on the Present Time.

Worry means we are advancing into the future and speculating that the worst might happen. Worrying about future is not helpful. Just concentrate on the present moment and the task in hand. So many religious text tell us to ‘…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.’

This is from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Literal:

O friend, for the morrow let us not worry
This moment we have now, let us not hurry
When our time comes, we shall not tarry
With seven thousand-year-olds, our burden carry.

Meaning:

O hark, let us not think of the morrow
Cherish this moment, far from sorrow
Life is a temporal gift that we borrow
Whether dead for ages, or leave tomorrow.

Keep life in perspective. Why worry about small things?

Do what you can then leave.

If we have worries and concerns, make a conscious effort to see what can be done to mitigate that. If we are worried about a future meeting, it may be necessary to do an hour’s preparation. Once we’ve done the necessary preparation, we can say to ourselves, we’ve done everything we can, so we have no need to worry. This is a very practical solution. We do what we can to mitigate worries, then leave it. Often we will find that there are some things we worry about, where actually there is nothing that we can or need to do. These worries are just self-created. But, when we see we’ve done what we need to, then we can just leave it.

Imagine How Good Things Can Occur

If we concentrate on the negative, it is likely to create negative emotions and negative thoughts. If we worry, this in itself is a problem for us; it becomes a vicious cycle. If you find yourself often in a state of fear or worry, make a conscious effort to visualise the best outcome. Imagine yourself doing the best you can in the circumstances and then being detached from the result.  The mind needs to be occupied, so it is best to have it focused on something positive.

Don’t Fear Other People.

We often worry about what other people will think or say about us. Our mind can be quite suspicious and fearful. But, it is not helpful to be giving time to what people may think. Firstly, our worst fears are often unfounded. But, even if people do say unpleasant things or have critical opinions, it is not something we have to worry about. We are not responsible for what the world says. It doesn’t have to affect us – unless we allow it. If we can cultivate self-belief, then our worries will evaporate.

Put worries in a box and open them a week later.

Someone once told me this trick. Place all your worries in a box (write them down on a piece of paper) and then open the box in a week’s time. Many of these worries, will not have materialised so you can strike them off. If you have still things to worry about, put them back in the box and leave it for another week. In this way, you can put your worries away. You will also see how many worries prove groundless. When you remember how so many worries fail to materialise you will find it easier to stop worrying in the first place.

Related

photo: Unmesh

[1] unofficial

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5 thoughts on “How To Overcome Worry”

  1. thanks for your article. it is wonderful. I want to start to use it in my life. specially last paragraph:”Put worries in a box”

  2. thank you for these very helpful measures on how to overcome worry, I’ve been
    wrestiling with a bear for the past 5 days and reading these suggestions has gotten
    me back in the “here and now”

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