Easy Steps to Overcome Worry

Overcome fear in life

We live  in an age of anxiety. The pace of life, the noise with  which we are constantly surrounded, the need to keep up with others, all produce fear and anxiety in many people’s minds. Of course, some worries are inescapable. Many are trivial, and if we keep them in perspective and treat them philosophically, they do little harm. But how do we face the larger  problems of life?

Let us consider briefly the practical steps of dealing with our worries:


1.  Bring them out into the open and look at them calmly.

     Get a piece of paper  and write down all that is worrying you. Many of our worries  are vague feelings and in this way we make them explicit.

2.  Analyse the various problems. What are the facts about each situation? Facts – not feelings. We must be accurate not vague.

3.  Write down various alternatives. “if this happens, what shall I do? What courses of action can I take?”

4.  If a decision is possible, make it. Consider the various possibilities and decide. Do not procrastinate unnecessarily. William James, the  great psychologist used to say “It is better to take any action, right or wrong, than to worry indefinitely”. If you make a wrong decision, you will at least know that you did what seemed best in those circumstances. Very likely it will be a right decision anyway.

5.  Act immediately. The very fact of having done this will help you to deal with future worries.

6.  Fix a “worrying time’. Set aside ten to fifteen minutes a day to worry. Doing this means that you will not have to worry  all the time. Say to yourself: “I will worry about it at 7.30 but not now”. When the time comes look at your list and have a good worry about the things on it. You will soon realize how ridiculous it is. If you look at your list again after a month you will be surprised at how many of the problems have disappeared. You might even be able to do without any worrying time at all.

This is a practical way of coping with worry. But is there a way in which we can avoid it altogether? There are certain  simple steps which can be taken, to develop a non – worrying attitude to life:

Keep busy with other things. Worries come when the mind is unoccupied. You cannot give your full attention to two things at once. Resolve to keep your mind active at all times.

Watch your speech. Often negative ideas emerge when we speak, and this encourages worry. Speak cheerfully. If you catch yourself about to say something depressive, stop and say something positive instead.  This will also make you more acceptable to other people. Nobody likes to be with someone whose talk is miserable.

Use each day to the full. Begin with an affirmation like: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Repeat it several times as you dress and make up your mind that today you are doing to get the most out of every minute.

Live in the present. Dale Carnegie speaks about living in day – tight compartments. He has discovered, like many others, that living one day at a time is the remedy for all anxiety. Learn to live for today.

Cultivate peace of mind. Fill your mind with thoughts of peace and joy. St. Paul gave sound advice when he said: “Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report… think on these things”. In your leisure time build up a library of memories  – holiday memories if you like or some book which inspires and helps you. If you use a little time each day to think about these things, to read or to meditate, you will make a collection of memories to fill your mind will peace and joy.

Don’t harbour grudges. Learn to forgive and forget. malice we poison our own system. Forgiveness helps not only the person who is forgiven, but also the person who forgives. So let bygones be bygones.

Count your blessings. The surest way to peace of mind and confidence is learning to be thankful. Make a list of the many things for which we ought to be thankful. It will never be complete. Every night before you go to sleep spend the last five minutes in thinking of the things for which you have been thankful during the day.

Go out of your way to create happiness for others. Look around for someone who is in need of kindness and go out of your way to show it. Approach people you meet, with the desire to create happiness for them. A library of pleasant memories, learning to forgive, counting our blessings, seeking to bring happiness to others – these are ways to create peace of mind. All  these steps are simple, but many people have found that they lead to a life which is free from worry and anxiety. When are  you going to try them?


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