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  • Writer's picturesteve richardson

Three steps to stop life getting on top of you.

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

We all know that if you dwell on your worries for too long it can lead to mental health problems. Whether it is your kids, this month's rent, the mortgage or work: modern life means worries come thick and fast on a daily basis.

And let’s face it: once your mind gets caught in a spiral of worrying, you sometimes can feel powerless to stop it.

We all worry, and very often and we attach too much importance to our thoughts. However, when our spiralling thoughts get too much, they generate negative emotions and this combination of thoughts and emotions cause us to release stress hormones. And the more stress hormones that flush through our body, the more our body suffers with illness, fatigue and our immune system becomes depleted.

The main problem is that we are well equipped to develop anxiety and worry, because our minds are so capable of imagining things and converting our thoughts into facts – into realities. Just think of how you might feel if your boss asks for an unplanned and unexpected 1-1 meeting with you and HR.

The process of converting the meeting request into you imagining, worrying, and creating a negative outcome (probably losing your job) is complete in last than five seconds. After that, it is just a matter of your imagination and emotions getting to work and making the whole thing even worse.

But, with some brooding an inevitable part of life, here is what you can do to lessen your angst, without resorting to medication or counselling.



1. Stop to make a reality check

Anxiety and worry have their root in fear. Unfortunately, fear can be a disempowering influence in our lives because it encourages the idea you don’t have options or choices. And when this happens, worry becomes a constant companion.

So put the brakes on and get a sense check. Don’t bury your head in the sand, speak to people who can help you see the options, check-in with friends to get their view and when it is needed, ask for help. There is always someone who is willing to help, even in the most unlikely of places.

Please remember, you cannot control the future. Each day, all you can do, is control what is in your present.

2. Just say NO!

Have you ever noticed how an unattended weed in the garden has the ability to spread quickly and before you even blink, you have the back-breaking job of removing them. Negative thoughts are like weeds – unattended they can spread and if they take hold, it is a mentally demanding job to get rid of them.

In the USA, Nancy Reagan coined the phrase, “Just say no” in her campaign to stop teenagers taking drugs. For you to take control of negative thoughts, one of the practical and effective methods you can use is to apply an anchor word.

As soon as a worrying thought comes into your head, do not entertain or feed it. As you think it, just say in your head, “No!” And thereafter, replace the worry with something meaningful and positive – perhaps a special memory .

And although I’ve said this earlier - please remember, you cannot control the future. Each day, all you can do, is control what is in your present. And so, when a pesky worry comes into your mind – you control it, not the other way around.

3. Learn to let go

As humans we sometimes can fear loss. And this loss comes in many forms, such as: money, job, reputation, home, status, health, and sadly, loved ones. And after the chaos of 2020 it is an understandable feeling.

However, the problem we face is that any change in our life means letting go of what was before – whether good or bad. And we are well-equipped to be happy with positive change – a career promotion (the loss of the old title) a financial windfall ( the loss of the empty bank account) a dietary success (the loss of unwanted pounds).

We are less adept about letting go of change that negatively impacts us. The irony is, we are beings of great ingenuity. We budget, we become more determined, we take risks, we adapt, we reach out, we combine and we develop new talents.

Daily, you see stories of men and women of all ages, who were either threatened with loss or experienced it, taking control and becoming stronger, happier and more self-reliant. You and I are no different.

Sometimes, just sometimes; we must willingly just let go of what we know and that with which we feel comfortable, and face the future with optimism and determination.

And I’m going to leave the last words to that famous life guru, Winnie The Pooh, when he said, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

If you have enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends and family.

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