Worry: A Useless and Deadly Emotion

Fear into ActionI work with many clients on reducing stress and worry. This not only makes them more productive, but helps improve their overall health. Worry is a completely useless and wasted emotion because it never causes a situation to result in a positive outcome. Instead, it creates deadly symptoms and health problems such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive issues
  • Memory loss and destroyed brain cells
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Other disease such as cancer

I have spent a good portion of my life worrying about things that haven’t happened yet and situations I have absolutely no control over. However, I have gotten much better at stopping this bad habit because I have come to realize not only that it is a complete waste of time, but it is a harmful way to expend my energy. How have I been able to do this? Here are a few tips that I use and share with my clients:

  • Notice when you are worrying.
  • Ask yourself if you have some control or influence over the situation.
  • If you have some control or influence, then take action to do something about it.
  • Argue with yourself by asking what proof you have that this negative event will happen.
  • Identify alternative possibilities besides the negative outcome you think may happen.
  • Realize that the negative outcome is only one possibility and has a low probability of actually occurring.
  • Tell yourself that worrying will do no good and say the Serenity Prayer (see quote below).
  • Put your thoughts and energy on something that brings positive feelings: someone you love, a favorite memory, etc. and focus on that feeling for 15-20 seconds.

By taking these steps each time you catch yourself worrying needlessly, it will counteract the negative effects of stress and worry and put you in a better state of mind. Soon it will become a positive habit that prevents harmful stress symptoms and makes you feel much happier.

 “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

See past newsletters for more stress reduction tips: Doing Too Much; Feeling Out of Control; and Ultimate Stress Buster.

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