How to stop worrying immediately

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Can worrying be stopped instantly?

Can worrying be stopped right away?
And is there some kind of a way that can help you stop worrying in a very short period of time?

First of all let me begin by telling you that for some reason most of the advice people give about dealing with worrying is totally wrong. Take for example the famous advice of trying to control your breath to end worrying.

While controlling your breath will certainly result in an immediate relief just few seconds later the worrying will return again. The problem here with methods such as distract yourself, just forget about it or practice mediation is that all of those methods depend on the concept of distraction which can only work for few minutes if not seconds.

In my previous article Why you can't just ask your mind to stop negative thoughts i said that your mind sends you a worrying signal when it realizes that a bad thing might happen.

Now unless you calm your brain directly by doing something that is 100% related to that worry then certainly your worry will never go away. Try to control your breath, practice mediation or tell yourself that worrying is illogical and see if any of these advice will work.

And when all of those advice fail then do the following.

How stop worrying immediately

I was coaching a client who told me that she was very worried that the tumor she has turns out to be cancer. Now had i asked my client to breath properly or to do yoga her mind would have responded with rage because even though the possibility of she getting cancer was low still her mind dreaded the fact that even a small possibility exists. See Worrying results from doubts about your problem solving skills.

Now the perfect advice in such a case is to drop everything you are doing right now and to see a doctor as fast as you can. My client saw a doctor, went through the tests and the results were negative. The moment my client received the test results her worrying went away and she got a relief.

The point i am trying to make here is that you can never end worrying by escaping from it or distracting yourself but instead you can end it by seeking information. See Those methods will never help you stop worrying

Information is the enemy of worrying. If you don't have enough information then there might not be a possible way to stop your mind from wandering in negative areas. Even if the information you collected turned out to be negative you are very likely to move from the state of worrying to another state which can then be handled in the proper way.

For example your worrying might turn into sadness after knowing some facts and then this sadness can be dealt with by taking the right actions. See How to turn negative emotions into a positive force

What if you can't collect information

The second method that can help you end worrying immediately is taking immediate actions. Sometimes it is not possible to collect information or to fill the missing gaps. In such a case immediate actions must be taken to help you become more able to handle that worst case you are worried about.

If for example you are worried about losing your job then certainly getting yourself more prepared by improving your skills can ease your worries since you will become more confident in your ability to find a new job.

Worrying happens when you feel vulnerable or stuck. If you found a way to reduce this vulnerability and to increase your power then certainly your worries will diminish.

Why the do-nothing-schools are popular

The number one reason the do-nothing-about-it school is popular is that it provides us with the simplest soloution. And because we humans are lazy by nature we tend to prefer to do nothing than to take actions.

Which is harder, collecting information and taking actions or just telling your mind to stop worrying?
Humans prefer the easy soloution that doesn't work over the difficult one that does. Many people prefer to be lied to instead of being told a truth that can put a lot of responsibility on them.

This is simply why most people fail to end worrying.

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Want to know more?

Thinking strategies that lead to worrying

The connection between worrying and self confidence

Worrying can be a form of self punishment

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