How to Stop Worrying

Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow – it empties today of strength.
Corrie ten Boom

You need to know how to stop worrying if you want to live life to the fullest. Why? Because worry doesn’t do you any good. It won’t help you live a better life. It won’t make you feel better and more energized. Instead, it will make you less happy and less productive.

But how can we do that? How can we stop worrying? Here are eight ways:

1. Focus on what you can control

Thinking about things you can’t control puts unnecessary burden on your mind. For example, why should you worry about how bad the economy is? There’s nothing you can do about it unless you are a key person in the government. No matter how much you think about it, nothing will change. So instead of worrying about it, focus on things you can control like building your network and increasing your value. Don’t worry about things you can’t do anything about.

2. Use your imagination positively

Worry is a misuse of imagination.
Dan Zadra

Your imagination is a double-edged sword. You can use it to dream big dreams and keep your motivation high, but you can also use it to discourage yourself. People often worry about something because they fill their imagination with all the bad things that might happen. The reality is often not that bad, but it looks worse and worse because they give it too much attention.

3. Expect good things to happen

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
Benjamin Franklin

Not only should you use your imagination positively, but also you should expect good things to happen in your life. Instead of expecting something to fail, expect it to succeed. Instead of expecting people not to like you, expect them to like you. You should be realistic, of course, but always expect to be a winner in life.

4. Accept responsibility

You might make mistakes in the past and worry about the consequences. In this case, the solution is to accept responsibility. Don’t let your worry drag you down. Accept the responsibility and move on. You still have a lot of great things waiting for you.

5. Be grateful

It’s easy to focus on the few things that could go wrong that we forget about the many things that already go right. That’s why having an attitude of gratitude is important. It keeps your perspective in balance. It makes you realize that for one thing that goes wrong there are many more things that go right. Just start with these simple things to be grateful for.

6. Run your own race

Stop comparing yourself with other people. Comparing yourself with others will only drain your mental energy. You have your own race to run. Instead of comparing yourself with others, focus on being the best that you can be.

7. Simplify your life

The simpler your life is, the fewer things you could worry about. So instead of doing a lot of things, focus on the few things that are most fulfilling and give you the most return for your time and effort. Find your life purpose and use the 80/20 rule to choose the few important activities to focus on.

8. Have faith

You should focus on things you can control. But what about things you can’t control? What can we do to eliminate any worry about them? The answer here is faith. You need to believe that everything will go well no matter how bad it might seem. You need to believe that everything will come out better in the end. Having faith eliminates a lot of worries in your life. It gives you peace of mind.

Photo by spaceodissey


  1. Worry can actually be good for you – if you use it positively. What i mean is “constructive worry” think about this this when you worry you run something over and over in your mind. Now what if instead of running your problems over and over you were running your dreams goals hopes and ambitions over and over. As you can see “constructive worry” can be used to move yourself rapidly towards what you really want.

  2. Great post, Donald!

    Worry, I think, is mostly caused by thinking too much as well as not concentrating on the present problem.

    Worry can then turn to fear which is caused by psychological time relating to fear of an unknown future outcome.

    This is all illusory and is created by the mind – whereas, if one dealt with the issue(s) in the present moment they would find there was nothing to worry about to begin with.

    Thank you!

  3. Great message. I really appreciated the quote that “Worry is a misuse of imagination”. It is so true and we really do have to find effective ways to remove worry from our mind. Just about everyone will acknowledge that they want to be happy and successful in life. However, that means we really do need to stop worrying and focus on what really matters and what will allow us to be happy. There are different things that we can integrate into our lives that will allow us to stop worrying and we need to make a concerted effort to figure out what works for us. Thanks for the list and the post.

  4. Faramarz,
    I tend not to use the word “worry” for what you described, but I understand your point. It reminds me of the two kinds of stress: eustress (positive stress) and distress (negative stress).

    I agree with you. Instead of thinking about all the bad things that might happen, it’s better to focus on what action you can take in the present.

    We do need to make concerted effort as you said. Our mind tends to go to the negative so we need to train it to be positive.

  5. Ah worry! – “A god, invisible but omnipotent. It steals the bloom from the cheek and lightness from the pulse; it takes away the appetite and turns the hair gray.” – Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

    Some nice tips Donald. Learning self-help techniques like eliminating worries could be the best time investment a person could make for self or family towards achieving a happy and satisfying life..

  6. I really think that’s the key – focus on what you can control, and let the rest go. I think it sounds easier said than done, until you turn it into practice and it becomes a habit … or maybe more like a muscle where the more you do it, the easier it gets.

  7. This is my first visit to the site, but I really enjoyed this post. All of these topcs can help improve quality of life, especially the “simplify your life” idea. Thinning out your environment (excess belongings, distractions, etc), really will free up your mind to be more productive, and make you feel more at ease every day.

  8. Grampa Ken,
    That’s a great quote you shared with us 🙂

    Focusing on what you can control is indeed difficult in the beginning. But when it has become a habit you will wonder why you worried about so many unnecessary things in the past.

    Welcome to Life Optimizer!Keeping your life simple isn’t easy in this complex world, but doing that can make a lot of difference to you and the people around you.

  9. ive been worrying for the past week i keep having dreams about my fiance cheating on me and now im just constanly thinking about it and there is times when i think he dont wanna be with me and it hurts so much we have a 5 month old lil girl and i always talk to him if he wants to be with me and he says yes and he tells me that he will never leave me but i dont know what to do anymore all these thoughts im thinking are eating me up inside..I NEED SOMEONE HELP ME PLEASE IM GOING CRAZY and i love my fiance with all my heart he the love of my life..thank you and GOD BLESS…

  10. When I remember the negative effects of my worry, I am prompted to stop it, remembering that many times, the ill effects of worry are worse than the actual scenarios that could happen. As they say, worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. Nice post!

  11. Lord knows there’s plenty to worry about these days, but there are strategies you can use to stay healthy and keep worry at bay. After all, worrying won’t change anything.

  12. great post! i see worrying as the main cause of obstructing achievements in life. if there’s one thing i learned about worrying is that rather than wasting ur time u should be finding a solution to solve that particular predicament that u’r worrying so much.

  13. Benjamin Franklin was full of much practical advice, including how to deal with worry. A Benjamin Franklin article just received the ‘Top 100 Electricity Blogs’ Award

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