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worry

Some us are worriers. Even when things are going A-OK, we focus on the dreaded “what-ifs” looming constantly on the horizon. These types of irrational fears are bad enough when you’re growing up or going to school, but once you reach the professional world, and work stress enters the picture, they can be downright debilitating.

Luckily, Jessica Stillman of Inc. has written a terrific post for the Daily Muse titled “3 Proven Ways to Stop Worrying So Much.” She draws her advice from a blog post that self-professed “chronic worrier” Ashlee Christian wrote for the Freelancers Union. Read on to see how Christian faces her fears and decide whether any of her suggestions might help to ease your mind.

1. Make a List — Sometimes, it helps to see things in writing. If you’ve got five things you’re stressing out about, jot ’em down on a piece of paper and try to separate the reasonable concerns from the totally irrational ones. “Not all worrying is entirely negative, addressing the productive worries of something that is causing anxiety, and being aware of them can help you stay on track with being in control over the things you actually can control,” Christian writes.

2. Keep a Journal — Is there a nagging fear galloping through your brain like a runaway clydesdale? Tame the sucker by keeping a journal and writing about those negative feelings you can’t seem to shake. “Writing these issues out will help to dissect the cause for worry and make it more manageable going forward,” Christian writes. Plus, she says, journaling is a great stress reducer and immunity booster.

3. Get Acquainted With Your Brain — Are there certain things that set your anxious mind into high gear? Once you know your triggers you can work to control stress before it gets out of control. One way, Christian writes, is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.