18 Tips For Living Worry Free
Updated February 16, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Many people often wonder what it would be like to live worry-free. Millions of people around the world cope with daily pathological worry. With the state of our society and the stressors that many people face, it is no wonder that many people are taking anti-anxiety medications and still dealing with obsessive worry.
While a certain amount of worry is normal, pathological worry can be problematic. Studies have shown that pathological worry is one of the primary causes of generalized anxiety disorder. To effectively address anxiety, one must learn how to live worry-free.
Living without worry is largely a matter of changing your mindset. You must take control of your thoughts and emotions and do what you can to prepare for inevitabilities. Then, you can focus your efforts on living in the present, taking care of yourself, and living a worry-free life.
Accept That Worry Is Bad
The first step in being worry free is to accept that worry is bad. Some people have the mistaken idea that worry is a good thing. They feel that worry makes them more productive, more prepared, and shows that they care about situations and people.
In fact, obsessive worry is bad for you, those around you, and even your health. When you worry about things unnecessarily it can keep you from living your life, and it can cause you to keep others from living their lives. Also, physical health conditions can result from excessive worry. Worry is stressful and can cause some conditions including weight gain and high blood pressure.
Recognize Where The Worry Comes From
The next step in living a worry-free life is to recognize where the worry comes from. For many people, constantly worrying about certain situations or people stems from past trauma. When you recognize that trauma as the source of your worry, you can cope with the past and let it go. When you are no longer living in the past, you will find that your worry is much less.
Be Mindful Of Thoughts
One of the most important things you can do to live worry free is to be mindful of your thoughts. Pathological worry has been thought to be related to imaginal cognitive activity, or essentially your imagination running away with you.
However, recent studies have shown that when it comes to generalized anxiety disorder, the pathological worry is more based on thoughts than imagination. Thinking about something obsessively can lead to worrying about it to the point of causing anxiety. Being mindful of your thoughts and consciously making an effort to put aside unreasonable thoughts can go a long way towards eliminating worry from your life.
Recognize What You Can't Control
To live worry free, you have to recognize things that you cannot control and let go of them. You have to take on the mindset that what will be will be. You cannot control everything and everyone. When you recognize this fact, accept it. Let go of trying to control everything and you will not worry nearly as much.
Of course, that does not mean that you let go of everything and just wait to see what happens. Handling the things that you can control gives you a sense of security and planning that can also eliminate worry. But if it is something truly out of your control, don't dwell on it unnecessarily.
Live In The Present
When you are constantly worrying, you are always living in a fearful future. This can prevent you from truly enjoying life. Instead of thinking about the future all of the time, try changing your mindset to focus on the present.
When you live in the present, you can take action to do what you can to prevent future problems, but you won't be focusing on what might happen in the future. You accept that the future will bring what it will, and you focus your efforts on doing the right thing in the present.
Have Faith It Will Work Out
Faith and fear cannot exist together. When you have faith that things will work out how they are supposed to, it allows you to let go of your fear. Having faith that things will work out can mean having faith that you have good karma coming to you, or that the universe favors the good.
Some people find great comfort in having faith in a higher power, God, or some other supreme being. This allows them to feel as though that higher power will take care of them and make sure that everything works out the way it should. If you can have this type of faith, it can greatly decrease your worry to put trust in that higher power.
One of the best ways to live worry-free is to be prepared. When you have something coming up in the future that has you worried, prepare for that situation or event. Once all preparations have been made, let it go and wait to see how the situation plays out.
It is possible, however, to be overly prepared for something. While it is wise to prepare for storms, tornados or other natural disasters common to your geographical area, it is possible to go overboard. Hoarding stockpiles of food and supplies may be unnecessary, for example. However, a healthy amount of preparation can put your worries at ease.
Like being prepared, checklists can help you eliminate your worry by taking action. When you make checklists throughout your preparations, it can help you make sure that you do not forget any important details.
Making checklists is also good because it gives you a visual of what you have done to prepare. When everything on the checklist is complete, you can look at the checked off list and know that there is nothing to worry about.
Don't Dwell On Completed Tasks
Once all of your tasks on your checklists are complete, and preparations have been made, it's time to let it go and focus your efforts elsewhere. When you spend a lot of time dwelling on things you have already done, you cannot focus on what needs to be accomplished next. Unhealthy worry comes from dwelling on things that are already done, or that you cannot control.
Don't Worry About What Others Think
One of the things that many people worry about is what others think. You may worry about what others are thinking about you, your family, or what you are doing. It is very important that you not worry about these things.
When you recognize that you are better off being who you truly are around everyone, you will conclude that it doesn't matter what other people think. It only matters what you think of yourself and that you are a good person. When you stop concerning yourself with the thoughts of others, it is easier to live worry-free.
Avoid Over-Analyzing Situations
Remember that obsessive thoughts are the main source of pathological worry. When you over-analyze situations, it causes your thoughts to become a swirling tornado of obsession and worry. The more you think about something, the more you are going to worry about it.
It can be helpful to look at a situation from multiple sides to make sure you are prepared for the future. However, if you spend so much time analyzing situations that you never take action, or you can't put it out of your mind, you are going too far. Think about a situation for what it is, take action and then put it out of your mind.
They say patience is a virtue, but not everyone has patience. When you don't have much patience, it can cause you to be a worrier. You will discover that the less patience you have, the more you worry about things in the future.
It takes some hard truth-seeking about yourself and some practice to develop patience. But, if you can increase your level of patience in waiting for situations to resolve themselves, it can help you limit how much you worry.
Look For Good Things To Be Happy About
Whenever you catch yourself worrying, look for good things to be happy about. When you are looking for things to be happy about it puts your mindset firmly in the present. It allows you to recognize that not everything is bad, and in fact many things in life are good.
Looking for things to be happy about can also help put your fears at ease. Worry about the future can often be negated when thinking about how good things are now and have been in the past. This can give you a more positive outlook on the future.
Focus On What You Have
Again, focusing on what you have puts your mindset firmly in the present. When you are living in the present instead of worrying about the future, you will be much happier and less stressed. Focus on everything that you have that is good in your life whenever you catch yourself worrying about the future.
Worry about the possibility of losing things in the future can prevent you from enjoying what you have now. This is especially true of relationships. If you are constantly worried about what you will do if the relationship ends, you do not appreciate the relationship that you have for what it is.
Practicing gratitude can also help eliminate worry. It focuses your mind and emotions on those things that you have to be thankful for. When you recognize how many things you have to be thankful for, it allows you to set your worry aside for another day.
A good way to put this into practice is to keep a record of what you are thankful for. You can do this in a journal, or make a social media post each day. Every day, at the beginning or end of the day, name at least one thing from the day that you are grateful for.
Simplify Your Life
Simplifying your life gives you fewer things to worry about. When your life is as simple as you can make it, you have less to worry about regarding what you have to lose. It also allows you to focus more on the present and what you have.
To simplify your life, you can start by decluttering your life. Clutter can be physical or intangible, such as emotional clutter. Cut off unhealthy relationships, downsize your belongings, and in general live as minimally as possible. When you do this, you will not have the urge to worry, because you won't have as many things in your life to worry about.
Use Mediation And Self Care
When you find yourself worrying, make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Meditation can help you refocus your mind and stop the worrying in its tracks. You can meditate easily for just a few minutes whenever you start catching yourself worrying about something.
Self-care is also important. Make sure you are eating well, sleeping well, and taking time out to care for yourself. Often worriers spend so much time worrying about others that they do not care for themselves as much. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
Get A Therapist
If you try these methods and continue to experience severe anxiety and excessive worrying, you might need to seek out the help of a therapist. A therapist can help you identify the causes of your worry and anxiety and teach you additional methods to cope with stress and worry. Working with a therapist can be a step toward achieving your goal of a worry-free life.