Worry is a feeling that can occupy our minds and contribute to mental illness. It’s easy to worry about both things we can control and those we can’t, but it’s important to find a way to free ourselves from worry.
Being free from worry allows us to let go of things which one might not control, allowing focus to be on those things we can control and have a positive influence on. This can be done through meditation, self-care, future-self journaling, and personal reflection.
Sometimes it feels like there’s so much affecting us that we cannot fathom handling anything more. We worry about things constantly, so wouldn’t it be helpful to figure out how to free yourself from some worry?
What Is Being Free From Worry?
Worry, first of all, is that sense of unease. Worry is dwelling on trouble or the possibility of something going wrong. Being free from worry is feeling calm, easygoing, and focusing on the positive things and what’s going well. We all have the ability to be free from worry, but we have to make the conscious choice.
To be free from worry requires a journey of self-awareness without questioning its purpose or direction. Things like self-care activities and caring for our overall well-being are important aspects of being free from worry.
Types of Things That Cause Worry
Worry is such a common thing to experience. We have the capacity to worry from the time we begin conscious thought as toddlers and can’t find our favorite stuffed toy. Worry can be caused by any number of things, from seemingly trivial things to huge, life-altering things. If you’re a spouse, a friend, a parent, or even human you’ve most likely worried about one or more of the following:
- Pregnancy and birth
- Nation or world events
- Loss of functional ability
These sources of worry can start from the time we are young children and continue all through adulthood, even to our last days. There’s likely something(s) not on this list that you’ve worried about, and that is alright. Let’s talk about some ways you can start taking steps to start freeing yourself from your worries.
Ways to be Free From Worry
Each person might have their own preferences for how to let things go and be more free from worry. To get started, here are a few examples of practices that can work really well. Also, consider what might work for you, as each person develops unique ways to bring balance to daily living.
Get Rid of Something
Like the need to be in control of all things. I’m guilty of being a control freak and am not ashamed to admit it. I’m a work in progress! I’ve learned that letting go of this need has greatly benefitted me over time and continues to do so. Letting go requires less effort, less energy, and less of your time.
We all have the ability to be free from worry, but we have to make the conscious choice.
What have you felt the need to control that perhaps you could start letting go of? It could be that leadership position at your job that’s been stressing you out because of belligerent team members, or the so-called friend who always takes advantage of you and makes you feel low and unappreciated. Perhaps it’s the stuff cluttering your home and making you feel like you have to clean all of the time. If it makes you worry, it’s worth considering removing it (or them) from your life.
Set Worry Breaks
When we worry about things constantly, it can lead to a lot of stress. Stress over time only leads to more stress, worrying about so many things over such a long time. It can lead to loss of sleep, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other health issues. Set aside time daily to meditate, pray, journal, or anything to get your mind off of the worry and focus on self-care, gratefulness, and mindfulness.
Worry breaks can be a true lifesaver and keep your momentum going. Sometimes just a walk outside can get your mind off of the worry and on something more positive – such as that beautiful flower patch outside your kitchen window or that rabbit bouncing through the field! Take breaks and reflect on what you’ve accomplished.
Determine What Things We Cannot Control
Sometimes we worry over things that are out of our control. We can’t control everything, but we also cannot (healthfully) live in a constant state of worry. Figure out what you don’t have control over and stop (or try to stop) worrying about them. Here are a few to get you thinking:
- People – Their thoughts, feelings, and actions cannot be controlled by you.
- Weather – Nature does its thing with or without your input. Just be prepared!
- Nature – Animals, bugs, plants, all exist without your control. They all have their place and role and are not here to hurt you.
- Family – We’re related by genetics and that is just nature. See the people bullet above.
- Death – When it happens, it happens whether we are prepared or not. Don’t use the time left to worry about when it’s coming.
- The Past – It’s done and cannot be controlled or changed. Ships don’t sail on past winds.
- Change – It’s inevitable! And it can have great outcomes.
Here is a helpful video on ways to stop worrying less and start living more:
Focus on Those Things One Can Control:
For all of the things we cannot control, there are just as many (if not more) that we can control.
- How we treat others – Remember that old saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Yeah.
- Where you focus your energy – Make it positive things! Crafts, home improvement projects, your children, and your pets are all good directions to focus your energy.
- Taking care of yourself – Mindfulness, exercise, healthy foods, mental health. You’ll thank me later.
- Accepting yourself – Love yourself. Know that this process can make you an even better person.
- Being open to change – It can be a wonderful thing and leads to personal (and professional) growth!
- Your mindset – You choose your attitude when you climb out of bed, respond to that email, or see someone on the street.
- Your actions – Stepping up to help, providing the good example, walking the talk.
Make Small, Incremental Progress:
It doesn’t happen overnight. Start with something small like focusing on something that makes you happy or feel calm. Make a list of all of the things you personally worry about, then start considering if you can control them or not. Then take steps to start freeing yourself from these things that are adding stress to your life.
Take care of one thing each day to ease the burden. Work your way up to the bigger things over time that you know you need to stop worrying about or that you just cannot control. Celebrate small accomplishments and find support from someone to give you encouragement.
The Free From Worry Book by Janice Wise (2010):
A Bible study style guide to teach the reader that stress has been around for a very long time. Includes activities for individuals to small groups to learn about turning to the word of God to reflect and take steps to apply lessons to decrease the worry from their own lives. Available in paperback.
Examples of Worry to Free Ourselves From – From Real People
I asked 5 family/friends what top 3 things they generally worry about (answers could be general in nature, such as money, relationships, job security, etc.). Here is what I learned and what they shared:
|Example of Worry||# of People|
|Providing for my family||2|
|What others think of me||4|
- What Really Matters – How Doing Less Makes it All Better
- Quality Over Quantity – How I Buy Once for Decades of Use
- Value Of Time – Making Choices For Life and Happiness
- Live In the Present – My Experience with Living Deeply
- Meaningful Conversation – Guide to Deeper Conversations
- Feeling Disconnected – How to Reflect, Ground, and Reconnect
- Collect Memories – Minimal Things and Meaningful Living
There are so many things in this crazy world that can cause us worry. We all should take the time to make note of all of these things and start taking control of those things we are able to control. For those things out of our control, it’s worth it to examine the affect on our lives, practice mindfulness, and work to free ourselves of them. Besides, it’s our health that’s at stake!