A man and woman sitting on a couch with boxes in front of them.Think about all the things you want to do with your life. You carry inside you, dreams, and visions of the kind of future you really want. Think of all those things you want to achieve. And there they sit, on the back burner.

So, why aren’t you getting on with it?

Probably, you have succumbed to the biggest thing that holds most people back: your stress and worry. Every great idea comes with a best- and worst-case scenario, not to mention everything else in between. Worry is what finds every worst-case scenario and convinces you that is what will happen. If there is a doubt in your head, worry put it there.

As busy a life as you have, and as much as you must do, I bet you often feel like you are not doing the things you really want to do. If that is you, you are not alone.

Most of what holds us back from doing the things we really want to do can be traced back to our stress and worry. We begin doubting our ability to predict possible downsides every time we try something new. We might think; “Have I thought about everything that could possibly go wrong?” Then we find something else, even worse than our previous worst-case scenario.

After a while, we end up sticking to only what we know to be completely safe. We end up really not living at all.

There are effective ways to deal with stress and worry though. Not only will they help put those anxious feelings to rest, but they will help you to really start living.

It is time to put worry to rest and live your best life. Read on to find out how:

Imagine the Worst Outcome

Your brain has already come up with the worst possible, most horrible things sure to happen if you even try. Giving more energy to the worst outcome might seem like the wrong way to deal with things, but consider this: if you can not only see the impending disaster but also visualize yourself dealing with it and making it through successfully, you’re more likely to succeed when you do finally try.

This is because you are already prepared for whatever comes next and you know what to do. You are telling your worry; “Yes, this can happen, but I’ve got it covered.”

Confront the Pain

Much of why we worry is because of situations that make us feel uncomfortable. So, we might worry about meeting new people because it will feel awkward. We worry that we won’t know what to say, or even how come across as interesting enough to the other person.

It already feels like a horrible disaster and you have not even met yet. The solution seems difficult but is easier than you might think. You need to get used to uncomfortable situations. You need to face your fear.

Here is how. Small successes lead to bigger successes, so start small. But do some of the things that challenge you, then watch yourself rise to the challenge. Then, take on something a little bigger, then a little bigger.

Get it? When we discover that feeling uncomfortable is not the end of the world and can even be the starting point for something amazing, we will fear it less.

Accept you Worry, then Reframe the Problem

Often, all you really need to keep things in perspective is to just remind yourself that worry is normal. Accept that you worry, as you do not need to be afraid of feeling worried.

It is completely natural and ok to feel worried, but constantly saying; “I’m worried about this problem” can really throw your thinking. Instead try saying, “I’m really excited about this challenge.”

By reframing a negative problem into a positive challenge, you will find yourself feeling much more positive and ready to get going with the task in hand.

Re-channel the Worry

When we get caught up in a cycle of worry, physical things start to happen within us. You have probably noticed some of these before. Increased heart rate, your mind is racing, you are experiencing cold sweats or a churning stomach. Most of these are caused by adrenaline, which accompanies fear-based feelings such as stress and worry.

The trick is to use the adrenaline instead of fighting it. As soon as you begin feeling this way, it is time to get active and re-channel that adrenalin into something positive. Ask yourself what action you can take, to turn the worry into a positive solution.

Let the Worry Go

Let go of worrying about things that you cannot control. Plan what you can and learn to let go of the rest. Worry has us thinking we must have every ‘I’ dotted, and every ‘t’ crossed. This is not always true.

There is such a thing as ‘good enough’ when it comes to planning. In fact, not having everything set in stone means you have room to be flexible and change according to circumstances. Also, it is often here where the best results happen.

Hit the Reset Button

Is it time to withdraw a little and become grounded again? Your worry could be a signal that it is time to take a few deep breaths or even a step back. A few minutes of meditation or practising mindfulness can be extremely helpful in getting yourself back on track.

The thing with worry is, it can often be helpful to us. Worry does not need to be a signal to stop what you are doing. Being proactive when you feel worried is the key to getting yourself back on track again. Isn’t this your time to really live?

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