Do you worry too much?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man worrying,

Do you worry too much?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Not everyone means the same thing when they say they worry.

Pretty much everyone “worries” at one time or another. When some people say worry, they mean they are concerned about something. People worry about having enough money for retirement, and that may motivate them to save more. It’s reasonable to be concerned and take action if you don’t have money or a job. People who are high in anxiety may worry unreasonably about everything. If you worry repetitively, and you worry about things that have a low probability of happening, you may be suffering from a serious mental illness called Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Worry means more than just being concerned about something.

Dictionary definitions for the word worry include to give way to anxiety or unease, to dwell on one’s difficulties or troubles, a state of anxiety or uncertainty about one’s troubles, either actual or potential. Problematic worry involves worrying excessively about your problems rather than taking action to solve them or spending a great deal of time thinking about possible problems in the future even when the chances that will come to pass are very small. Ruminating about the future can make you more anxious and results in mental health problems.

Some worry is normal.

Doubts, worries, and anxieties are normal. Being concerned about something, having a real worry or anxiety, should motivate you to take action to prepare for possible negative outcomes. Buying insurance is one way of reducing your worries.

Worry and Anxiety can become your friends or your enemies.

How worry and anxiety affect you depends on your stress mindset. We all experience some stress before a novel experience. Going for a job interview, giving a speech, and athletic competition, taking a test, or a first date, can all be stressful. Some people interpret the butterflies in their stomach as excitement and the second themselves up to do better. Other people become so anxious they avoid these kinds of situations.

How can you tell if you’re worrying too much?

Constant or excessive worry takes its toll on your physical and emotional health. Worry can interfere with your sleep and your ability to relax. If you’re not able to rest up between episodes of stress, you’re at high risk of developing burnout. Uncontrolled excessive worry can leave you unable to cope with life.

One sign of excessive worry is having constant negative, unhelpful thoughts. If worry becomes persistent, you’re worrying too much. People with uncontrolled worry begin to worry about every possible what-if.

Using drugs and alcohol to treat worry makes it worse.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that alcohol or drugs can help you cope with worry and anxiety. Unfortunately, substances only work for a very short time. Once the alcohol wears off you will experience rebound anxiety, which will be stronger than before. Using substances may help you forget about your worries temporarily, but they will interfere with your ability to take action to solve those problems.

Unexplained physical ailments are a sign your worry is out of control.

Worry leads to anxiety, and anxiety leads to a host of physical ailments. Excessive worry is a common cause of tension headaches. Worry can also lead to gastrointestinal difficulties, both constipation, and diarrhea. Worry increases the stress hormones in your bloodstream. If you’re in real physical danger and need to run for your life those stress hormones can be useful. But if your worry is creating those stress hormones, you’re going to feel it everywhere in your body.

People worry excessively are more likely to experience muscle aches and pains even when they haven’t used those muscles. Worry can also impair your concentration leading to poor performance at school or work. Worry leads to irritability, which can damage your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.

You can learn to control your worrying.

Somehow you learn to worry, and you learn to stop worrying so much. Changing the way you think about worry, and eliminating unhelpful thoughts will reduce your worry. If worry is impairing your happiness or making you sick you may want to work with a counselor who can teach you techniques to reduce unnecessary worries.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Are unhelpful thoughts causing you problems?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Woman thinking

Unhelpful Negative Thoughts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

What are unhelpful thoughts?

Unhelpful thoughts are part of some people’s self-talk. What you tell yourself often enough becomes automatic thoughts. Becoming aware of the negative messages you’re giving your brain and challenging those messages is a part of the process of change that we call Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

In the early days of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT,) researchers and theoreticians noticed a connection between the kind of automatic thoughts or self-talk that some people engaged in and the development of severe mental illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety. Originally these kinds of thoughts were described as irrational thoughts or dysfunctional thoughts. Those labels seem to me to be judgmental. Recently I’ve noticed therapists using the term unhelpful thoughts, and I believe that’s a much better way to describe these automatic thoughts.

Most of these unhelpful thoughts are the result of one or more informal logical fallacies. When you think unhelpful thoughts, they seem true to you, but when an outside observer looks at the evidence, these unhelpful thoughts don’t hold up. These categories of unhelpful thoughts may be called by different names, but here is my version.

All-or-nothing thinking is unhelpful.

This unhelpful thought involves looking at things in black-or-white or yes-or-no categories. For the person with all-or-nothing thinking, there is no middle ground. They tell themselves, “I must be perfect, or I’m a failure.” This type of thinking has led to an increase in depression and even suicide attempts at some of the prestigious colleges where students fall into the trap of believing there only two grades and A or a Not-A. This is a form of perfectionism in which one flaw makes the person worthless. While striving for self-improvement is worthwhile, believing that you must be perfect or you’re no good, will undermine your self-esteem and lead to depression.

Overgeneralization from a negative experience is an unhelpful thought.

This unhelpful thought involves the belief that one negative experience predicts the future. The person tells themselves, “I didn’t get hired for this job. I’ll never get any job.” If you get turned down for a date, you tell yourself no one will ever like me, and I will be alone the left rest of my life.

Having a negative mental filter creates unhelpful thoughts.

Someone with a negative mental filter never sees their accomplishments but only their mistakes. The student who gets one question wrong on a test believes that that means they’re stupid despite the overwhelming number of correct answers.

A person with a negative mental filter fails to get a promotion or is turned down for a raise, and they believe that means they are no good at their jobs and are at risk of being fired.

Discounting the positive is a common unhelpful thought.

Someone with this unhelpful thought might apply for a job and get hired, but rather than believing this is because they were a good candidate, they will tell themselves they only got hired because nobody better applied. No matter how many successes this person has; they only remember their failures and expect to fail the next time they attempt something.

Mind reading is a very unhelpful way of thinking.

People who practice mind-reading believe that when someone doesn’t return a phone call, this means that that person hates them. The mind reader is continually telling themselves that something terrible is about to happen. Since they always predict the worst, they see the worst in every person and situation they encounter. Expecting your partner to be a mind reader is an unhelpful thought that comes up often in couples counseling.

Jumping to dire conclusions is an unhelpful thought.

The jumping to conclusions unhelpful thought takes you from the weather report saying it will rain tomorrow to canceling your camping trip because you’re sure there’s likely to be flooding and lightning might strike your camp.

People with this unhelpful thought process always expect the worst possible outcome. It won’t invest in a retirement account because the stock market might crash. They don’t want to go on a vacation because the plane might crash.

Emotional reasoning will mislead you.

Feelings can be a useful source of information, but not everything you feel is real. Just because something scares you does not mean it is dangerous. Feeling embarrassed about something you did doesn’t mean everyone else noticed and is judging you. Question whether your feelings are providing you accurate information, or are you assuming that because you feel something that makes it accurate?

Trying to live by a long list of absolute rules is unhelpful.

Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do and beating yourself up if you break any of the rules is a very unhelpful way of thinking. “I should never have said anything to her. I’m such an idiot.” Trying to live by an arbitrary list of “should’s” and “musts” can result in a lot of emotional problems.

Negative self-labeling is unhelpful.

If you make a mistake or your performance is less than you would like it to be, don’t call yourself stupid or clumsy. Telling yourself, you’re a failure, creates failure.

Trying to control things that are not in your control is unhelpful.

If you’re one of those people, who believes that everything that goes wrong is your fault, you have developed a very unhelpful way of thinking. Don’t try to control or protect other people by anticipating what could go wrong in their lives. You can plan, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your planning and worrying will somehow make everything come out the way you want it to.

What should you do if your life is full of unhelpful thoughts?

If you find that you fall into frequent use of these unhelpful thoughts, begin to challenge those anxiety-producing thoughts. Ask yourself what the evidence is that this thought is true. Get a second opinion from a friend. You may find self-help books based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, especially helpful. Consider working with the counselor or therapist. A good coach can help improve an athlete’s performance, and a good counselor can help you overcome the problem of frequent unhelpful thoughts.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Why you worry so much.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man worrying,

Worried.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Excessive worry can lead to poor mental health.

Excessive worry can be a part of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and can be a symptom of many trauma and stress are related disorders. Life has its problems, and it’s not unusual to worry about the things you need to deal with. An occasional worry is a common thing, but if you find yourself worrying all the time, if worry is taking over your life, you may be on the road to mental health problems. Here are some of the reasons you may be worrying.

If you see doubt as danger, you will worry.

People who learn to focus on the positive aspects of things are less likely to see ambiguous situations as dangerous. When you interpret doubt as danger, the world will become an anxiety-filled situation. Whenever in doubt look for the opportunities rather than the risks. Sometimes great happiness is hiding behind that question mark.

The unknown is not always dangerous. If you look at life trying to spot every danger, your mind will magnify small challenges into impossible problems. If you look for the positive you’re likely to find the silver lining.

Is worry is one of your best friends?

If you believe that worry is a good thing, that worrying will keep you safe; you will do a lot more worrying. Worriers tend to think that their worrying will prevent bad things from happening. Unfortunately, many of the worst parts of life are totally outside our control. Believing that worrying will help you solve problems will increase your anxiety. Trying to prepare yourself for every possible bad outcome leads to an increase in worry.

Rather than trying to anticipate every problem, try to focus on the handful of significant challenges. Time spent planning and acting moves your life forward. Time spent worrying but doesn’t lead to a decision to do something is unproductive time.

You may be using the wrong worry rule.

Worriers who try to worry about every possible undesirable outcome become overwhelmed and locked in a repetitive worry cycle. People who are high in perfectionism are far more likely to become worriers. People who adopt the rule “good enough worrying” only worry about the big things that have a high probability of happening. Good enough worriers are less bothered by pathological worry. Learning to stop worrying when you have covered the significant risks will reduce the amount of worrying you do.

Excess worry can be the result of Hypervigilance.

Sometimes excessive worry is not the result of current problems but has its roots in the past. People with a history of trauma frequently become hypervigilant. Someone slammed the car door out on the street, and the hypervigilant person jumps. Even the smallest unexpected sound can upset them, and their brain adds a threatening interpretation. Because of a history of trauma, the startle response is turned up too high. If you are hypervigilant and are often jumping, examining your history of anxiety and trauma, if you have unhealed wounds from the past, professional counseling may be needed to turn down the level of hypervigilance.

Ask yourself if you worry is helpful or has it taken over your life? Maybe you need to move from worry to action. Stop obsessing about the things that are outside your control and take back control of your life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and his dog Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Why do you worry?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man worrying,

Some things you do not need to worry about.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Excess worry damages your mental health.

Many people know that worry and rumination can damage their mental health. Those same people may hold contradictory beliefs that they must worry to prevent bad things from happening.

People who hold both positive and negative beliefs about worry are likely to be higher in anxiety, experience more depression, and have impaired physical as well as mental health.

Positive beliefs about worry encourage worrying.

People who are high in worry, often have firm beliefs about the positive consequences of worrying. The way you think about worrying plays a role in creating and maintaining that worry. It’s hard to give up worry, no matter how painful it is, if you have positive beliefs about the benefits of worrying. If you worry a lot, examine your beliefs about worry. You may be expecting worry to play a role in life; it’s not able to fill.

People who worry a lot believe Worry will keep them safe.

People who worry a lot, often have a belief that worrying will make possible future negative events less likely to happen or will prevent those bad results from happening altogether. People who worry a lot expect that worry will reduce the consequences should a bad event happened.

Some worriers believe that worry motivates them.

Humans tend to be loss averse. Most people will work a lot harder to avoid losing something they have then they will work to get an item of equal value. If you worry about flooding, you may buy flood insurance.

When they are unhappy with their current job, a worrier is likely to put more effort into avoiding the loss of the current job then they will put into securing a new better job.

People who frequently worry may believe worry helps analytic thinking.

At the beginning of a project, most people see only probable success. Worriers have the belief that by worrying about what could go wrong they will spot possible dangers.

Frequent worriers believe that they need to control their thoughts.

People who are high in worry often believe that their brains will think dangerous thoughts. Sometimes they confuse the difference between thinking about something and causing it to happen.

Worriers are intolerance of uncertainty.

People who have difficulty accepting that some things are out of their control are at increased risk to develop excessive, pathological worry. People who are high in worry and anxiety believe they are responsible for controlling outcomes. Not being able to predict what will happen coupled with the belief that with enough thought and effort you should be able to control the results, can result in debilitating worry and anxiety.

Worriers use the “as many as I can” worry stop rule.

People who plan focus on the high probability issues. Worriers attempt to anticipate everything that could go wrong. Because of their efforts to anticipate every possible negative outcome, worriers spend a lot of time focused on low probability events and often are unprepared for the things that do occur. People who are low in worry use the “good enough worrying” rule. They worry only about a few high probability outcomes.

Worriers believe they must have cognitive confidence.

People who worry a lot, value high levels of confidence. They’re uncomfortable with uncertainty. Many life events contain large amounts of uncertainty. Worriers try to reduce that uncertainty by turning the possibilities over and over looking for other things that could go wrong.

People who worry a lot tell themselves worry is uncontrollable.

The focusing for worriers is on preventing negative feelings and consequences rather than on preventing worry. If you believe worry is uncontrollable, then it is something you are required to do. Believing worry is uncontrollable, but that you are responsible for controlling what happens leads to superstitious beliefs and may result in repetitive obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviors.

High levels of negative feelings create worry.

Feelings of pessimism, personal inadequacy or incompetence, and personal despair and hopelessness make it more likely they will worry. People who are sad or depressed are likely to worry more.

Worry can be used to avoid facing unpleasant life events.

When you worry, you can stay focused on what might happen, and you don’t have to think about what is taking place in your life today. Studies have demonstrated that people use worry as a way of avoiding unpleasant situations and feelings. By staying “up in your head” in worry, you can block the part of the nervous system that processes feelings.

If you worry a lot, now might be a good time to challenge some of the beliefs you have about worry.

David Joel Miller, MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Feeding your worry.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Anxiety provoking.

Anxiety.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you feeding the anxiety monster?

The more you feed your anxiety, the larger grows. It’s easy to miss the connection between worry and anxiety.

Some dictionary definitions of worry are:  to give in to anxiety or decrease, to let your mind dwell on your troubles and difficulties.

Continuing to worry increases your uncertainty and grows your anxiety until it takes over your life. How many of these ways are you feeding the anxiety monster with your worry?

Stay up all night keeping worry company.

When there is lots of uncertainty, potential problems ahead, many people hold on tightly to their worries. Often after a good night sleep, things look differently in the morning. A certain way to expand your anxiety is to sit up as long as possible, thinking through every possible negative outcome. Ruminating about low probability bad outcomes is just the sort of worry-food the anxiety monster craves.

You won’t let anyone else babysit your worry.

People who have their anxiety under control learn to use experts to manage their risks. One way to increase your anxiety is to keep all your worries to yourself, and never share them with anyone who might be able to put your mind at ease. Have financial challenges? You should talk to a financial professional. If you have medical issues, you need to see your doctor. For emotional issues, a good counselor can be helpful.

Some people become so attached to their anxiety that they would never consider allowing anyone else to babysit their anxiety monster. If you become unwilling to share your worry with anyone who might be able to help reduce the risks, you’ve taken on the care and feeding of an anxiety monster.

Every morning pick worry back up.

Should you ever get a good night’s sleep, make sure you pick up where you left off worrying the night before. Mentally healthy people can set aside their worries and engage in work and play and positive social relationships with others.

Some people come to view anxiety as their best friend. Their hope is that by worrying enough, they might be able to prevent something bad happening. If you’ve adopted this thought, you’re likely to find that even when the danger is past, after being able to do something enjoyable with others, as soon as you can, you will pick your worries back up and cuddle them tightly.

Stay angry to grow anxieties.

When you’re angry at someone, you’re likely to expect the worst from them. If you’re angry at others, you expect them to be angry back. Your anger at others and your anticipation of their retaliation are certain to feed your anxiety monster.

Indulge negative feelings.

Negative feelings are a superfood for anxiety monsters. Indulging yourself in every possible negative feeling is guaranteed to increase your worry and anxiety. Should you ever chance to spot a silver lining, search carefully for the black cloud behind it.

People who are high in the ability to worry and make themselves anxious, are often skilled at seeing the worst in every person, place, or situation.

Remind yourself that it is your fault.

If you want to stay anxious and fearful all the time, take on the responsibility for the whole world. Tell yourself that you should have foreseen that earthquake and moved somewhere else. If something breaks, believe that it’s your fault. When others treat you badly, look for what you must’ve done wrong to create their bad behavior.

If someone you know abuses drugs or alcohol or gets in trouble with the law, ask yourself what you must have done wrong to make them misbehave. This constant believing that everything that goes wrong in the world must somehow have been the result of your failure to foresee it is guaranteed to keep you unhappy and anxious.

Search for evidence to grow your fears.

Whenever there is a doubt, do your best to find evidence to prove that the thing you’re afraid of is dangerous. If you can’t find reliable scientific evidence, post your worry on social media and ask people to tell you why you should be afraid of something. When there’s no evidence, believe that your fear is justified just because it feels scary to you.

The human brain has a bias towards negative information. Let ten good things happen, followed by one bad thing, most people will remember only the one problem. Say you get a job interview, and the interview goes well, you get the new job at a very good salary, but on the way home, you get a flat tire. Continue for the rest of your life to remind yourself nothing good ever happens to you “every time” you try to drive; you get a flat tire.

Especially worry about things you can’t change.

People with a well-developed anxiety monster rarely think about things they might be able to control. Nothing expands anxiety like focusing exclusively on things that are out of your control. To maximize anxiety don’t worry about working overtime and paying your electric bill, focus your worry on the possibility this will be an unusually cold winter, and there might be a worldwide shortage of fuel.

Have you had enough anxiety?

I tried to exaggerate all these ways in which people can increase their anxiety. I hope you can see that there may be thoughts you are practicing which are increasing your anxiety. Consider trying to have more helpful thoughts. Change some of the ways you’ve been dealing with life’s challenges and see if you can’t reduce your anxiety.

If your anxiety, worries, and fears have grown so large, that they are taking over your life, consider that now be might be the time to seek professional help. A good counselor or therapist can help you learn to manage and reduce your anxiety and fear.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Things you need to stop worrying about

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Man worrying,

Some things you do not need to worry about.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Worrying about the wrong things is keeping you stuck.

Some things may be worth worrying about. Especially if that worry will spur you to take action and change something.

There are a whole lot of things that consume people’s time in worry that really should not be on your list of things to worry about.

Chuck these topics of worry for a happier more productive life.

1. Stop worrying about what others think about you.

The more you do the more people will find to criticize you about. What others think about you is none of your business. Do things because you think they are right, do them because they please you and because this is what you chose to do. Let others opinions go.

2. Stop worrying that you are not good enough.

You are however you are. Accept yourself as you are and then go on to make the best of who and what you are. You are plenty good enough for you. If there is room for improvement focus on the things you would like to be better and let go of the thoughts that you are not yet all you want to be.

You are and will be throughout your life a work in progress, not a finished person.

3. Stop worrying about what you “should” do.

That list of “should’s” left over from childhood is holding you back. Do not do things because others said you should. If you think it is right do it. Do only those things that are right for you.

Do what you are doing. Do it to the best of your ability and in a fair and honest way but never sweat whether the thing you have chosen to do is what you “should” be doing.

While doing one thing do not worry about other things you should be doing. Stay focused on the moment or quit and change what you are doing.

You are always doing what you are doing now.

4. Do not worry that people do not agree with you.

There are always people who will disagree no matter who you are or what you will do. New, innovative things arise because someone does something that others never thought of doing.

You will not be able to make everyone happy. Start by making yourself happy. Consider the consequences of who will disagree with you and why, but the final authority on you is you.

5. Do not worry about someone else’s issues.

You can only change you. If someone else has issues then they need to be willing to change. You can offer support if they chose to change but you are not in charge of others’ lives and they are not in control of yours.

Focus on your own issues, those things you can and should be working on and offer others the same option.

6. Stop trying to get someone to do what you want.

You can waste a lot of time on manipulation and trying to control others. Work on being the kind of person others would want to work with rather than trying to make them do things your way.

Your way may be good for you but it might not be what someone else needs. Especially stay focused on the results you want rather than on making others do things the way you would do them.

7. Don’t worry that you do not have enough education

Plenty of people have accomplished great things with minimal education. People frequently use a lack of formal education as an excuse for not doing anything.

Do what you can with the training you have. Practical experience is a great teacher. Get more education if this is a requirement for a field you want to work in. You are never too old for more learning. Many people have to retrain multiple times for new careers. People with one degree decide that field is not a fit for them and change occupations.

Make the most of what you know and learn something new each day. You will be amazed at how far you can go.

8. Do not worry about your looks.

Make the most of what you have but always stay focused on who you are inside and what you can do. Sure in some fields a certain look is valued. But there are plenty of stories about how a person who is driven to succeed made it even though they did not fit the normal look.

A quick glance around any large employer will show you that there are lots of people working there that have less than perfect looks.

9. Do not think that you can’t face a problem.

Most problems have to be faced one way or another. Even if you run you have had an encounter with that problem. Run once and you may have to run the rest of your life. Problems do not disappear when you run from them. Many problems shrink as soon as you begin to take actions to work on them.

10. Avoid rehashing what you should have done.

The past is gone. Worrying about what you should have done prevents you from doing in the only time you ever really have – the now.

Keep doing. Accept that some things will work out. You will have some regrets and along the way, you will accomplish some things you can be proud of.

11. Stop thinking that you are not doing enough.

Do what you can. Make an honest effort. That is enough. If you can do more do it. Time spent worrying that you are not doing enough is time not spent working or relaxing. Self-care, time not working, is a part of keeping yourself productive.

12. Do not worry that you are doing too much.

If you are highly productive give yourself credit. If this is wearing you out cut back. Practice saying “No.” If you need to do this because of a boss or a position you hold then relax and stop worrying about it.

Do not concern yourself that you are doing more and someone else is doing less. You are not them and they are not you.

13. Stop worrying about things that are out of your control.

Plan for the unexpected. Work to mitigate the effects of disasters and the unexpected but worrying about them wastes time trying to control the uncontrollable when you should be making the most of the opportunities at hand.

Worrying about the unexpected wears you out and accomplishes nothing.

14. Do not worry that you are going to fast.

Some things take more time than others. Some people move and work at a fast pace. If you are making too many mistakes slow down. Work at the pace that is best for you.

15. Stop thinking that you made a mistake.

If you made mistakes, correct the ones that you can. If it can’t be corrected learn from it. Most mistakes are small things in the long run. What is the lesson you needed to learn? The more you try to accomplish the greater the risk that some things will not work out. Do not think of these less than perfect outcomes as mistakes. They are learning opportunities.

16. Avoid worrying about money.

Worrying about money does make more of it. Somehow those with little money get by and those with a lot never seem to have enough. If you have money problems work on ways to spend less, stretch what you have further and make more.

Worrying is wasted effort. Learn all you can about money and finances. Do not be misled into thinking that if you just had more money your troubles would disappear. You would still have problems they would just be different problems.

17. Avoid the thought that there is something wrong with you.

You are fine just the way you are. If you have medical or psychiatric concerns see a doctor or a therapist. If you have legal or financial issues see a professional in that field.

Learn to accept yourself the way you are and then work on becoming a better more skilled person.

18. Don’t worry that you do not have the best things.

People who judge you based on the things you have are shallow people. Judging yourself that way will make you shallow. The more you have, the farther away the goal of having the “best things” moves.

There is no end to the things people think they need and then tomorrow those things are passé.

Anyone out there jealous of my collection of 8 track cassettes and 8-inch floppy diskettes?

19. Stop thinking that your opinion is wrong.

You have the right to your opinion. You also have the right to sometimes be wrong. Accept that no one is right all the time.

When making decisions and taking actions consider the possibility that you could be wrong. When you get new information or situations change reconsider your opinion.

Do not beat yourself up for having had an incorrect opinion and especially do not waste time on worrying that today’s opinion may be tomorrow’s error.

20. Stop worrying that people are taking advantage of you.

Be careful in your dealings. Do not assume others have your best interest at heart. Make sure you do things because you want to and they are right for you.

Once you make those decisions do not worry if someone else is getting something out of your interaction.

Reserve the right to periodically reevaluate things and change relationships as needed. Worrying will not protect you from being taken advantage of. Careful research and good advice will help here.

21. Do not worry that others are better than you.

There will always be someone better than everyone else. Records only stand so long and then someone breaks them.

You can’t be the best at everything. You may not be the best at anything. Work on being the best you can be and accept that if you approve of yourself then what you do will be good enough.

22. Don’t worry that you are out of time.

Time keeps moving forward. Make the best of what you have and then let it go. Worry that you are out of time waists some of the precious time you do have.

23. The things you want will never happen.

If they did happen then you would only want more. Some things we want happened and some do not. In retrospect, as we grow older, some of the things we wanted in the past we become glad never happened.

There are 23 different things that you could worry about, but why would you? Stop worrying about as many of these things as you can and see if your life does not become happier and more productive.

Are there other things you have found that you no longer need to worry about.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.