Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

5 Simple & Effective Antidotes to Worry

Do you worry a lot?  I used to be a big worrier.  For example, I would be on pins and needles whenever my husband flew until he touched down safely.

Eventually, I realized:  Worry never helps, it only harms me.

Since that “aha” moment, I worry far less.  I can’t say I’ve extinguished worry entirely, but it’s no longer such a prominent force in my life.

According to WebMD:

When worries and anxiety become excessive, chances are you’ll trigger the stress response.

In addition to stressing you out, chronic worry can make you physically ill. Repeatedly turning on the fear, flight, fight stress system in your body can contribute to annoying symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and muscle aches and even big health problems like immune suppression, digestive disorders, and heart disease. If you need more help with stress, read:  21 Ways to Eliminate Stress from Your Life.

Let’s take a look at how to release worry because each time you let go of worry, life becomes more spacious and free.

5 Simple Antidotes to Worry

Check out these 5 antidotes to worry and see which ones resonates for you.

Antidotes + Remedies for Worry

1. This Isn’t Happening Right Now

Worry usually means you’re in a thought of the the past or future.  So when a worry thought or feeling arises, remind yourself this isn’t happening right now.  It’s just a thought moving through your mind.

Embrace Shantideva’s advice:

If the problem can be solved why worry?  If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.

In other words, if there’s a solution, take action.  If not, let go.

2. Change the Channel

When your mind drifts to worry, use your senses to help bring yourself into the present moment.  Notice what you see, hear, feel (physical sensations), smell or taste right now.  For example, “I see a yellow wall and hear birds chirping and a weed whacker in the background.”

You don’t need to announce it to yourself out loud.  Just be aware of what your senses are receiving, and rest in that awareness without creating thoughts about it.  If thoughts do arise, don’t chastise yourself.  Just let them go and return your attention to your senses.

This is a simple form of mindfulness practice.  If you would like to learn more about how to quiet your mind, read:  21 Meditation Tips You Need to Know As a Beginner.

3. Use An Affirmation

Create an affirmation to replace the worry thought.  Craft one that goes to the core of your fear.  For example, “I feel safe.”  Or “I have everything I need in this moment.”  Then, whenever the worry thought comes, immediately apply the affirmation in its place.

4. Love Yourself, Worry and All

I love this phrase used in Tapping:  “Even though I_______, I completely love and accept myself.”  When worry comes to your mind, fill the blank in with “worry” and repeat the phase to yourself.

Even though I worry, I completely love and accept myself.

5. Set Aside Time for Worry

Set aside a specific time each day – 20 to 30 minutes – to think about your worries and explore solutions.  Then, intentionally avoid thinking about those worries for the remainder of the day.  If worry does arise at other times, just remind yourself that you’ll focus on it during your special worry/solution period.  Research has shown this to be an effective way to reduce worry.

Don’t Go to War With Worry

Whatever you do, don’t go to war with worry!  Feeling aversion for any emotion will just make it stronger.  Instead, accept worry as another thought that sometimes arises in your mind.  Realize that it comes from nowhere and disappears into nothingness.  Worry only grows larger if you keep fueling it with more thoughts.

Select one of the 5 antidotes to worry, and practice it.  If it doesn’t make a difference, try one of the others.

At the same time, be patient.  Some people acquire a stronger tendency to worry in childhood, as a result of experiences as an adult, or due to genetics or a combination of all three.   It will take commitment and practice to dispel worry, but you can do this.  Celebrate every time you let go of a worry thought and enjoy the sense of relief you feel instead.

If you can’t shake worry or are suffering from anxiety, be sure to to get support from a mental health professional.  These tips are not meant as treatment for mental health issues.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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21 Comments

  1. All great ways to help dissolve worry, Sandra! I’m not that much of a worrier…I dissolved it a long time ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After one makes peace with mortality…what’s left to worry about 😉

    • It’s huge to come to peace with one’s mortality, Peggy! Yes, I can see why everyday worries would place in comparison.

  2. Sandra,

    Very useful blog given that anxiety is the number one disability in America. I have no doubt that some of it is biologically based which is encouraged by our minds which spurs the biological factors and vice versa. It’s a vicious cycle which can be interrupted by working with our minds. This has sure helped me and is part of my daily practice.

    • I loved your recent post about anxiety and worry, Debbie. It’s interesting to know that neurons that are wired together, fire together AND that we can change that – at least most of us. Sure, it takes dedicated practice, but it’s possible. Very encouraging. I’m glad you found your way out of the maze.

  3. I used to be the biggest worry-wart on the planet Sandra until one day many years ago after a major panic attack in my teens I did exactly what you recommend. I set aside half an hour a day for my worrying. It felt odd in the beginning not having worries plague me throughout the day but I stuck with it.

    You won’t be surprised to know that after a while I couldn’t fill my half hour worry space, so it was reduced, and then reduced even further.

    It really does work. Great suggestions. 🙂

    • What an inspiring story, Elle! I love that you could no longer fill your worry space with worries. Such a nice natural evolution. I think others will be inspired to know this works. I’m inspired by your self-awareness and dedication even in your teen years.

  4. Worry can really create anxiety and stress when we continue to focus on something that may or may not happen. I’ve had points in life where I worried about things. I try now to focus on what is happening today and consider if the worry is warranted or is it my imagination.

    That seems to help me, as does journaling. Journaling really helps get things out of my mind and onto the paper. Thanks Sandra – great topic!

    • I agree that staying in the moment is very powerful, Cathy. I love journaling too. Thanks for adding that to the list. It really is a terrific ways to get things out of us and onto paper instead.

  5. I love this, Sandra! In general, many people worry. Your antidotes offer them choices; whenever we feel we have choices, peace and possibility is naturally amplified (even before we follow through with action).

    Because from the time I was a wee tot, I had this implicit trust in source and unfolding of life, worry hasn’t been part of my life (even when some people say it should have been!).

    The two practices I recommend most to people who worry are to not judge yourself for worrying (which you mentioned in your article) and to re-direct your attention and energy to trust-building practices, which then focuses your thoughts on trust (naturally dissolving the power worry has over your physical and energetic being). By trust I mean in source, the unfolding of life, yourself and your ability to center, the power of love, the understanding that healing is possible, the knowledge and skill of pilots, doctors, school administrators, food processors (whatever area you are feeling worry in).

    Later, when a person has moved through the situation, they can do work to increase their daily physical and energetic peace and understand their patterning, so that worry has minimal space to live (and flourish).

  6. It’s beautiful to hear that you had trust in source from such an early age, Joy. I feel that’s the best way to dissolve worry. I love the idea of refocusing one’s energy on trust-building exercises. Thanks for sharing that.

  7. Lovely ideas. For me, #1, remembering to be in the present and that the worry isn’t actually happening now is critical. I’m also a ‘doer’ so if I can, I try and take an action which goes some way to solving the worry, then I feel like I have a little more control. And if I have no control? I remind myself that, and try to physically relax my body, part by part. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you so much Sandra. You post cam at a great time. I have been worrying myself all morning about the mechanic getting my car fixed and while here contemplating what I am going to say to him I thought I would read your blog and low and behold the post “5 Antidotes to Worry.” The timing couldn’t be better. I have gone through all and will be using them today and keep them where I will be reminded not to worry.
    I realize even though we know what to do a reminder is always good. Thanks

    • You’re so welcome, Rose! I completely understand how these practical aspects of our life impact us in so many ways and can be a trigger for worry. I’m so glad the timing of my post worked out so well. That’s so true: even though we know what to do a reminder is always good. Reminders help me too. Wishing you well.

  9. Sandra,
    I do worry, but not as much as I used to. (phew! exhausting past)
    My favorite way to banish worry is already in this list…..you know it…Positive Affirmations. I have “Be true to yourself” right on my desk and then I have so many others that center me back to the present moment and kick that worry bug far far away.
    I love all the other ways too 🙂
    Love and light,
    Z~

    • I’m so glad you worry less, Zeenat! It’s so inspiring to see that we can change and even tame worry to a good degree. I love the way you work with worry and your special affirmation. I’m glad it works so well for you. Hugs and love to you.

  10. Great post Sandra!
    I still worry, but it’s less than before. When I did, it was over the finances. Your advice in #1 helped me stay calm and also using the words of affirmation. I had to remember that it was my circumstances and that I was not a failure. Last, I learned to practice gratitude everyday for the things we did possess.

    Thanks!
    I really like your writing style. So simple, yet informative.

    • Kelvin,
      I’m so happy you worry less than before. Finances can definitely be a big source of worry, especially when you have a family. But since worry doesn’t change the situation, I’m so glad you found your ways to stay calm, affirmed, and in gratitude. It’s so inspiring to see how you’ve shifted this. Thanks, Kelvin.

  11. Oh my goodness I am a worrier! Always have been. It often keeps me awake at night. I will try the tapping idea. I’m very interested in tapping and want to practice it more so this is an easy way to explore tapping and get to grips with my worrying tendencies 🙂

    • I’m so sorry worry keeps you up at night, Annabel. Many people swear by tapping. I hope it works for you! You deserve peace of mind.

  12. Great! I am going to check out the article its very informative thanks to share this.

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