This is an archived article.  Although much of the information contained within this article will likely still be relevant and helpful, there may be some content that is outdated or written by a former employee of Center for Change.

I heard of a businessman who drew up what he called a “Worry Chart,” in which he kept a record of his worries.

He discovered that 40% of them were about things that probably would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not change; 12% dealt with other people’s criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that only 8% of them were really legitimate.

Worries (whether legitimate or not) can make you sick. Headaches, stomachaches, intestinal distress, elevated blood pressure, raging pulse, pounding heart rate and chest pain are all by-products of persistent worry which is also called “generalized anxiety.”

To beat the internal voice of doom you need to reprogram your thinking and release physical tension. Be good to yourself and calm the worries with these strategies:

1.Get moving. Exercise is a mood elevator. Regular exercisers know that physical activity makes you feel good and relieves stress.

2.Quiet down. Get away from it all. The hectic pace of life contributes to anxiety. Solitude combined with focusing on inspiring literature, prayer, or music can calm even the most frazzled worrier.

3.Face the worry. Tune into your worrisome thoughts, and challenge their reality. If you find yourself saying, “This is the worst thing that could ever happen to me,” challenge that assumption and more accurately describe the situation. “This is stressful, but I can deal with it.”

4.Talk it out. Talking about what is worrying you is essential. When worries are expressed to others or written on paper they often lose their power. The rational voice of a friend can give needed perspective. Friends help us see clear solutions. Remember that worry, gloom, and doom cast a dark shadow over us. Your job is to talk your way out.

5.Laugh. Call a funny friend, rent a silly movie or read a joke book.

Are you Sick with Worry? – It’s Time to Calm Down Source by Janice L. Krouskop, MPH, RD

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without
springs — jolted by every pebble in the road.”

– Henry Ward Beecher.