10 Ways to Eliminate Worry and Anxiety

What I know for sure:

No matter where you are on your journey, that's exactly where you need to be.

The next road is always ahead.

---Oprah Winfrey

Nearly every person feels some level of anxiety on a daily basis, from mild to extreme. Worry and anxiety come from a place of fear. Worry is a self-defeating behavior. It will take years off your life, will wreak havoc with your emotional health, and won't solve your problems. In fact, it interferes with your ability to make good decisions. Fear keeps people persisting in unhappy and dysfunctional situations, because they know that changing the situation will lead to the unknown, which may be even more painful than what they are currently experiencing. Your fears may be rational or irrational. They need to be examined in the context of reality to determine how great the risk really is. When you ignore your fears, or go into denial about them, they will continue to rear their ugly heads and eventually sabotage your success and happiness. You need to determine whether making a change in your life (or simply in your thoughts) would increase your likelihood of a more satisfying, happier life. Here are 10 easy, concrete ways to confront your fears, and let them go.

We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.

---John F. Kennedy

1. Focus on gratefulness. Keep a journal. Each day, before going to sleep, write down 3 to 5 things for which you are grateful for that day. Each day, when you wake up, write down 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for that you wish to have happen that day, i.e., "I am happy and grateful that I now have all the money I need to pay my bills today."

The more you are thankful for what you have, the more you will have to be thankful for.

---Zig Ziglar

2. Practice random anonymous acts of kindness. Giving to others immediately causes you to feel better and more in control of your life.

In order to have what you have never had, and get something you have never gotten,

you have to do something you have never done.

---Tony Robbins

3. Intend on being peaceful, relaxed and calm. Create positive affirmations and post them everywhere. Memorize them and use them whenever you notice you are having a worry or anxious thought.

Your success and happiness lie in you. Resolve to keep happy,

and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.

---Helen Keller

4. Change your negative (or fear-based) thoughts and self statements to positive ones . There are ways of mentally restructuring your thoughts to put fears into a new perspective. Try substituting the phrase "learning experience" for "failure." For example, instead of saying, "I failed to win the tennis match," try, "I learned that when playing this opponent, I should hit the ball to her backhand more often." This will give you a new goal for the next time you play, rather than making you anxious and fearful of defeat before you even begin the match.

The master key to riches, is thought by thought,

replace old negative thoughts with new positive thoughts.

---Napoleon Hill

5. Change the way you look at things. Every cup can be seen as half full or half empty. Awfulizing and catastrophizing are the supreme self-sabotages. The great French philosopher Montaigne once wrote, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened." Anxiety distorts normal worries and magnifies them. Anxiety can be a terrible curse or an enormous blessing. It can propel us into action or it can paralyze us from movement. It can save our lives or it can cause our demise. So, assess your anxiety level and use the following techniques to reduce your anxiety.

When you change the way you look at something,

that something changes the way it looks.

---Wayne Dyer

6. Determine if your fears are rational. Fear is with us for a reason. It protects us from danger. However, many times our fears are overly intense and not based in reality. If you want to deal with an irrational fear, you may want to do research on the goals at which you fear you will fail. Ask yourself "what's the worst that can happen?" Then ask "what are the chances of that happening?" If the chances are minimal, "fogetabottit!"

We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned,

so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

---Joseph Campbell

7. Change the word WORRIER to WARRIOR. Change the thought "I worry too much" to "I used to worry; now I give it over to my higher power." Change the thought "I'm so worried that…" to "It's so unlikely to happen, and I have no control over it anyway, that I'm choosing to let it go."

I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.

---Georgia O'Keeffe

8. Focus on the present. Determine what you can do RIGHT NOW to make your life better. Focus on ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sometimes, one hour at a time, or one minute at a time.

Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it…This will miraculously transform your whole life.

---Eckhart Tolle

9. Brainstorm. Think up as many creative ideas as possible of how you can improve your situation. Ask supportive people for their input. We make decisions every moment of every day. THINK before you ACT, but don't think so long that you can't act.

Everything in life gets better when you get better,

and nothing in life gets better until you get better.

---Larry Winget

10. Relax and breathe. You can expand your awareness through relaxation, meditation and prayer. Some people go on long walks, hikes, drives, or simply sit alone in nature. Most people say they get their greatest breakthroughs in these ways. Deepak Chopra, in his book Spiritual Solutions to Problems, discusses the three types of awareness. When we are faced with a fear, we start out in contracted awareness. It is very difficult to see options in this state, and this is when people feel the most powerless. Then, if we can relax, we will move into open awareness, where we begin to look for solutions, ask for help, and brainstorm ideas. If we can relax even more, we can go deep into our souls into expanded awareness. This is the state where there is no fear, solutions and breakthroughs appear, and we often have an epiphany, a moment of dramatic awakening, or an "Aha!" experience. Discipline yourself to spend at least 20 minutes a day relaxing in some way. Acknowledge your amazing potential and innate ability to solve your problems and become a true self-warrior!

A ship in a safe harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for.

---William Shedd