11 Ways to Stop Worrying about Things You Can’t Control

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Photo by Andre Furtado

Are you the type of person who always worries about what people think of you or your actions? Do you always think about your past mistakes and the things you could have done differently?  Do you exhaust your time thinking about what’s wrong with yourself because the person you love cannot love you back? Do you end up blaming your parents for not being as good-looking as the celebrities you see on TV? Stressing over these things is normal. In fact, everyone has the tendency to worry about things they have zero control over and stopping it is easier said than done.

However, this habit will only give you stress, anxiety, and depression. That’s why you have to help yourself break this habit. It’s hard to do, but it’s possible. Here are some effective ways that you can apply for you to stop worrying about the things you can’t control:

1. Learn to let go.
One main source of frustration and unhappiness is not being able to let go. Sure, letting go is always hard, but remember that there are always things you can’t change. You were late for your presentation? You did something terrible that hurt your friends, your family, or your special someone? It already happened; you can’t turn back time. What you can do is to accept the consequence and let it go. Only then can you move forward and focus on what to do next.

ALSO READ: 8 Tips to Let Go of the Past and Move Forward to a Better Life

2. Focus on the things that you can control.
If you did wrong in the past, think of the things that you can do now to make things right. If you’re not satisfied with your last month’s performance at work, then work on the things that you can still fix and improve on. Avoid being late. Keep yourself away from distractions. If you failed in an exam, then maybe you have to change your study habits. If there are things you can’t control, there are also a lot of things you can still change. So, choose what’s worth your time and effort.

3. Think of a contingency plan.
Instead of thinking about what-ifs, make it a goal to become forward-looking. If things don’t work the way you wanted, don’t give up just yet. Execute plans B, C, and so on. Maybe, you need to change your strategy, your way of thinking, or how you respond to things. Use all resources available. Focus on coming up with solutions instead of coming up with imaginary things to worry about.

4. Get out of your comfort zone.
Another way to stop being a worrier is to take the courage to do something different. Open yourself up to the world. Meet new people. Try new things, hold your head up high, and surprise yourself with the things that you’re actually capable of doing. Getting out of your comfort zone can surely make a difference in how you view things.

5. Strive to become a better person.
Instead of focusing on things you can’t control like pleasing everyone, try to become a better person, not for anyone but for yourself.  Learn from your past mistakes. You may not have control over your past decisions or who gets to stay and get out of your life, but you always have the chance to do better and become a better person.

6. Surround yourself with positive people.
Worrying too much all by yourself can drive you crazy. Try to talk to your friends- the ones who listen and truly understand you.  Share with them the things that you’re worried about.  Consider their pieces of advice. Allow them to give you some fresh perspective about how to handle things that are out of your control.

7. Be open to changes.
Almost everything in life is uncertain. However, it is also what makes life beautiful, so learn to embrace uncertainty. Yes, change is inevitable, but you may never know what opportunities are in store for you. Get excited about change and learn to adapt to it when it comes.

8. Avoid self-blaming.
Some things are just beyond our control, so don’t put all the blame on yourself. You might have done something immature, something stupid in the past, but you still have a chance to apply the lessons that you’ve learned.  Blaming yourself will not do you any good.  Don’t be too hard on yourself. Rather, take inspiration from people who have gone through a lot. Believe that you can also become better.

9. Practice mindfulness. 
This might be hard for a worry-wart, but try to just close your eyes. Breathe. Meditate. Stay focused. Make it a habit to meditate for 5-10 minutes every day. Once it becomes part of your routine, you will realize how beneficial it is for you.

10. Try a healthy lifestyle.
Your lifestyle can be the source of your own problems.  For instance, you worry about gaining so much weight, but you’re not doing anything about it.  What about taking some small steps instead? Try to exercise every day. Avoid eating too much fast food.  Drink more water. Get yourself enough sleep. Sometimes, you think you can’t do it, but your real enemy is you. So, start conquering yourself.

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

11. Take some time off social media.
Giving so much of your time browsing your social media accounts can give you more reasons to worry about things. You worry about not having a partner while everyone is getting married and building their own family. You worry about being left out because you’ve seen your friends already enjoying the taste of success. If you think it’s not healthy for you, you might as well take a break from social media and try to focus on materializing your own goals. Besides, you can always go back whenever you want.

Sometimes, it’s hard to accept the reality that you don’t have control over so many things in your life. However, if you use all your time and energy on these things, you lose. You will just end up more stressed and pessimistic about life. It’s time to break that habit.  Hopefully, the tips given above will help you stop worrying about things you can’t control. You can do it: one step at a time.

ALSO READ: 12 Effective Ways to Stop Worrying About the Future

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Airyl Marie Dadula
Poetry, passion, and personality: three things that make her who she is. Airyl is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Language Studies while waiting for a chance to travel the world and tell stories about her experiences.

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