There is healthy fear that stops you from doing something dangerous and there is healthy worry that sends you to the doctor’s office to examine symptoms you may be experiencing. But when fear and worry start negatively impacting your choices and causing your body real physical harm you need to take action, your health and happiness depends on it.
Action steps to help you control fear and worry:
Don’t ignore your fear. Face your fear and get facts. Denying problems or acting as if they don’t exist isn’t wise. The more you educate yourself about your fear the less fearful you will become.
Do not turn to alcohol or drugs to escape fears and worries. This will further complicate your life and health and can lead to addictions.
Turn off the TV. The news can really get you focusing on all the bad stuff going on. If you find your fears spiraling out of control from floods, hurricanes, politics or crime take a break from the news. Give yourself a breather from bad news.
Consider your actual odds. This is standard advice for people afraid to fly but not afraid to get in their car and drive around. Airplane travel is much safer than car travel. Get online and find your actual risk for the thing you fear.
Take some positive action. If everyone around you is sick with the flu. Don’t worry about catching it, start washing your hands and work area more frequently. Positive action will make you feel more in control and less fearful.
For example: If you are fearful for your personal safety — take a self defense course. If you are worried about the safety of your home and belongings — put new locks on your doors and windows or install a home alarm. If you are worried about disease — maintain a good health screening schedule and have a yearly physical.
Pray. Trust God with your worry and fear.
Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Worry over the past is fruitless. Learn from prior mistakes and shake them off. The outcome is already determined you can’t change a thing.
Keep things in perspective. Bad events don’t last forever. If you are in the middle of a terrible situation keep reminding yourself that the one thing you can count on is change, nothing stays the same.
Check yourself — If worrying doesn’t provide a solution stop worrying. Don’t worry for the sake of worry that can lead to the above real health problems.
If you are finding yourself worried and anxious most of the time you are in the danger zone. Figure out what you are afraid of or worried about and brainstorm your own action steps to help you eliminate your fear.
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