If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.  ~Don Herold

Many of us are so stressed out that it is affecting how we live, work and sleep.  Stress is something that can stimulate us into action such as meeting a work deadline or paying bills. Worrying too much can just plain wear you down emotionally and physically. According to Stress in America 2011 survey, 44 percent of those polled reported lying awake at night. Worrying on subjects such as money is taking its toll on our well-being.

“I am so stressed”, said Melissa. “I’m so afraid that everything will turn out to be a disaster.”  Melissa suffered from chronic stress and truly thought out the worst catastrophes as a way to cope with her worrying.  Each scenario rarely if ever came true but her mind kept turning over and over with every “what if” possibility. She was the creator of her own stress.

Excessive worrying is a habit that can paralyze you from taking action in solving a problem. It can distort how you see a problem causing emotional pain and suffering. Here are some common worrying myths and how to look at situations differently:

Myth #1: If I worry about everything then I’ll know how to deal with it.
A common worry myth is to cover all of your bases creating every possible outcome from a situation. The result is your mind jumping from scenario to scenario stressing yourself out. Melissa lived in fear and blew her worries out of proportion. What if scenarios help us focus on all the wrong things. The key is to catch yourself when saying “what if?” Become aware that it is more of a distraction of your mind than the worry possibility becoming real. Check the facts and determine how likely your worry will come true.

Myth #2: If I worry about my problem, then it won’t happen. This is the type of worrying that folks use to prevent something horrible from happening. This is something similar to believing in a superstition. No amount of thinking about a result of your worries will prevent it from happening. Take action on your worry. Stop the cycle of worry in your head by stepping into your fear. Always ask for help if needed. You are strong for asking for help, not weak.

Myth #3:  Jumping to conclusions. This is a common worry pattern when you don’t have all of the facts. You decide on something happening without knowing any of the proof. A great example would be “He didn’t call me after the date, so he doesn’t like me.”  Jumping to conclusion can place you in a victim role, automatically setting you up for scenario that might not be true. Make sure you have all of the facts if you hear this worry cross your mind.


For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.

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