Don’t Let Worry Steal Your Joy

Does your inner voice keep telling you that bad things are waiting just around the corner? Are you so fearful of disappointment tomorrow that you can’t enjoy happiness today? There are techniques based on research you can use to quiet that nagging voice. These tricks empower you to feel positive emotions and also increase chances you’ll succeed in achieving your goals. Keep reading to learn how to allow yourself to stop worrying and savor the good times.

Remember worry steals happiness.

Keep in mind when you’re fearful that things often turn out better than we imagine. One study has shown we’re bad at predicting how we’ll feel when things don’t go exactly as we would like. The research found that stressing about the possibility of getting bad grades on a test led students to worry for days before they received their results. All the fretting didn’t ease their disappointment when they saw those scores. Letting worry steal their joy gave them days of unhappiness but didn’t change the outcome.

Thinking it doesn’t mean you have to believe it.

Learn to observe your thoughts with perspective so that you can put distance between yourself and negativity. Play with your negative thoughts so you won’t take them too seriously. Here’s a technique that will help you focus more clearly. When you have a negative thought such as “Nobody likes me,” repeat it as fast as you can until it loses meaning. Or, try turning the phrase into an upbeat rap song. Better yet, change those thoughts into, “What can I do to make a difference today?” Helping others will help take your mind off yourself. 

Act the opposite of your negative emotions.

Focus on changing how you behave will change your negative emotions. Try living your life as though you are free of a negative emotion rather than just imagining how things would be if you weren’t hampered by that emotion. If you weren’t held back by self-doubt, would you apply for a promotion? Would you join a new social group and meet new people? Try this tip: Give yourself self-affirmation each night by writing down three accomplishments from your day. This little trick will help you enjoy the good things you may be overlooking.

Recognize that your “luck” is the result of hard work.

There’s power in recognizing you have the ability to direct your life. When you know you can rely on yourself, you’ll realize that you can manage your emotions and achieve what matters. Your victories aren’t the result simply of luck or timing. Trusting yourself and acting on that trust will eliminate worry that you don’t have what it takes.

Seek balance for a happy life.

We often overestimate the importance of some parts of life and underestimate others, but emotional resilience involves many ingredients. Don’t lose sight that more than one area of your existence can give your life meaning. Consider the parts of your life that matter to you most, such as work, relationships, health, friendships and hobbies. Then think about what you want in each area. The more you invest time and energy in the things you care about, the more powerful you’ll feel.

Remember your values as well as your goals.

You can take charge of your life by living your values as well as achieving your ambitions. Focusing on your values can save you from considering your achievements as your only value. Ask yourself what you want your life to stand for and what virtues you want others to see in you.

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