Dear Cassey: How do I stop worrying all the time?
Why am I always scared? I always think something bad is about to happen. If I face any mild discomfort, I automatically assume the WORST outcome, like I have a heart attack, or kidney failure or something. If my loved ones are a little late at coming home, I, again, think of the worst scenario. I feel trapped in my own imagination. Do you feel this way? How do I quiet my mind?
Dear Always Scared,
I do know this feeling and how draining it can be. The first thing you should know is that if these thoughts are interrupting your daily life in any way, it’s totally okay to reach out for extra help! Your doctor and any mental health pro can help you figure out exactly what’s going on and guide you to the next steps to feeling better!
In the meantime, here are some things that help me to stop worrying when I’m feeling more anxious than usual.
Talk to someone you trust.
Can we talk about how happy I am that you feel comfortable talking about this here?! Opening up in any way always takes some weight off of my shoulders, and I hope it does for you too!
It might also help to talk to someone in person who you trust. For me, sometimes it takes hearing myself say my thoughts out loud to realize that my worries aren’t reality.
If you’re not ready to unload your worries on a friend or loved one yet, that’s totally okay! Start with journaling!
We live in a world where headlines and information are in our face, 24/7. It’s honestly a blessing and a curse because while it’s great to be educated and have the world literally at your fingertips, it gets overwhelming really fast.
When I start feeling my spirits dip or like I’m feeling anxious over things I can normally handle, the first thing I do is check my screen time. Why?
- Because the media just naturally tends to show us more bad news than good.
- Because social media is naturally a breeding ground for comparison.
Even if what you’re seeing on the news or posted on social media isn’t the subject you’re actually worried about, I think the constant content heightens our sense of awareness. Awareness that bad things happen, and awareness that maybe we could be doing better.
All of it is overwhelming and it makes it hard for me to sort through what I actually need to put my energy into. Taking a break or simply reevaluating my screen time is a nice way to reset.
Accept that you can’t predict the future.
Nobody wants to be blindsided by bad news or any kind of tragedy. It’s totally okay (and natural) to worry about SOME things. But no matter how much we worry and plan, we can’t predict the future.
It’s so easy for that worry to take control of our mindset. When I start worrying about something out of my control, or something I have zero reason to believe is actually happening (random illness, car wreck, etc.), I try to pause and breathe as soon as I realize what’s going on. Because otherwise… I’ll totally spiral.
This takes serious practice, but it’s so worth it. Start with deep breaths. Once you get that to come more naturally, start asking yourself how worrying is productive in this situation.
If your mind is too loud, write it down. Everything. Sometimes it just helps to physically unpack your brain and see it all laid out so you can work through each thing that is weighing on you. Sort out the things you can actually do something about, and accept the things that are out of your control.
Being productive for what I CAN control always helps me feel better and let go of the things I can’t control.
Do something that makes you happy!
When you feel a wave of worry coming on, interrupt it. Find a way to distract yourself, and hopefully stop worrying before it’s out of control. Try…
- Going on a walk
- Going outside
- Working out
- Listening to music
- Calling a friend
Anything that can distract you, lighten your mood, and help you stop worrying. For me, it’s usually something active so I can distract myself mentally while also physically shaking it off. Plus, having a hobby as a distraction builds your confidence, which naturally makes you feel more secure!
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful!
I have a feeling you are NOT the only person here dealing with this. To anyone else struggling to stop worrying, especially after the stressful times we’ve been through this past year, please know you’re not alone. <3
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!
22 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: How do I stop worrying all the time?”
There are 22 comments posted by our users.
Hey Always Scared, I’ve been through this for many years, and actually I still am experiencing this sometimes.
When things get tough I try to remember something my therapist told me many years ago: you have to imagine your anxiety as a tropical storm hitting your house: if you shut all the doors and windows, the wind will destroy and blow away your home, but if you leave them open and let the wind pass through your house, when the storm will be over, it will still be there to shield you.
Acknowledge your feelings, try to tell yourself: “I am experiencing this, like I have so many times, this is just my anxiety speaking in my head, not real facts” and try to think that what you are feeling is real, but your thoughts are probably not. Hope this helps, I really feel you.
My eating habits have been so inconsistent the past year. I range from calorie counting, to intuitive eating, to cutting out sugar, and now just being lost on what to do….how can I find the perfect balance?
I have goals I want to meet, for personal health reasons. Some days I binge on sugar so bad I get headaches, and other days I’m so low on calories to meet a number for the day…I want to be healthier. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables during the day, but most days I just lose control and eat anything sweet I can find. It’s exhausting, and I beat myself up when I don’t meet some standard I’ve set for myself. At this point I feel like giving up. Achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle seems impossible. Calorie counting feels to restrictive. It’s too hard to completely cut out sugar. But how else can I track my progress?
How can I track my goal without becoming obsessed? I want to find the perfect middle…
Hi!! This is such a great question!! I answered a similar one a while back – hope this helps: https://www.blogilates.com/blog/dear-cassey-how-do-i-change-my-diet-without-counting-calories/
Thankyou. It’s just crazy how many times I have downloaded and deleted some calorie counting app, only to find myself thinking that it’s the only way I can measure/solve my problem…and the cycle starts over and I re-download it. I will try your suggestions-thanks!
Dear Always Scared – so am I! I can’t tell you how much I relate to your post. Smallest things like getting bloated make me instantly think of the worst case scenarios. If I’m experiencing brain fog, I start wondering if I have brain cancer.
Like, seriously. It’s absolutely draining sometimes. I even had mild orthorexia where I would be so afraid of eating anything unclean in case it would cause the conditions I feared.
Have a think of where this might be coming from? Do you have people around you who tend to over worry, and maybe that can really trigger that anxiety in you too? For me it’s my mom, as much as I love her when I moved out it became so obvious how much stressiness I picked up on from her, but before I was oblivious to that. Maybe there are things you’ve watched and seen in the past that gave you the idea that things always go wrong, and that feeling of impending doom?
A lot of the films is saw when I was younger had soooo much of that imagery, the whole “if you’re relaxed that means some big boom is going to drop on you”. It’s quite toxic and untrue! Start looking for imagery where everything is just always chill, because that is far more true for day to day reality.
If it inspires you, seek some therapy as those guys can really work some magic too. Maybe try some meditation technique? I really like Wim Hofs breathing exercises on YT.
But know above all, you are, and are going to be, absolutely okay. Take more days where you just drink cocoa and watch some baking competitions.
Much love and comforting hugs,
Hai . Hope you are fine. My whole family always prefer my brother over me. I am happy about the love he gets but I feel I have nobody who puts me first. I talked to my parents about this, no use they don’t understand my pain. What is the point of living if I don’t have anyone who puts me first?? After many years of this, I finally accept they will never change. But I can’t see the positive side of this. Can u help me?
I feel you. I’ve been there. Twice. And maybe I’ll visit that place again. But it doesn’t bother me anymore, because I know it’s only a phase and it happens when my general anxiety gets worse. My advice to you is: talk to psychotherapist, because that helped me a lot. You will learn about techniques, how to take control of your thoughts. And this thoughts that cross your mind without your “permission” are automatic thoughts and less time and energy you give them, less power they have. So, please stop analysing. Your worrying is normal and it’s okay to feel this way. You realised that you have a problem and this is big step. Find time to do things you like – like Cassey said – because that will increase your serotonin level, the hormone of joy. And find your own way to release stress (like sport, talking to your friends, music… mine is writing). There is no magical pill (or at least I didn’t want one), just constant work on yourself. And it pays off. Wish you all the best.
And Dear Cassey, good job with those answers! I don’t follow a lot famous people, but your posts I really like. You seem so down to earth and so real. Keep your good wibe and take care.
Thank You Cassey I needed this. I can relate to this. I get stressed worried and think 50 steps ahead of things that have not happened yet.
This is some of the best advice I’ve heard when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Whenever I’ve heard people say “distract yourself with a hobby” I’ve always just rolled my eyes but when you explained that it can make you feel more confident which ends up making you feel more secure it just clicked. Thank you for this.
Also, as someone who has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder since high school…I agree that maybe in this case see a doctor/therapist. These are some key symptoms of GAD (and other similar brain things), and though the tips listed here are great coping mechanisms, there are other ways to help improve your quality of life if you do have something like GAD! So many people, including myself, have brains that just naturally work like this.
I work from home and I am sitting for hours at a time every day. I have been doing your daily workouts when work is done. However I wanted your input on ways to stay moving while working at a computer. I recently bought resistance bands and was wondering if I could do sitting butterfly pressouts or if posture becomes a concern at that point? What about arm exercises with resistance bands while sitting? I am very fidgety and am constantly shaking my legs and tapping my fingers while at the desk so if I can put that energy into the resistance bands while sitting that’d be really cool!
I also work from home. You can try using a standing desk, an exercise ball or talking walking breaks. If you feel fidgety it probably means you are not moving enough and either need more cardio, strength or a combination. If you don’t want to change those maybe see how intense you are going on Pilates or switch to a more resistance based program. Cassey has some videos where weights are involved
If I’ve already written a “Dear Cassey” in the second most recent Dear Cassey, should I write it again in the most recent to make it most likely to be seen? Or should I just wait? Do you still read the comments in the older ones?
I read all the comments! You can repost here if you want!
Dear Cassey, I have been working out 6 days a week but I reached a point where I don’t know why to workout. Please do something that will create some type of motivation.
Yours truly, MJ
I am a naturally productive person and loves doing work. But somehow , I find myself constantly reaching for my phone , even during online classes.. And one I enter into social media , my head is stuck in it all day and only at the end of the day I realise that I have wasted all my time again. This is affecting my studies a lot and my parents are also disappointed. At this point, it has become a full-on ADDICTION….Youtube is my main problem, I love watching videos but it has started interrupting my real life and I find myself locking the door and watching videos for hours upon hours. My family is also hurt because I don’t spend time with them anymore..I also find myself constantly comparing myself to influencers and YouTubers..After seeing YouTubers with perfect skin and body, I look in the mirror and am just disappointed in my body. How can I come out of this cycle of addiction and self-hate?
Caught in the rabbit hole
Dear Cassey, i’m a teen and i have tons of friends in high school, however i’m the only person who doesn’t have social media! every time i make a new friend, i feel like i put them down with me not having social media. i always feel like i’m not able to accept what my parents tell me and the rules they put in place for me.
how can i accept me and my family?
Great post Cassey! So many of us assume we are the only worriers around. Let’s help each other!
Also, I didn’t have social media in high school and that kind of made me cool…lol. I hope your friends appreciate that you live life not in front of a screen. <3
Hello!! I can’t stress enough how relatable your thoughts have been to me. I am no longer a teen (i’m turning 22 this year), but during my entire teenage years I, too, have been social media-less. At first it was also becouse my parents didn’t allow me to. Like you, being put in the position to tell my peers that I do not use social media was like telling them I went to prison, that’s how much they couldn’t comprehend this. In my first years of highschool… it really sucked. Not having social media, where, aparently, all the action was and all the friendships were formed… made me feel like I was less as a person than my peers. Today, I can whole-heartedly tell you that I am so glad my parents didn’t want me to join social media (really, not even Facebook). Despite my lack of accounts, I still made friends who I still talk to even though me attend different colleges now. I kid you not, all the people who I can count as friends today said me to my face that they really appreciated me for choosing to not join social media (because, as time passed, I actively chose to not join it). A girl even said to me that “I like how you actually have a life, not scroll all day on your phone”.
Now, in my 20s, I have a better grip of the world around me and I can see how toxic social media is, how much useless and meaningless drama can go around there. Trust me when I say that, in a few years, your mental health will thank you for not joining social media from a young age.
In the end, your life won’t be better with social media in it. It will be just another responsability and potential stressor (I know bc I had to join Facebook in my first year of college to keep up with campus announcements, but that’s all). You are not missing anything. As for the people who you feel your lack of social accounts makes them feel uncomfortable… that one says a lot more about them than it does about you and your parents. Your parents are really good people. And if anybody has a problem with you not having social media, then I don’t think you would want them in your life anyway.
Enjoy your teenage years and don’t let anyone make you belive that there’s something unacceptable about you, bc there isn’t. Be a good kid and remember to be kind. Focus on your hobbies and your studies, take care of your body and your mind, and the rest will follow. Also, while your peers are mindlessly scrolling through their feed, I promise you that, instead, if you pick up a book or do a workout… you’ll be far ahead. “The more that you know, the more places you will go”.
Lots of love and best of luck ❤❤