Four Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Worry

July 30, 2016
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woman-591576_1920Just two years ago, our great state had the fastest growing economy in the nation.  Today, the shale-oil boom that supercharged North Dakota has cooled leaving many wondering if they should stay or seek opportunities elsewhere.

Life’s obstacles are limitless.  Everyone encounters new challenges every day—it’s how we react to them that matters.  Dale Carnegie said, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

Here are four tips for overcoming worry during tumultuous times.

  1. Be enthusiastic! If you are stuck in a rut, an easy way to shake it off is by changing your body movements.  Stand confidently, jump up high, and repeat what Dale Carnegie said, “If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic!”  Pumping up your verbal and body language with positive emotions is more useful than focusing on the negative.  Your brain will switch its focus from anxiety, fear and worry to being optimistic and open to new possibilities.
  2. Overcome worry.  If you’re worried about your family’s future and your job security, you are not alone.  A survey conducted for the Institute for Communitarian Policy Study at the George Washington University revealed most Americans are still worried about paying for retirement and losing their jobs.

In the Dale Carnegie course, ‘Break the Worry Habit before It Breaks You,’ is a series of principles taught for combatting worry.  For example, the first, ‘Keep busy,’ means instead of filling your mind with worry, focus on the task at hand.  If you’re worried about your professional future, what steps can you take to feel more secure?  Perhaps pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree?  Gain the leadership skills you need to be an amazing leader?  Grow the confidence required to pitch your new product idea to the executive board?  Focus on what you can do versus what you cannot.

  1. Optimize gratitude.  While stress can stimulate sickness and claims responsibility for up to 90% of all doctor visits, gratitude enables us to better manage stress.  Dale Carnegie said, “Count your blessings, not your troubles.”  Instead of hemming and hawing over what is going wrong, consider what has gone right.  Who are the people in your life for whom you are thankful?  What opportunities, experiences and things are you most grateful for?  Consider starting a gratitude journal or create a list you can refer to when you begin to worry.
  2. Minimize doom and gloom. Every reporter recognizes that, “If a story bleeds, it leads.”  Newswires are full of tragedies, economic upheaval and all sorts of speculation about when crude oil prices will rebound.  While it is important to stay abreast of current events, avoid the consumption of gloom and doom.  If you choose your news wisely by focusing on relevant stories, it will be easier to maintain a positive attitude all year long.
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