Are you tired of worrying all the time? Are your thoughts always so far in the future that you can never really enjoy the present moment? Well, don’t panic, there is a way to stop these constant negative thoughts! After reading this how to stop worrying and start living summary you’re going to have a great understanding of 3 tactics you can use to curb your worrying and start living in the moment!
This was the first self-improvement book I ever read, and it is that started a dramatic change in my life. I went from being a anxiety filled shy 18-year-old to a confident and social man. If you’re interested in the same thing happening to you then keep reading!
How To Stop Worrying And Start Living Summary
In this summary, you’re going to find some of the key principles that many people have used in their life to curb their worry! Including a step by step guide to defeating negative thoughts once and for all! This guide is never going to be as detailed as the book, but it will give you a good understanding of the principles in the book.
Lesson 1: How To Deal With Problems
Have you ever wondered where your negative thoughts and worry come from?
Most of your worry comes from the fact that you don’t know enough about a situation. Think about it. When you’re playing a scenario over in your head, what are you imagining? Is it something that is probable to happen. Or is it something that is most definitely NOT going to happen?
The first step to not worrying is:
Step 1: Collect All The Facts And Write Them Down Before Analysing
Before you start any kind of worry make sure that you know ALL of the facts. By writing everything down you’re going to be able to organize your thoughts better and get a better viewpoint of your problem. Also, you’ll find that writing your worries down is almost therapeutic. When you get your problems out of your head and into the real world you begin to notice most of the time they aren’t as big as you’ve made them out to be!
And most importantly make sure you keep this list as factual as possible. Don’t over exaggerate anything. You’ll realize that the majority of the outcomes that are most likely to happen aren’t bad at all.
Remember: ” Half the worry in the world is caused by people trying to make decisions before they have sufficient knowledge on which to base a decision.”
Step 2: Accept The Worst Case Scenario
Now that you have all the facts, find the one that is the absolute worst case scenario that could happen to you, and accept it. This is the hard part. To help you accept the worst case scenario think about all the different actions you can take to limit the damage. And you’ll find that each passing solution adds a little bit more strength to your resolve until the worst case scenario isn’t nearly as bad as it once was.
Step 3: Start Thinking About How To Handle Other Situations
You’ve spent a good amount of time thinking of all the possible solutions for the worst case scenario. And the best part is that this probably won’t even happen! Now it’s time to think about solutions for things that could be a possibility. Once again write down as many different solutions as you can for all the different outcomes until you have enough solutions to feel a lot less anxious than how you were feeling before.
Step 4: Make A Decision And Stick To It
Now that you’ve got all of the possible solutions to all of the possible problems, just make a decision. And once the decision is made don’t backtrack yourself or wonder if you’ve made the right choice. Just stick to your decision.
You should use these 4 steps every time you are worrying about something. Not only are they going to reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling over a situation but they’re also going to help you find better solutions that you may have thought up before.
Lesson 2: Stop Living In The Future
Right now is there anything IMMEDIATELY that you need to worry about? Is there a lion bursting through your front door? Are you half way through a car accident? No. Because you can only worry when you’re living in the future. You can’t worry in the moment because if something were to happen you’d be too busy acting to worry.
Understand that you can only worry in the future and by being in the future you’re only missing out on the now. Instead what you should so, as Dale Carnegie says, is live in day tight compartments.
This doesn’t mean that you should never plan and think about the future. You should have a good idea of where you want to be going and what you want to do. But don’t live there. Plan for the future but live in the present.
Ways to help yourself do this are by:
- Averaging the odds that something negative is going to happen to you in the future (most of the time it’s extremely unlikely).
- Don’t try and change something that can’t be changed. Whatever will be, will be. There’s no use worrying about something you can’t change.
Lesson 3: Only Worry For A Certain Amount Of Time
Never worrying about the future is quite unrealistic. And sometimes it might actually help to worry a LITTLE bit about the future. So the next big lesson is to only give yourself a certain amount of time to worry about the future.
If I cut you off in traffic today how long are you willing to stay angry at me for? Would you carry that anger around with you all week? Or would you let it go?
If someone was going to meet you but they don’t turn up, how long would you wait for them before leaving?
Think about your worry like this. How much time are you going to give to your worry? Sometimes worrying is inevitable but just like someone who cuts you up in traffic, there’s literally no point thinking about it all day.
Once you’ve found the solution to overcome your worry (Lesson 1), then the only thing left to do is forget about your worry. Because there’s no more you can do, except live.
Lesson 4: Only Focus On Postivites And Act Happy
Saying to forget about your worries is easy. Putting it into practice is hard. The next lesson is a little tip that you should use to help you overcome your worry. And that’s too start focusing on the positives and all the happiness you already have in your life. Do you know you can LITERALLY make yourself happy? If you want to be happy, start thinking positive happy thoughts. Think about all the things you are grateful for in life. Write them down. You can’t feel worried when you’re too busy feeling grateful.
And if that’s still not working change your body language. Just like your emotions affect your body the opposite is also true. If you’re feeling sad and you hold a big smile for a couple of minutes, you’re going to start to feel happier. If you puff your chest out and hold your head up high you’ll start to feel more confident and believe that you can take on the whole world.
Lesson 5: People Who Are Criticising You Are Envious Of You
Up until I was 20 I always worried about what people thought about me or what they were saying about me behind my back. And then when I started putting myself out there more there were some people that would try to put me down and make me feel like I was stupid. And a lesson that I wish I learned earlier from this book is that the people that are criticising you and hating on you, are envious. They’re envious of the life you’re living and the person you are.
There have been times in my life that I’ve criticised people because of envy. If someone played guitar better than me I used to say they were rubbish or that they were fakes. They were actually really good musicians, but my envy made me want to put them down. And it’s because I didn’t feel that I was good enough, not because they weren’t.
If you want to stop worrying about what other people think about you the answer is simple. If someone is criticising you, it’s because they envy you.
Lesson 6: Co-operate With The Inevitable
Life is filled with uncertainties, and some things are simply beyond our control. Rather than wasting our precious time and energy worrying about these uncontrollable aspects, it’s more productive to accept them and adapt accordingly.
By co-operating with the inevitable, we can focus on the things we can change and influence. Remember, life is a constant dance between what we can control and what we cannot. Embrace the serenity that comes with accepting the things you cannot change, and channel your energy towards what truly matters.
In my opinion, the best way to do this, is to continuously invest in yourself. That way when the inevitable does happen, you know you're skilled and confident enough to handle whatever comes next!
Lesson 7: Face Your Fears
Facing your fears is no easy task, but it is a crucial step towards personal growth and freedom from worry. Often, the things we fear the most lose their power over us once we confront them.
As you face your fears head-on, you’ll realize that they are not as insurmountable as they once seemed. Each time you conquer a fear, you’ll become stronger and more confident, paving the way for a more fulfilling and worry-free life.
Lesson 8: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
In the grand scheme of things, many of our worries turn out to be insignificant. Learn to differentiate between what truly matters and what doesn’t. Don’t let minor inconveniences or fleeting setbacks consume your thoughts and drain your energy.
By focusing on what’s truly important and letting go of the rest, you’ll cultivate a greater sense of peace and well-being.
However, this can be easier said that done. If you do find you stress about everything big or small, then I’d highly recommend you check out the book Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson.
Lesson 9: Build Your Self Confidence
Self-confidence is the foundation and in my opinion one of the number one ways to create a worry-free life. Believe in yourself and your abilities to handle whatever challenges come your way.
Recognize your past successes and use them as reminders of your resilience and resourcefulness. On top of that, constantly learn things that interest you, and try to skill up wherever you can, to increase your belief in yourself even further!
As you build your self-confidence, you’ll discover a newfound sense of empowerment, enabling you to tackle worries with courage and determination.
Lesson 10: Take Care Of Yourself
It’s easy to neglect self-care when worries consume our minds. However, taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining a balanced and positive mindset. Nourish your body with nutritious food, prioritize restful sleep, and of course exercise regularly!
When you prioritize self-care, you’ll notice increased mental clarity, improved resilience, and reduced levels of anxiety.
I cannot stress enough how much exercise and just getting out can help your mental health! It doesn’t have to be a gruelling hour work out, even walking and getting some fresh air in a serene location may work wonders for you!
Lesson 11: Help Others
Sometimes the best way to alleviate our own worries is to focus on helping others. Engaging in acts of kindness and compassion not only distracts us from our own concerns but also brings immense fulfillment and joy.
By extending a helping hand to those in need, you’ll shift your perspective and realize that your worries are not all-consuming. Together, we can make a positive difference in the world and find solace in our shared humanity.
On top of this, oftentimes when you help other people, it also feels like the universe starts putting people in your path who can help you too!
Lesson 12: Enjoy The Journey
Life is not a destination; it’s a journey filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. Embrace the process and find joy in the moments along the way. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, and savor the experiences that bring you happiness.
By embracing the journey, you’ll develop a resilient and positive mindset that allows you to worry less about the future and live more fully in the present.
Out of all the lessons you can learn from How To Stop Worrying & Start Living, this is the biggest one for life! You just need to learn to enjoy the journey. I'm still only 30, but even now I look back on all my worries, and realise none of them ever came to pass. There were ups and downs, but I came out okay. It can be hard to learn to enjoy the journey, but learning how to embrace the good times and the bad times, is one of the keys for a fulfilling life. When the hard times come, try to find a support network you can rely on, and when the good times come, just enjoy them without thinking about the bad times!
And Those Are The Top 12 Lessons From How To Stop Worrying And Start Living
I hope you enjoyed this How to Stop Worrying And Start Living Summary, and that it helps you to live a happier more stress-free life! If you did like this book summary I highly recommend reading some of my other book summaries:
- Psycho-Cybernetics – Another great book on how your thoughts affect your life and how you can change them.
- The Chimp Paradox – The perfect book for understanding your emotions and how to control them.
- How To Win Friends And Influence People – Another book by Dale Carnegie on how to befriend anyone and be a likable person