Do you worry yourself sick over being sick? Do you wish you felt more peaceful instead? If so, you will be glad to learn that you can break yourself of this worrying habit with a little information and a commitment to practice the steps in this article.

Whether you are coping with chronic illness, anxiety, or suffering from excessive worrying, you can learn to live more in the moment, relax more often, and stop being so stressed out.

You probably know that constant worry can become a hard habit to break. This habit of worrying feeds your anxiety and can lead to stress, depression, and even illness. The good news is that habits can be broken with a commitment, a little understanding, and a lot of practice.

A habit is anything that is repeated over and over again. Habits are formed by doing something so often that you start doing it without realizing that you've even started.

We love this quote because it is so true, "A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work." ~John Lubbock

Whether you worry occasionally or habitually, if you don't develop a plan that helps relieve the worry, you can stay stuck in this cycle for a very long time.

The only way to overcome a worrying habit is to first notice that it has started. Then you need to find a way to have a new response before the habitual response before it moves into high gear. This helps create a new pattern that will break the old habit.

The easiest way we've found to practice breaking the worry habit, to live more in the moment, and to feel more peaceful, is to use your feeling of discomfort to interrupt your habitual responses. The next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in any way stop and ask yourself these questions:

Question #1: "Am I worrying about something that I don't even know is a problem?"

Very often we're worried about things we think are problems or might become problems, even if everything is fine in the moment. Take the following thoughts:

"What if this illness gets worse?"
"Maybe I made the wrong decision."
"How will I ever cope with this situation?"

These thoughts create worry that your future might be worse than your current situation.

Try asking Question #1 about those thoughts. Your answer to the first one might be, "My illness is not as bad right now as I am worried about. And I can't possibly know if my illness is going to get worse. For all I know, I could possibly get better sooner than I expect." If you come up with an answer like this, you may feel an immediate sense of relief just realizing that you're worrying about something that hasn't happened yet.

If you asked this question and don't find relief, go to the next question.

Question #2: "What is so important to me about this situation that has me worried in the first place?"

When you identify what's important to you, it's much easier to take action toward getting what you want.

Let’s use this thought as an example: "Maybe I made the wrong decision about _________."

For this example we'll fill in the blank with: "Maybe I made the wrong decision about starting this new treatment."

After asking Question #2 about this thought, you might discover that your long-term health is what's most important to you in this situation.

Once you've identified this, pick one action you can take that will help satisfy what's important to you. Say you really want to know that you’ve weighed all the options and that you’ve done all you can to overcome your illness.

To satisfy your desire for all of your medical options, you might choose to talk more to your doctors about all the options and which one is best for your long-term health. By performing this action, you spend way less time worrying about what you don't want and more time creating the life you do want.

If you ask Question #2 and you can't come up with an action to take, ask yourself the third question.

Question #3: "Where in my life can I see these things that are most important to me happening right now?"

Occasionally, even though you've identified what's most important in a situation, you won't be able to identify an action you can take in the moment. At these times, question number three is very effective in focusing your attention on what you want that is already happening in your life.

Let's use the same example as before: "Maybe I made the wrong decision about starting this new treatment."

When you answered Question #2 you identified your desires for knowing you’ve looked into all the possible options and choosing what is best for your long-term health. The thought of not getting these things is what stimulated your worry.

In this situation it's possible that you might not be able to identify an appropriate action to satisfy your desires. That's when you ask, "Where in my life can I see that I have looked at all the options and have made the correct decision for what’s best in the long term?"

You might be able to honestly say:

“The doctor(s) said that this was the best option for my long term health.”
"The treatment seems to be working so far. I have no reason to worry."
"My progress seems to be normal and when I compare myself to other patients who have undergone the same treatment, I am progressing just as they did at this stage. This is encouraging to me."

Each of these three questions is designed to give you a sense of peace and to support your ability to live more in the moment.

Please remember that your pattern of habitual worrying wasn't created in a day, and it won't disappear in a day. This strategy of interrupting your tendency to worry at the first sign of discomfort takes a commitment to practice. But if you commit to this practice we guarantee you'll be much less likely to feel worried and therefore much more likely to feel better, have more fun, and create the kind of life you truly want.

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