“The disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come.” ~ Urantia Book

Why do we get paid for the job we do? Because we routinely solve whatever problems are presented in our work. But, in addition to the problems we solve in our work, life daily presents us with personal problems. The cumulative effect of the problems we solve in life and at work can produce anxiety—that vague feeling that something is always wrong, that the next disaster lurks around the corner. Here are three proven strategies to help dispel anxiety.

Strategy #1: Write down a list of your worries.

Everyone knows that the first step to overcoming fear is facing it. Anxiety is essentially unfocused fear. How to face unfocused fear? Make a list of the top ten things that are making you anxious right now in any area of your personal or professional life and a curious thing begins to happen. As you write the list, thoughts come about solutions. “That’s nothing. I can resolve that with a phone call.” Or “I can just go fix that right now.” In fact, as you write, you will find it difficult to keep as many as ten worries on your list. And anxiety will dwindle as your list gets shorter and shorter.

Strategy#2: Avoid the news.

If we monitor the news regularly, that anxious feeling is reinforced by the constant bombardment of negative information about other people who are having bad days. What so fascinates us about the news? Aristotle’s Poetics identified the key element of tragedy as giving vent to the audience’s emotions of pity and fear—pity for the victims of the drama and fear for the consequences of the actions that afflict the victims. Isn’t that what so attracts us in the daily news, tragic information and entertainment combined into a dramatic presentation? But the steady drip, drip, drip of daily tragedy presented in the news overdoses us with the vague feeling that the tragedy is everywhere and could soon or later happen to us: that’s anxiety. Avoid the news and you avoid unnecessary anxiety.
Won’t I be thought of as uninvolved, clueless, or naive if I avoid the news? Try it out and see what happens—the news is so pervasive in our society that anything important will likely be brought to your attention without your even seeking it out. Have you ever had the experience of returning from a two week vacation at a location far from any news and realizing that you hadn’t missed anything? Stop and think about it—what does the news add to your life?

Strategy #3: Identify your ideal day.

If listing your worries helps reduce them, what will listing your joys do? Many find that it helps them identify what makes them happy and to identify those opportunities that regularly appear in their lives to experience happiness. We all engage in activities that have brought us joy, that were fun, that caused us to lose track of time during the activity, that brought us peace of mind, or that just made us feel happy. Write down your favorite activities and look at the list: does each of these activities bring you joy? When is the last time you did each of these activities? Is anything stopping you from doing them?

Start with your list of available activities that bring you joy and construct a day around those activities. Add in the elements that you feel are essential to maintaining your life. Rearrange the list so that the joyful and essential elements are scheduled to comfortably all happen in any given period of time. Review the list, pausing over each item to get the “feel” of the activity. At the end of the list, is anything missing? Add it to the list. Once you have identified your ideal day, ask your subconscious to bring you one. And, when your subconscious does bring you an ideal day, as it inevitably will, ask for another.
Now here’s the important part: if you’re feeling anxiety, the only way to get a different result is to actually change something in your life. Logic alone doesn’t cause change, only change causes change. Here’s an easy change to try today:

Block out the time you would spend today watching the news and use that time to instead draw up a list of the problems that are bothering you and what you can do about them. When that’s completed, outline your ideal day. How does this exercise make you feel? What does that tell you about how to alleviate anxiety?

Author's Bio: 

Jim Wawro, Author, Ask Your Inner Voice (http://amzn.to/ckWgWh). While trying cases as an international lawyer, I discovered that some people have learned the secret to actively calling on inspiration whenever they need it. My books reveal the proven methods used by history's greats and regular people alive today for actively tapping into the wisdom that resides within you. Learn more at my website http://www.ActivateIntuition.com.