What to Do When Worry Overwhelms You [+21 Worry Affirmations]

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If you feel overwhelmed by worry, it’s time to take a deeper look behind the reasons you turn to worry so often.

How you view the world will largely determine how you experience the world.    Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”  What do you believe?

One of the major criticisms of positive thinking is that it’s delusional, that it seeks only one viewpoint and ignores all others.  After all, life is not all rainbows and cupcakes and snappy tunes. There are struggles and heartaches.  Sorrow exists.   Tragedies play out in the most distressing ways one can imagine.  And, yes, there is evil in this world.  How else could one explain the atrocities man has been known to commit against his fellow man?

Stop confusing “realism” with pessimism.

Confession time:  I used to like to call myself a “realist” … not a pessimist, not an optimist.  Secretly I felt superior for taking this obviously better point of view.  I saw the world for what it was:  both good and horribly flawed.

As a realist, I wore a coat of armor (metaphorically speaking), always protecting me against the potential ugliness and badness of the world.  The problem was that the armor I wore for protection also blocked me from experiencing a lot of good that was available to me in life.  It shut people out.  And, it was heavy … so very heavy.

As I learned to lighten my perspective, my life got lighter, too.   That doesn’t mean I don’t experience some pretty crummy things… we all go through stuff we’d rather skip.   Still,  as I embrace a more positive view of life, I am stronger and better able to cope with the tough stuff, and far better able to bounce back again.   We all fall, that’s no big deal.   We just need to know how to get back up again.     [Great related read that helped me so much:  Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman]

To stop worrying so much, change your focus to what’s right with the world more often

Focusing on the goodness of life is not to deny the existence of the not-so-good about life.   It’s just to say that at the end of the day you still believe that for the most part, mankind is kind.  Happy endings can happen.   Compassion wins over cruelty.   You stand up to say that hate never solves anything, but that love can and does.

When you’re in a state of worry, you put your faith in the sourness of life.  

And, here’s the kicker:  you’re not actually experiencing sourness, or trouble, or any true negative issues yet;  you’re just in a state of anticipation that something will go amiss.   If what you worry about doesn’t happen, you’ve worried needlessly.  If what you worry about does happen, your worry did nothing to prevent it, so worrying didn’t help.

Worriers will wonder whether they can or should focus on the ultimate goodness of life.  You can, it’s a choice we all can make.   Should you do this?  I hate “shoulding” on people, so I won’t and I suggest you don’t should on yourself either.  Just make a decision – what do you believe?   It’s your call.  Are you truly tired of the weight of worry?

Adopting a belief in the ultimate goodness of life will lift you up instead of weigh you down.  It’ a far, far more joyous way to live your life than what worry will ever create for you.  [Related Read:  The Joy Plan: How I Took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness

Worry affirmations

21 Affirmations for Worry:  Practice Reciting These When You’re Overwhelmed with Worry …

  1. Life is wonderful. I believe that with all my heart.
  2. I choose to stand in faith that my life is working out beautifully.
  3. I am safe and all is well.
  4. I believe in the power of compassion, and love and I choose both while releasing worry.
  5. I turn my attention to my breathing and relax knowing I’m Divinely guided and protected.
  6. I am enough and what I do is enough.  
  7. I can handle this.  Worry, you can go away now.
  8. It’s safe to show who I truly am.
  9. Any mistake I make is just a lesson that lifts me higher.
  10. This is just a thought and I can always choose a different, more uplifting thought.
  11. The world is conspiring in my favor; I am safe.
  12. I’m great at handling everything that comes my way.
  13. My heart is grateful and filled with peace.
  14. I’m blessed, and as I keep my focus on my blessings, my life expands in magical ways.
  15. I easily do new things with confidence knowing everything will work out.
  16. I choose joy. I trust in joy.
  17. I happily release this worry and allow it to float away.
  18. There’s no reason to worry; life has a way of working out for me.
  19. I choose peace. I trust in peace.
  20. This worrisome thought isn’t necessary; I release it with love knowing all is well.
  21. This anxious emotion is simply a call to love me and trust life more.  I choose to do this now.

Exercise to Help You Stop Worrying So Much  

At some point in your life you’ve been at a meeting or event where you wore a name tag, right?  C’mon, I know you have.    It may have said “Hello!  My name is ______________”  and you filled in your name.

Name tags make it so much easier for people who don’t know each other, or don’t know each other well, to remember who they’re talking to when they’re in a large group meeting.  It’s a label that clearly states who you are. For your homework today, you’ll make a special name tag to wear  (okay, you don’t have to wear it if you’re not feeling that bold, but do create it and carry it with you.)  At the end of the day, place this name tag on a mirror you’ll see for the next few weeks. Above is a picture showing you what your name tag should say (print this out if that makes your life easier!)

You may be thinking, “Why on earth would I do this?”   Good question! There’s great power in associating YOUR name with YOUR beliefs.     It attaches ownership to the thought.  It affirms your attachment to its truth. Wearing this name tag, or just having it close by, will be a good reminder for you of your true viewpoint on life.  That way if worry thoughts emerge, you can remind yourself what you really believe.

When dumping your worry habit, you must learn to change how you respond to life before the life you experience changes.  When life circumstances have you debating whether to lean into worry thoughts or lean into good thoughts, this name tag provides the answer now choose.   Remember, it takes time and practice to dump your worry habit.  You need tools to help you.  Though super-simple, this one is a great tool!


The above post was an excerpt from J. Marie Novak’s new ebook, How to Kick Your Worry Habit & Just Be Happier.  Get your copy now:  available exclusively on Amazon.com.

Book: How to Kick Your Worry Habit and Just Be Happier: The 21-Day Worry Begone Challenge


5 thoughts on “What to Do When Worry Overwhelms You [+21 Worry Affirmations]”

  1. This is so true, I am terrified of all the possibilities that could go wrong that I dont have time to appreciate what is going right and thhe weight of that is heavy to carry

    • Lindsey – let that weight down! You don’t need it in your life. Each day, remember all the good. Spent a little time outside to enjoy the fresh air … appreciate your pets … focus on the wonderful relationships you have with loved ones. There are so many blessings in our lives that we forget about when we choose to focus on worry. Change your focus, change your life! – With love, J. Marie

  2. I want to subscribe to these comments but i just can’t move on from the poor me self talk. My spouse is now profoundly disabled and life focuses around this and just feels like a depressing endless grind most of the time.I do appreciate the little things in life prob more than others not in the same situation but the big picture is too hard.

    • You’re in a unique situation and my heart goes out for you. Caring for a severely disabled loved one takes its toll on anyone in that situation, and it probably takes others in that situation to offer the deep understanding and support you really need right now. If you haven’t already done so, reach out to caregivers support groups (either online or within your community); being in a community that gets you and your struggles can make all the difference. Sometimes it is very, very difficult to find any joy or hope in the journey, and it is in these times that we need to become fierce in our resolve to make our lives better despite the circumstances we find ourselves in. At the end of the day, no matter how difficult life is, we can either choose to focus on what we can’t do or choose to focus on what we can do for ourselves. I pray that you find your way out of what seems like an endless grind for you and are able to see the blessings that still exist even in this heartbreakingly difficult time in your life. Sending much love to you. – J. Marie


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