Thursday, October 13, 2011

Letting Go Of Worry

I used to worry a lot. 
I mean A LOT.

When I was younger, the thought of an earthquake kept me up all night.
I had nightmares of tidal waves and fires. I didn't want to sleep!
When I was in high school I worried about my grades, and getting in trouble with my parents. 
I used to obsess with not getting in trouble with my parents, or disappointing them.
I couldn't have a good time with my friends, because of it.
I was never late for curfew. I never skipped a class.
When I was in college I worried about money, and grades, and still disappointing my parents.
When I was getting married I worried about my future, my parents, my (now ex) husband and I getting a divorce. 

I was constantly worried and stressed. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I just didn't know what to do.
The anxiety would keep me up at night.
It made me sick to my stomach. 
I would stay up late watching tv (of all things!) until I was so tired I would just fall asleep.
It was pretty bad.

One day, I went to see a doctor about an unrelated problem, 
but she could tell I was stressed.

I told her I was worried.
My mom had been sick for a while, 
I was about to get married, and was unsure about it.
I was sick, I was poor. 
I was worried about a lot of things at that time.

I didn't really lay it all on her, but I let her know I was worried about a lot of things.

She said this:
"Most of the things you worry about will never happen. Stop wasting time worrying."
She didn't say these words in the most polite tone, in fact it was rather gruff.

I shrugged it off and thought. 
"She doesn't even care!"

Then a few years passed, and I realized she was right. 
Only some of the things I worried about happened, and that's just life.

Eventually I just let go of all the worry.
It was a journey, and sometimes I still find myself on it.
But my life is not ruled by worry anymore.

I decided one day, 
I'm just going to let it happen, take it as it comes, and watch it as it leaves.
If it isn't directly affecting me, I'm not going to worry about it.

Because life is short, and I'm not going to waste it worrying
about things that aren't happening, and things that probably won't happen.
I realized that if it does happen.
I will recover. 

I think it's personal for everyone.
Everyone's journey is different, but here are some tips that helped me.

Stop caring about everyone's opinion of you.
Unless it's a job interview, or a first impression don't look too much into everyone's opinions of you.
Most of them don't matter, and they won't be in your life long enough anyways. 
Don't trap yourself by dogma, which is living your life with the results of other people's thinking. 

Stop caring about looking a certain way.
Live your own life, for yourself.  There is no right way to dress or wear your hair.
Be yourself, just the way you are, and the way you know how. 
Where clothes and styles you feel comfortable wearing.
Trying to look like someone else is a waste of your own beauty.
Being yourself is a form of courage.

Stop caring about what everyone else wants from you.
This is a tough one. A lot of people who deeply care about you will give you advice.
Sometimes it's pretty awful advice.
Parents who have "been there before" or "know what's best" for you, 
will give advice and you feel obligated to take it.
You don't have to.
People have hopes for you, and expectations.. but you don't have to live up to them.
Don't be trapped by someone's expectations of you.
Worry about your own expectations of yourself.
Remember, having expectations is the first step to disappointment.. 
If someone has expectations of you, that's their problem!

Stop caring about what everyone else has.
For some reason, this is hard for me. It's something I've been working on for over a year now.
When you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, stop!
Turn off the tv, close the magazine, turn off the computer... do what you need to do.
Ignorance is bliss.
There are honestly things I don't do anymore because of this one.
And that's fine!
There are blogs I don't go to anymore, websites I don't visit. 
I don't read fashion magazine's or watch tv. 
There are just some things out there that will make me compare myself to other people, and once that happens I start to worry all over again, and it's a terrible cycle.
So, I've learned to not go there. 
It gets easier and easier. 

Stop caring about mistakes.
The biggest mistake you can make is not doing anything because you are afraid of making a mistake.
Mistakes teach us valuable lessons, and each one makes you stronger.
No matter what, it's a win-win!
You either succeed or your learn something from it.
Life isn't about getting chances, it's about taking chances.
If you don't take a chance, you will never know. 
Who wants to be stuck in the same place forever?

Stop caring for things you can't control.
There are just some things we can't control. Crazy crazy things are going to happen, and there is nothing we can do about that. What we can do, is have a good attitude about it.
Roll with the punches, and accept the things that happen as they happen. 
Once they are gone, stop dwelling on them.

Stop caring about what isn't directly affecting you.
This one is huge for me. It's about living in the moment, not in the future or the past. 
It takes time and practice, and one of the best things I've ever done.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is say,
"So what?"


  1. Your pictures are gorgeous as always, and your words are very true. Beautiful post.

  2. Great photographs with a beautiful message Thanks!

  3. Ah this describes me perfectly. Love your insights. I have struggled with this for years. It really is a daily battle.

  4. I am here because of your Tweet.....

    I have always had worries, to a point of worrying that there isn't anything to worry about! it becomes a habit/the norm that you get used to.

    I thought I had mastered it but coming out of a long term relationship 6 months ago seems to have put me back in my control over it.

    This post has helped remind me of a few things that I need to keep telling myself and get back into the habit of only worrying when there is something to worry about, not the possibility or fantasy.

  5. Beautiful, wise post.
    "Trying to look like someone else is a waste of your own beauty."
    I love this! I'm going to use it, but I'll always credit you :)

  6. i'm really glad you shared this. you're not alone in this, rach. you are good. you are great.


  7. Every time I click, I love what I read. I'm in my mid-40s, always worried like you did, and you know what? Isn't it fun to NOT worry? !! Not that I never worry, but I do not worry about my looks or what people think. I still worry about money and now I have kids to worry about in a trillion ways. But it's so fun to have fluffy hair one day, headragg the next, shapeshift in my clothing, etc etc. thanks for sharing your journey. I hope everyone makes it outside their worry.

  8. Thanks so much Elizabeth and Anna! You guys are sweet. :)
    KEP and Anonymous- I'm glad it helped you a bit! It is a daily battle, but it get's easier!
    McKella and Kylie- Thanks so much, you are both so sweet, and I'm glad I know you both!!

  9. Angelleighdesigns- It is fun to NOT worry! It makes life a lot more enjoyable! There are somethings that are worth worrying about though, money and kids are a big thing to worry about! Some worry is good, but not constant, and about every little thing. :)

  10. You'll never know how much your post has become useful to me... I'm in psy-therapy since a lot by now and in so many many session I've never went home with a clearer idea about my thousand worries. My Dr. isn't able to get the question and so I dropped with her meetings.
    It's so strange how deep you touched my heart with your post. I don't believe things are ruled by the case... Now I understand why (among the hundreds blogs I visited) this blog has become instantly my favorite. I feel something "home" here.
    Thank you so so so so so much!
    You're very wise!

  11. Chiara, thank you sooo much for this comment! It made my heart sooo happy. I'm sorry you have a thousand worries, and that your doctor isn't able to help. I'm glad this post touched your heart though. You are a beautiful lady!

  12. Thank you so much! I'll keep this post apart and I'll read it whenever my ideas will be a little messed up! It's so helpful and wonderful! :)

  13. This is a beautiful post and very true! I can relate. I have been a worrier my entire life. I spent my elementary years losing sleep because I was worried about a fire starting in my house (or the blob... you know that old terrible movie? Ya. Freaked me out). Now that I'm older- I still worry about things. Useless things. So thank you for this, and know that you're not alone. :)

  14. It's so nice to know I'm not the only one that worried what my parents thought up until I got married! I can't say I still don't but it's gotten much better! I never did anything to get into trouble growing up. Thank you for the uplifting words. Much needed!


  15. Its so scary to read your words and realize that I am that anxious, stressed out, worrisome girl, but it gives me hope that you are working to get past it and I can too. Thank you for your beautiful words and support. Keep on chugging :)

  16. This is post is a brilliant star in the bloggy night of crowded competition! I like to remember "do what you love", for me that sums it up and breeds happiness.

  17. Stupid Ms. Kelly. She made me so scared that we were all going to die of an earthquake that I had nightmares for years!

  18. Rachael,

    I am also a friend to Worry. I have my moments where I am very strong and He doesn't stay very close to me...but the last few weeks we have had a death in our family...and it has seems that He has camped near me ever since.

    You are right "most things will never happen"..... I believe worry comes when we feel out of control.

    I have learned like you to stay away from T.V., many blogs,web-sites and people that bring me down..I want to be around people that are good for me...encouraging,loving ect...

    I will be praying for you!!


  19. You are so inspirational! Today is the first day i've read your blog and looked at your creations on etsy; you are phenomenal and what I aspire to attempt to be someday.

  20. Wow! Thank you so much for this! It really hit home with me! Good stuff!

  21. Thanks for your wonderful post, and your blog! I love your message to let go of worry. And loved what you said, that to be yourself is a form of courage. Thanks!

  22. Reposted this on my own page :) Love the wisdom shared, and I really need to apply some of these things too. Esp about what people think of me :( I have SUCH a big issue worrying about that.

  23. I find your blog so inspirational! You have a beautiful outlook on life, and so I have been reading back through your posts... I came across this post and HAD to finally comment... This post is full of such great advice, much of it I need to keep in mind over the next few months (exam season - the deciding factor of which university I go to!) and I have been known to have issues with worrying and anxiety... it's nice to read this and know that I am not the only one! :)


Thanks for leaving a comment!
Be sure to leave a link to YOUR blog so I can come say hi! xoxo