How do I stop worrying about work? It’s a more common question than you might think. It’s also my natural go-to tendency whenever I start thinking about the future and let my mind wander into the ‘what if’ zone.
But all of us, no matter how much we love our jobs, go through periods of worrying about work. It’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown and it’s this unknown that usually translates into worry, stress, anxiety and even burnout.
If you’re currently worrying a lot about work (and you probably are if you’re reading this article), then I have a few tips that might help you to stop worrying about work today.
How to stop worrying about work
The following tips are things I’ve personally developed over the years to help me stop worrying about work. It’s worth taking a look at each of them, giving them a go and seeing if they work for you.
Give yourself a deadline
If you’re worried about work because you’re unsure of the outcome, or the result of something you’re working on, give yourself a deadline.
I know, weird. But if you have a decision to make and you’re ruminating on it, then a deadline is necessary. Trust me, once you set this deadline and are strict with it, you will get it done. By doing this, you’re simply not allowing any time for overthinking or worry, you have to make the decision in the time limit – that’s it.
Make sure your deadline isn’t too far away though, the shorter the better on this occasion.
As a bonus, by setting a deadline, you’re able to focus on completing the task and instead of worrying about the outcome, you’ll simply be able to see it as it unfolds.
Let go of perfection
Overthinking and perfectionism go hand in hand. If you’re constantly racking your brain trying to figure out a way to make whatever it is perfect, it’s time to take a step back and realise that it’s not going to happen, and that’s okay.
Perfect doesn’t exist. We all know this, so why waste so much mental energy trying to make it happen. Besides imperfect things are always more appealing than perfect ones. That’s why everyone roots for the underdog!
So if you’re worried about work because you’re unsure if what you’re producing is good enough, let go! The chances are, your perfect standards don’t match other peoples’ and you’re simply wasting energy going above and beyond when you don’t have to.
Get your head out of the future
Worry and overthinking is usually closely linked to anxiety and negative emotions about the future. It’s okay to have a plan for your future, but it’s not okay to constantly think about it to the point where you can’t actually live in the present moment (guilty as charged!).
I know it’s hard to stop worrying about what could be or what might be, but the more you focus on the negative stuff that hasn’t even happened, the more it will grow and become reality.
If you can’t stop worrying and using phrases like ‘what if’, then flip what you’re thinking about. Instead of thinking about the worst possible scenario, think about the best instead. As I’ve already said, what you focus on grows. Wouldn’t you rather grow the good stuff and make that become your reality? I know I would.
Let yourself have fun
Worrying for me usually comes when I’m alone (which is often – hello introvert!) or when I only have boring stuff to do or nothing to look forward to. To combat this, whenever I start to worry, I immediately stop whatever I’m doing, and play a game on my phone, make myself a cup of coffee, or remove myself completely from the situation.
Doing something enjoyable reminds you that you’re in the present moment and you don’t live inside your head. It’s so important to get out of that thing as much as possible – I’m sure you’ll agree.
Our brains may be powerful, but they’re also vulnerable. So if you’re spending loads of time in your head, giving your brain a pointless workout of negative thoughts. Then I hope these tips to help you stop worrying about work have helped.