It’s no secret that most business owners worry a lot…
The daily stressors can really start to mount with all the balls you have to juggle:
- Demands on your time
- Managing the personalities of people on your team
- Balancing time with your family and time with your business
- Keeping revenue coming to the business and clients happy at the same time
- Etc, etc.
It’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of worry when you have all these things pulling at you.
But worry has a real cost to you!
Research shows that feeling anxious and worried kills your creativity… and also your productivity.
When you’re struggling with worried thoughts, you’re using up a lot mental energy. You feel drained. You don’t have energy left over to focus on moving ahead.
It also robs you of your enjoyment of life. Put simply, feeling worried totally sucks!
Luckily, there are some simple tools you can use to stop worrying… and finally become calm and confident.
In this guide, we’re going to share 4 simple tools your can use to feel better.
But before we explain the tools, we need to talk about the two main approaches to stop worrying…
The Two Main Ways to Stop Worrying:
The first approach to stop worrying is what we call “Building Mental Muscles.”
These types of tools help train your brain and body over time to be more calm and relaxed.
Think about these tools like going to the gym and getting into shape. You wouldn’t expect to work out one time and have a 6-pack and massive biceps, right?
You will start to feel better immediately when you use them, but to see results long term it takes practice & consistent application.
Even though you’re not going to stop worrying overnight with these tools, the rewards are totally worth it.
As we’ll explain in a second, many of these tools produce physical changes in your brain in as little as 8 weeks!
The second approach to stop worrying is to use what we call “Transformational Tools.”
Transformational tools can create almost instant change, in many cases changing patterns you’ve had for a lifetime.
These tools are fantastic especially if you struggle with chronic worry and anxiety…
Imagine you’re working in your garden and you’ve got a bunch of weeds. You could take a weed wacker and cut them all down… but what’s going to happen?
After a while those same weeds are going to grow back!
Now, instead of cutting the weeds… what would happen if you pulled them up by the roots?
You would have no more weeds!
Using transformational tools is like pulling up the roots. This approach is about identifying the core beliefs you have that are causing your chronic worry and anxiety…
And pulling them out of your mind by the roots… one negative belief at a time.
At the end of this guide, we’re going to tell you about our favorite Transformational Tool for deleting ANY negative feelings you have. This is the most powerful tool we know of to stop worrying.
So without further ado, let’s show you some tools that help you build mental muscles…
Tool 1: Pretzels & Positive Points
There are tons of different ways to use your body to calm your mind down. In fact, we could create a whole guide with just body techniques to help you stop worrying…
But this is one of our favorite tools because it’s so simple, and you’ll feel yourself starting to relax almost immediately… in as little as 1-2 minutes.
How to do it:
NOTE: This move is best done sitting down.
- Hold your arms out in front of you with your thumbs facing down
- Cross your arms over each other and lace your fingers together
- Pull your hands in towards your chest and curl them up in front of you (see the picture for reference)
- Gently cross your legs over each other at the ankle
- Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth
- Relax your shoulders and takes several deep breaths in your belly.
- Close your eyes and relax for a few minutes
Why this tools works:
Your brain and body are very connected. When you’re anxious or worried your brain and your body get out of whack.
By sitting in this position, you’re promoting integration between all parts of your brain.
Breathing in deeply also helps to reset the stress response in your brain. You’re using your body to calm down the mind.
One of our absolute favorite tools to help you stop worrying is meditation. Many of the world’s most successful people have some kind of meditation practice.
Like we said above, when you’re stressed or worried, your brain goes haywire. Your brain waves actually speed up and get really choppy. (These types of brain waves are called “high beta” waves.)
Meditation helps get your mind out of that stressed out “high beta” state… and switch into a more relaxed gear. (Slower brain waves that are called “alpha” waves)
These alpha brain waves are correlated with higher levels of creativity and productivity, so you’re not just feeling better when you meditate… it’ll actually help you be more effective during your day!
How to do it:
There are tons of different ways to meditate, but our favorite way is “guided meditation” where somebody’s voice guides you through the process.
These two free phone apps are some of the most popular tools for meditation:
- Headspace App
- Calm app
You don’t need to meditate for a long time to see great results. You can get the benefits of meditation in as little as 5-10 minutes a day.
Of course, just like any skill, the more you practice the better you’ll get at clearing your mind.
Why this works:
Research shows that meditating produces actual changes in your brain in as little as 8 weeks.
It increases the amount of “grey matter” in the areas of the brain that are related to handling your emotions and to self-compassion (among other areas).
It also decreases the amount of activity in the parts of your brain associated with stress and anxiety (the amygdala).
Imagine you’re driving to a friend’s house and you take a wrong turn. Instead of heading to where you want to go, you’re driving away from your destination!
When you’re driving the wrong way, it’s easy to correct. You can just make a U-turn.
Worry and anxiety happen when your mind is focused on something bad happening in the future…
Worry and anxiety are using mental energy to lead you in the wrong direction! You’re focusing on what you DON’T want instead of what you DO want.
With the Mental U-Turn process, you’re just turning your thoughts around so they’re more positive… and over time you’ll know how to use this to stop worrying right when it starts.
How to do it:
This process is pretty simple, but it takes a little practice to get the hang of it.
When you catch yourself feeling worried or anxious, stop and ask yourself:
“What thoughts am I having about this situation that are causing me to feel worried? What is it I DON’T want to happen?”
It is helpful to write these thoughts down when you’re first practicing this.
Let’s say for example you’re worried that you might lose your biggest client…
Your mind starts going down all the worst-case scenarios:
- “I might have to close up my business.”
- “I might have to lay someone off.”
- “I might run out of money and not be able to make ends meet.”
- Yadda yadda...
Once you’ve figured out what you DON’T want to happen, ask yourself:
“Okay, this is what I DON’T want… what DO I want instead?”
Again, it might help to write it down.
For example, you could write down, “I want my business to be stable and for my clients to be really happy and loyal.”
Here’s the key:
Once you’ve written down what you DO want, start deliberately picking out thoughts that lean you in the direction of what you want.
It’s like you’re deliberately grabbing the wheel and turning your thoughts around in the opposite direction.
So you might tell yourself things like:
- “I already have a lot of clients who are really happy.”
- “I do really quality work and I pride myself on getting great results.”
- “I’m a hard worker and I can figure out pretty much anything.”
- Etc, etc.
You’re just gradually telling a story that leans you towards what you DO want, shifting your mind away from negative thoughts so you can stop worrying.
Why it works:
It works because you’re gently guiding your thoughts in a more positive direction.
When you get the hang of this, you’ll start to feel your body relaxing on the inside.
Just imagine you’re doing a complete U-turn and you start heading in the direction of what you DO want.
This one is very surprising and counter-intuitive…
Self-compassion is a powerful way to stop worrying and increase your confidence… all in one fell swoop!
It’s about becoming aware of the nasty lies the voice in your head is telling you… and then choosing to be kinder and gentler toward yourself.
It’s about giving up the need for being perfect all the time and being mindful and accepting of “negative” aspects of yourself.
Love is a more powerful motivator than fear. Fear makes you shrink and protect yourself.
How to do it:
There are lots of different ways to practice self-compassion… but here are two simple ways to get you started.
Visualize yourself as a child:
Imagine yourself as you were as a child – carefree, in love with the world, smiling and happy.
If you have a hard time connecting to the image of yourself as a child, visualize a child that you love.
Imagine telling that child the same negative thoughts you have in your head when you’re worried and down on yourself.
Your would never say, “What’s wrong with you, you dummy! Can’t you get it right?”
Here’s what you can do instead…
Practice loving kindness to yourself
Put your hands over your heart. Feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest.
Say to yourself:
“May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy”
Make this practice doubly powerful by sitting in the pretzel described in Tool 1.
You can practice this ancient Buddhist meditation while you drive, while you wash dishes, whenever you feel yourself starting to worry.
The more you practice these statements, the more you are building up the neural networks of compassion.
Why it works:
Researchers have studied self-compassion and found some startling findings:
Self-compassion is more effective for increasing your confidence than trying to boost your self- esteem.
It helps you stop rumination (worrying), helps you feel better about yourself, helps you stop comparing yourself to others, and makes you feel less self-conscious.
BONUS: Tools for Transformation
There’s one final tool we want to tell you about in this guide.
Remember when we talked about the “transformational tools” at the beginning of this guide?
There’s a secret brain tool that we’ve been using for the last 10 years on ourselves and our clients.
It’s the fastest, most effective way to delete feelings of worry & self-doubt.
In fact, once you learn how to use it, you can delete ANY negative feeling in 15 minutes or less.
Check it out here: