129. How do you stop worrying, I worry about...
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Dear Dr. Smith,

I just want to know how do you stop from worrying because I worry about what people say to me?

Dear Worrier,

Before you can know how to stop worrying, you first need to know the causative factors for your worrying about what people have to say about you. To begin with, no one wants to hear negative things being said about one’s self. However, we all have heard it. The question is, how do we cope when we hear them? People with a healthy self-esteem can put things into perspective; they don’t pine over what negative things are being said about them neither do they try to get even. They know that there are some things you just take it to the Lord in prayer and move on.

On the other hand, individuals who are suffering from poor self-esteem, tend to worry and pine over other people’s evaluation or concept of them. They put themselves in an “awfulizing” mode and feel awful over every little thing. To deal with your personal situation, you must ask yourself some poignant questions, such as:
•    Why do I worry so much?
•    What are my fears?
•    What do I think of myself when someone says something negative about me?
•    Do I keep comparing myself with others?
•    Can I stand on my own or do I need someone to lean on?
•    How healthy is my sense of self?
By asking these questions, you are getting in touch with your inner-self and confronting your deepest fears.

The second part of your question has to do with how to stop worrying. To do so, you need to stop the repetitive cycle of unproductive worrying by entering into a dialogue with yourself. You must ask and answer those questions I just mentioned. By doing this exercise, you automatically interrupt the worrying and redirect your thoughts to more productive efforts and issues. It is called distraction. Distraction is simply the act of catching one’s self, involved in a steam of distressing thoughts and intentionally redirecting attention to thinking about something more positive or to do something else.

Each time you find yourself worrying about what was said to you, just refocus your attention on thinking positive thoughts, or occupying yourself with something constructive. Sometimes to change your thoughts you may clap your hands or slap something to dramatically interrupt the stream of thought and change your mindset.

I hope that by practicing these techniques you will be able to master your thought process and will keep yourself from worrying. Also, never forget to pray for strength to be healthy enough so you don’t have to worry.

God bless.

Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org