Here are five ways of dealing with worry and fear. Get in the habit of using one of these strategies whenever you find yourself feeling anxious or worried.

1. Only worry about the things you can control. You can’t control the economy, interest rates or the weather, so why worry about them? For example, you can’t control the weather but you can carry an umbrella. Look for what you can control in a situation and don’t worry about what you can’t.

2. Only worry with a writing instrument. Limit your worrying to those occasions when you can sit down and write out a list of what’s troubling you. Once you commit your concerns to paper, your mind is cleared of its “problem orientation” and will go to work on finding a solution. You’ll be amazed at the constructive solutions you’ll come up with if you simply take the time to write your worries down.

3. Most worries never come to pass. And really dire problems – in other words, things worth worrying about – often hit you by surprise. Take comfort in the simple logic of these two universal truths.

4. Befriend your Fears: Familiarize yourself with the frightening activity without actually engaging in it. Get a book on the subject. Watch a YouTube video. Learn from people or talk to friends who have overcome this same fear.

5. Try out what it is you fear. See if you can try the thing you are afraid of under controlled circumstances, like learning how to drive in an empty parking lot or speaking in public for the first time before a small group of friends.

If you’re one of those people who believes you’ll never conquer your fears, remember when you learned to drive: You were probably intimidated at first. Now you drive everywhere with little or no fear, despite the fact that driving is undoubtedly more dangerous than anything you are currently afraid to try. So when it comes to fear, it’s simply your lack of familiarity with the activity that determines your level of anxiety, not the inherent danger of the activity itself.

Things you can do to reduce your Fears and Worries

  1. Only worry about the things you can control.
    Don’t worry about the things you can’t, like the weather.
  2. Worry with a writing instrument.
    Put off worrying until you can sit down and do some constructive problem-solving. Idle worrying only makes your situation worse.
  3. Most worries never come to pass.
    Take comfort in this knowledge and use it to force needless worries out of your mind.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the thing you fear.
    Read a book, watch a DVD, talk to friends.
  5. Try out what you fear under controlled circumstances.
    Try some form of “dress rehearsal” where mistakes won’t cost you.