A friend didn’t text you back. You’re worried you’re spending too much. You realise your parents might get sick some day. A feeling of dread washes over you that you might find hard to explain to others. You’re not alone, though. Anxiety is far more common than you might think (in the US alone, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that approximately 20 per cent of Americans are affected by anxiety). And although anxiety comes in many forms (from incessant worrying to more severe panic attacks), asking yourself certain questions might just help to calm you down. Sometimes even a little respite from the worry feels good. (Please note: these suggestions are more for those with fleeting worries as opposed to true anxiety disorders. If you’re experiencing the latter, you should talk to your doctor.) 1. Is this really a threat? In life, accidents do happen, yes. But most of the time, we worry about things that are very unlikely to go wrong. What is it that is making you worried? How possible is it really? Anxiety can be overwhelming - but you can take back control if you know how Truly think about that for a second. Allow the practical nature of your question to help ground you. Sometimes the panic of the moment can snowball, and make a perfectly fixable situation (an infection from a shoddy manicure) feel like a major, life-threatening event. Our overactive minds can make common situations seem far worse than they actually are. Take a beat and consider the reality. 2. Have I done all I can to be prepared? This is where the portion of your life that you can control comes in. If you’re riding a bike, wear a helmet! Check that your fire alarm works. Make sure your insurance is up to date. Go for your annual checkup. 7 questions you should never be afraid to ask a doctor If you frequently find yourself worrying that you’ve left something on, make it a habit to check all of the electrical outlets before you leave home. Do what it takes to feel and be as prepared as you can for what concerns you. Organising paperwork, belongings and tasks can also have a big impact on unnecessary stress, making you feel empowered, calm and clearer. 3. Is my mind just going into overdrive? There’s nothing like a restless mind in the middle of the night to make us feel helpless, crazed and desperate. It’s almost like the nonstop stock news ticker at the bottom of a TV screen. And if your panic pops up at 2.43am, you have nothing like work, other people or anything else to distract you. But you can shift your thought loop with deep breaths or by throwing on a YouTube sleep meditation. Remind yourself that dead-of-night worrying is often completely eradicated by the imminent light of day. Most importantly, it’s worth recognising that worrying itself is the thing to fear. Author and entrepreneurSeth Godin says, “Worry is useful when it changes our behaviour in productive ways. The rest of the time, it’s a negative form of distraction, an entertainment designed to keep us from doing our work and living our lives.” So next time panicked thoughts arise, ask: Is this really threatening? Have I done all I can to keep myself safe? Could this be a case of mental overdrive, which is going to pass (like it probably normally does)? If so, breathe into it. Take what’s useful from your fears and act. Control what you can. And remember that worry doesn’t make life any more predictable. We may think we feel safer when we’re anxious, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will not keep bad things from happening. It’ll only keep you from making the most of all the good stuff that you have in the present. This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.