How To Stop Worrying?
What does worry you the most? Are you worried that you are getting older without making your wishes come true? Are you worried about the fact that your current career is not very stable and you have to sign your contract annually? What about your housing? Are you afraid that you are not able to pay your rent next year? You see! We are always surrounded by these issues.
Regardless of being poor or rich, young or old, American or English, etc., there are many things that can worry us so that we stop being productive. The worst thing about being always worried about your future is that it will discourage you to keep trying today. For example, if you have an exam in a couple of weeks, you might suddenly stop trying because you are afraid that you will fail the exam. Or, probably, you will move from a big city because you are worried that you will have to double the rent.
What should we do about them? How should we stop being worried about occurrences in the present or future? If you are interested to know the answer to these questions, don’t go anywhere. In this article, we are going to talk about them. First, we will discuss where does the state of being worried come from? And, more importantly, how are we able to stop it? Definitely, being worried about something doesn’t help you overcome it. It just makes everything worse.
Why Do We Worry In The First Place?
Humans experience hundreds of emotions throughout their life. When we lose a game, we feel sad. When we try so hard to improve the quality of our lives and fail, we feel desperate. Or, when we see our girlfriend or boyfriend for the first time, we feel so excited. You see! There is not even a single day without emotion. Another important emotion is worry! Just like other emotions, worry has an evolutionary root. In fact, we feel worried because something doesn’t work the way we expected it to work.
Worry sometimes happens over small things like not passing the exam, not having a good conversation with your boss in your office, etc. However, there are more severe situations as well like when you feel you haven’t achieved anything meaningful in your life or when you start thinking that your marriage will eventually go crazy. Worry helps us get alert and try to solve the abovementioned issues. So, it is good and practical to some extent.
However, in most cases, people tend to overthink it and probably hurt themselves. Every year, millions of people spend millions of dollars to learn how to avoid being always worried about everything. And, in fact, it is the right thing to do. You have to acquire correct information so you could stand in front of negative feelings of yours such as worry.
Why Is It So Difficult Not To Be Worried?
This is a very vital question. Well, we can assume two answers. First, perhaps, it is difficult for you to avoid worry in your life because you see it as a negative concept. I mean it is going to be like a vicious circle for you. You start being worried about something. Then, influenced by such a strong negative feeling, you will think that you will never be able to be successful in that subject matter.
This will add to your stress and anxiety which eventually produces more negative feelings. Let me give you an example. Imagine that you are going to give a lecture in front of your colleagues at the office. You start preparing your PowerPoint slides but suddenly get worried that you might not be able to convey your message very well in your talk. Then, because you are now worried about the talk, you cannot focus which means losing time for getting prepared. This, by itself, will add to your anxiety and stress. Finally, you get influenced by it greatly and decide not to do the talk.
However, sometimes, the situation is the opposite. You will think of worry as a positive response. in fact, you don’t want to lose the feeling of worry because you think it will motivate you to do things better. In a way, you see worry as a vessel to get improved in your job or private life. Let's get back to the example of having a talk in front of colleagues. Here, you produce the first draft of your PowerPoint file but you are not fully satisfied because you are worried that it is too specific and people might not be able to communicate with it.
So, you push harder and try to fix this problem. Do you see? Being worried about the fact that your PowerPoint slides are too much narrowed down pushed you to produce something even better. Therefore, in this scenario, you don’t want to avoid being worried because it is helping you.
before talking about different ways in which we can stop worrying, I am going to share some interesting facts about worry and anxiety that you might be interested in:
- Sometimes, no matter how much you try, you wouldn’t be able to get rid of worry and anxiety. You might be wondering if there is something wrong with you. The reason is that anxiety and worry can be passed from parents to their children because it has a genetic basis.
- What happens to you when you get worried? Many people cannot focus and feel desperate. However, you should know that worry can be not only mentally but also physically painful. Lightening around the chest, headaches, nausea, muscle tension, heart palpitations, and tummy trouble are some of the symptoms.
- When you are worried, your sense of smell might get influenced.
- People who are worried often interoperate others' emotional states wrong because they tend to jump to conclusions very quickly. When they see the smallest amount of change in somebody's face, they will start interpreting it.
- Your food regiment is influential in your worry. For example, studies have shown that the more traditional food you eat, the less likely you are going to experience a state of worry.
- When you are worried, you tend to have a wider personal space with others. Usually, when you are communicating with people, the distance between your face and theirs is about 20 to 40 cm. When you are anxious and worried, this space is wider.
OK, so far, we have understood that how strange the feeling of worry could be. From now on, we are going to focus on the treatments for it. How can we stop it? There are several techniques you can apply. Here is a shortlist for you:
Create A Daily “Worry” Period
One of the downsides of being worried is that it keeps you down and doesn’t let you do your daily routine. If you are studying, your efficiency will drop down quickly. Or, when you are driving, you are more likely to have an accident while your mind is busy with your worries. So, the first solution is to create a daily worry period. It means that instead of trying not to have worry at all, you let your mind think about them but in a very limited fashion. For example, you usually take a nap at 12 PM and start working again at 1:30 PM in the afternoon.
Before going to the bed, perhaps for 15 to 20 minutes, you let your mind do whatever it wants. If you keep doing it every day, eventually, your mind will learn not to think about worries in other parts of the day. Something that can improve this worry period is if you write your worries. In fact, when you try to write down your worries on a piece of paper, you are getting them out of your head. In this way, next time that you want to think about your worries before going to bed, just try to read the list. Step by step, make the period shorter.
Challenge Anxious Thoughts
In a way, worried thoughts look like our enemies. We need to learn how to fight them. Otherwise, they will beat and make us for themselves. The first step into challenging worry thoughts is to recognize them. Do you understand what I mean? I mean worry thoughts don’t have a sign or don’t call to let you know they are negative thoughts. In fact, you have to separate them from normal ones. Here are several thoughts which are deeply connected to worry ideas. When you feel you are experiencing one of the following situations, you should start fighting against them:
- There is no doubt that you are surrounded by worried thoughts when you adapt all-or-nothing thinking. It means that you don’t consider a middle ground and see everything either black or white. For example, this is a worry thought coming to your mind: Next week you will have an exam. If you don’t pass it, you can never pass it again.
- Overgeneralization is another idea that repeatedly happens in our lives. For example, in your school, in the cheese championship, you have lost the game to one of your competitors last year. Unfortunately, this year, you will lose the game to him/her again because you are overgeneralizing the situation based on one accident in the past.
- Another sign of worry thoughts is that you easily remove all the good features you or somebody else might have and just focus on the negative sides. For example, you might be very smart at math, physics, or chemistry. However, because you are not a good basketball player yet, you forget about your good features too. You just say: I suck at playing basketball. Then, you overgeneralize it. You say: I always suck at sports and nobody takes me seriously.
- This is another fun idea behind being worried! When you are influenced by worry thoughts, you are not willing to accept that your success in life has been the result of your hardworking personality. Instead, you immediately interpret that success as something accidental and not based on your skills.
- Sometimes, we would like to have negative interpretations without considering any reasons to back them up. For example, you like one of your classmates and want to go on a date with her/him. You go and ask for his/her opinion but you find out that he/she is not interested in you. Then, without even considering what happened, you come up with the conclusion that he/she hates you and doesn’t like your face. When you fail, don’t try to make something even worse out of it because that thing doesn’t exist. It is only in your head.
- Another challenging situation when you are facing worry is when you think other people always feel the same as you. For example, you do something in front of your friend and then feel you have been so insensitive. Then, you suddenly jump to the conclusion that now everybody else is feeling the same as you.
- Usually, worry and stress originate from the fact that you don’t let yourself be free. Sometimes, you put so many limitations on yourself which stop you from experiencing new things. For example, without any reason, you shouldn’t criticize your wife/husband's behaviour. Then, every time he/she does something which annoys you, you will become full of worry and stress because you cannot do anything about it. So, you should learn to be open about everything.
- When you label yourself negatively, don’t expect to be worried about your life. Every time you feel bad about yourself, you are giving worry another chance to invade you. labelling might come from the fact that you haven’t been successful in doing something or failed to accomplish a task.
- Finally, another common source of worry is when you blame yourself for something which is not in your control. For example, you, as a father, have done everything in your power to raise rational and sensible children. You have spent thousands of hours teaching them how to behave correctly. However, things don’t go OK with one of your children and this is the moment when you get worried and blame yourself for it.
In all the above-mentioned situations, you are going to confront worry originating from many different scenarios in your life.
Distinguish Between Solvable And Unsolvable Worries
As we said earlier, not all types of worries are inherently bad. Sometimes, they will help us to solve something which seems to be impossible to face. So, it will be vital for you to analyze your worries and understand their nature. Are they coming from desperation? Or, are they the result of not focusing correctly on an issue? The difference between the two will greatly help you overcome worries. Let's talk about these two different types of worries.
What Do We Need To Know If The Worry Is Solvable? if something is bothering you and you want to get rid of it, you can make is a list of all possible solutions. Probably, you then get confused about which solution might work for you the best. So, try to choose the solutions which are under your control and aren’t influenced by external factors that you cannot change. When you choose the perfect solution, don’t think about anything else and just go for it.
What if the worry is not solvable? Sometimes, no matter how much you try, you will not be able to solve the worry because it is beyond your capabilities. In these types of worries, you often think of the worst-case scenarios which make the situation more stressful.
Additionally, these types of worries make the future unpredictable for you. For example, if you get accepted into a university for the next year, it will change everything about you because you have to move to another city and start paying the rents, etc. If you don’t, you have to stay at home listening to your mother nagging you about not getting accepted. You see! There are many possibilities and many of them are unpleasant.
What can you do in these situations? Well, the answer is really easy but very hard to do in real. In fact, when you are getting worried because of the unpredictability of the future, instead of trying to make it predictable, you have to accept it as it is. In this way, you will do your best, regardless of what the future holds for you.
Interrupt The Worry Cycle
Perhaps, you have tried many methods to get rid of being worried about your future. You try but suddenly your mind is in the captivity of negativity. In a way, the cycle of being worried doesn’t seem to have an end for you. So, is there a solution? Yes, there is! There are several activities you can do in order to avoid negative thoughts rushing to you.
One of the tasks you can do in order to break the cycle of worry is exercising. Why is it helpful? Well, the main reason is that physical activities release endorphins into your body. Endorphins are associated with tensioning the stress, boosting energy, and enhancing a sense of well-being. However, doing physical activity and thinking about your worries at the same time doesn’t change anything.
So, you need to get physically entertained and think about every step of yours. Another famous activity most people do is Yoga. It is helpful because it enhances the quality of your breathing and practice. Also, it is helpful in clearing your mind.
Another similar task is meditation which lets you focus on the present, not in the past or future. the environment that meditation or yoga is taking place matters too as it helps you to keep your energy level high and be more focused at the same time. Practicing progressive muscle relaxation and breathing deeply are other ways of deleting worries in your head.
Talk About Your Worries
Some people find spending money and visiting psychiatrists are just a waste of time. They believe nobody is going to help them get rid of their worries. Of course, this is not true. There have been many cases when people with a high level of worries have felt much better after talking to an expert or doctor. It is not because the doctor or expert is talking very professionally. Sometimes, the action of talking about your worries regardless of the responses you are going to get is very valuable and removes your worries. So, if you don’t have time to visit a doctor, just go to a good friend of yours and start opening your worries to him/her.
What is mindfulness? The action of focusing on the present is called mindfulness. You don’t need to be worried about what you did in the past or what you are about to do in the future. Stay in the present and enjoy the moment. And, don’t forget to repeat it every day.
Think Of What You Have Instead Of What You Don’t
You might get annoyed because you are living in a specific country, right? Do you wish you were born in another country? It happens to all of us. Then, you will compare yourself with some imaginary people and get worried about whether you are really enjoying your life. Well, the best way to knock this worry out is to be grateful for what you have. There are millions of people who might not have the same level of prosperity as you. So, in your own way, you have enough of this life.
Whether we want it or not, worries always come to us. it is an enduring part of our lives. Worries are not always bad. In fact, sometimes, they motivate you to go further and become a better person. However, in most cases, worries avoid us being normal individuals. In this article, we first said why we get worried in the first place and how we can fight against worries in life.
I trust you enjoyed this article about How To Stop Worrying. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about How To Stop Worrying in the comments section below. You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@Close-To-Nature.org.
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