How to Stop Worrying
Are you plagued by constant worries and anxious thoughts? These tips can help calm your worried mind and ease anxiety.
How much worrying is too much?
Worries, doubts, and anxieties are a convention character of biography. It ’ sulfur natural to worry about an unpaid bill, an approaching job interview, or a foremost date. But “ normal ” worry becomes excessive when it ’ s persistent and irrepressible. You worry every day about “ what ifs ” and worst-case scenarios, you can ’ metric ton get anxious thoughts out of your capitulum, and it interferes with your casual life. constant worry, negative think, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. It can sap your emotional military capability, leave you feel restless and rough, cause insomnia, headaches, abdomen problems, and muscle tension, and make it difficult to concentrate at work or school. You may take your negative feelings out on the people closest to you, self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, or try to distract yourself by zoning out in front of screens. chronic distressing can besides be a major symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder ( GAD ), a common anxiety disorder that involves tension, jitteriness, and a general feel of malaise that colors your whole life. If you ’ re plagued by overstate concern and tension, there are steps you can take to turn off anxious thoughts. Chronic worry is a mental substance abuse that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay composure and look at animation from a more balanced, less awful position.
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Why is it so hard to stop worrying?
constant worry can take a fleshy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be indeed unmanageable to stop. For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—that you hold about worry : Negative beliefs about worry. You may believe that your constant concern is harmful, that it ’ mho going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you ’ re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop. While negative beliefs, or worrying about badgering, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positivist beliefs about worry can be barely as damaging. Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worry helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. possibly you tell yourself that if you keep worrying about a trouble long enough, you ’ ll finally be able to figure it out ? Or possibly you ’ re convinced that worrying is a responsible thing to do or the only way to ensure you don ’ t overlook something ? It ’ second bad to break the worry substance abuse if you believe that your worrying serves a positive function. Once you realize that worrying is the trouble, not the solution, you can regain command of your disquieted mind .
How to stop worrying tip 1: Create a daily “worry” period
It ’ randomness tough to be productive in your casual activities when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts and distracting you from exercise, school, or your home life. This is where the scheme of postponing worry can help. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious think, give yourself license to have it, but put off dwelling on it until later .
- Create a “worry period.” Choose a set time and place for worrying. It should be the same every day (e.g. in the living room from 5:00 to 5:20 p.m.) and early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. During your worry period, you’re allowed to worry about whatever’s on your mind. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.
- Write down your worries. If an anxious thought or worry comes into your head during the day, make a brief note of it and then continue about your day. Remind yourself that you’ll have time to think about it later, so there’s no need to worry about it right now. Also, writing down your thoughts—on a pad or on your phone or computer—is much harder work than simply thinking them, so your worries are more likely to lose their power.
- Go over your “worry list” during the worry period. If the thoughts you wrote down are still bothering you, allow yourself to worry about them, but only for the amount of time you’ve specified for your worry period. As you examine your worries in this way, you’ll often find it easier to develop a more balanced perspective. And if your worries don’t seem important any more, simply cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.
Tip 2: Challenge anxious thoughts
If you suffer from chronic anxiety and worry, chances are you look at the populace in ways that make it seem more threaten than it actually is. For exercise, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out ill, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or regale every anxious thought as if it were fact. You may besides discredit your own ability to handle liveliness ’ s problems, assuming you ’ ll drop apart at the first gear sign of fuss. These types of thoughts, known as cognitive distortions, include :
|All-or-nothing thinking, looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground. “If everything is not perfect, I’m a total failure.”|
|Overgeneralization from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever. “I didn’t get hired for the job. I’ll never get any job.”|
|Focusing on the negatives while filtering out the positives. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right. “I got the last question on the test wrong. I’m an idiot.”|
|Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count. “I did well on the presentation, but that was just dumb luck.”|
|Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader: “I can tell she secretly hates me.” Or a fortune teller: “I just know something terrible is going to happen.”|
|Expecting the worst-case scenario to happen. “The pilot said we’re in for some turbulence. The plane’s going to crash!”|
|Believing that the way you feel reflects reality. “I feel like such a fool. Everyone must be laughing at me.”|
|Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do and beating yourself up if you break any of the rules. “I should never have tried starting a conversation with her. I’m such a moron.”|
|Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings. “I’m a failure; I’m boring; I deserve to be alone.”|
|Assuming responsibility for things that are outside your control. “It’s my fault my son got in an accident. I should have warned him to drive carefully in the rain.”|
How to challenge these thoughts
During your concern period, challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself :
- What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
- What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
Tip 3: Distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries
research shows that while you ’ ra concern, you temporarily feel less anxious. Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel like you ’ re getting something accomplished. But worrying and trouble solving are two identical different things. Problem solving involves evaluating a position, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No count how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, you ’ re no more organize to deal with them should they actually happen .
Is your worry solvable?
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right aside. For model, if you ’ re apprehensive about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible requital options. unproductive, insolvable worries are those for which there is no comparable military action. “ What if I get cancer someday ? ” or “ What if my child gets into an accident ? ”
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If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get besides hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the ability to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After you ’ ve evaluated your options, make a plan of legal action. once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, you ’ ll feel much less anxious. If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. If you ’ re a chronic worrier, the huge majority of your anxious thoughts credibly fall in this camp. Worrying is frequently a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the result. The problem is, it doesn ’ metric ton workplace. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate make life sentence any more predictable. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worry, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers .
- Do you tend to predict bad things will happen just because they are uncertain? What is the likelihood they will?
- Given the likelihood is very low, is it possible to live with the small chance that something negative may happen.
- Ask your friends and family how they cope with uncertainty in specific situations. Could you do the same?
- Tune into your emotions. Worrying about uncertainty is often a way to avoid unpleasant emotions. But by tuning into your emotions you can start to accept your feelings, even those that are uncomfortable or don’t make sense.
Tip 4: Interrupt the worry cycle
If you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless duplicate. You may feel like you ’ re spiraling out of control, going crazy, or about to burn out under the system of weights of all this anxiety. But there are steps you can take right now to interrupt all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from grim worry. Get up and get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of wellbeing. tied more importantly, by truly focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant menstruation of worries running through your head. Pay care to the sense of your feet hitting the anchor as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your rest, or the feeling of the sunlight or hoist on your skin. Take a yoga or tai chi class. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, practicing yoga or tai chi keeps your attention on the deliver, helping to clear your beware and lead to a relax state. Meditate. Meditation works by switching your focus from worrying about the future or dwelling on the past to what ’ s happening proper now. By being amply engaged in the stage here and now, you can interrupt the endless loop of veto thoughts and worries. And you don ’ t need to sit cross-legged, lightly candles or infuriate, or tone. Simply find a placid, comfortable put and choose one of the many free or cheap smartphone apps that can guide you through the meditation process. Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This can help you break the endless loop of worry by focusing your thinker on your consistency rather of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different brawn groups in your consistency, you release muscle latent hostility in your soundbox. And as your body relaxes, your take care will follow. Try deep breathing. When you worry, you become anxious and emit fast, often leading to foster anxiety. But by practicing deep breathe exercises, you can calm your mind and lull negative thoughts .
Relaxation techniques can change the brain
While the above relaxation techniques can provide some immediate suspension from worry and anxiety, practicing them regularly can besides change your mind. Research has shown that regular meditation, for case, can boost bodily process on the left side of the prefrontal cerebral cortex, the sphere of the genius responsible for feelings of peace and joy. The more you practice, the greater the anxiety relief you ’ ll experience and the more control condition you ’ ll get down to feel over your anxious thoughts and worries .
Tip 5: Talk about your worries
It may seem like a simplistic solution, but talking face to face with a entrust friend or family member—someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted—is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and soft anxiety. When your worries start spiraling, talking them over can make them seem far less heavy. Keeping worries to yourself lone causes them to build up until they seem overwhelming. But saying them out forte can often help you to make sense of what you ’ re feel and put things in perspective. If your fears are indefensible, verbalizing them can expose them for what they are—needless worries. And if your fears are justify, sharing them with person else can produce solutions that you may not have thought of entirely. Build a strong support system. Human beings are social creatures. We ’ ra not meant to live in isolation. But a solid support system doesn ’ metric ton inevitably mean a huge network of friends. Don ’ t underestimate the benefit of a few people you can trust and count on to be there for you. And if you don ’ thymine feel that you have anyone to confide in, it ’ south never besides late to build new friendships. Know who to avoid when you’re feeling anxious. Your anxious take on animation may be something you learned when you were growing up. If your mother is a chronic worrier, she is not the best person to call when you ’ re feel anxious—no topic how close you are. When considering who to turn to, ask yourself whether you tend to feel good or worse after talking to that person about a problem .
Tip 6: Practice mindfulness
Worrying is normally focused on the future—on what might happen and what you ’ ll do about it—or on the past, rehashing the things you ’ ve said or done. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break release of your worries by bringing your attention second to the award. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions. Acknowledge and observe your worries. Don ’ t try to ignore, fight, or control them like you normally would. rather, just observe them as if from an outsider ’ south position, without reacting or estimate. Let your worries go. Notice that when you don ’ t judge to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the flip. It ’ s lone when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
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Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your take care. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thinking, bring your attention back to the give here and now. Repeat daily. Using mindfulness to stay focused on the show is a simple concept, but it takes clock and even drill to reap the benefits. At first, you ’ ll probably find that your mind keeps wandering back to your worries. Try not to get frustrated. Each time you draw your focus back to the confront, you ’ re reinforcing a new genial habit that will help you break free of the negative worry cycle .
Basic mindfulness meditation
- Find a quiet place
- Sit on a comfortable chair or cushion, with your back straight, and your hands resting on the tops of your upper legs.
- Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose, allowing the air downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully.
- Breathe out through your mouth.
- Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
- If your mind starts to wander, return your focus to your breathing with no judgment.
- Try to meditate 3 or 4 times per week for 10 minutes per day. Every minute counts.
Click here for a free mindful breathing meditation .