7 Ways to Address Worry
We worry a lot. But most of the circumstances which draw our worry, we may have little control over. Yet, we will twist our mind and stomach around like a pretzel in order to control an uncontrollable situation.
Worry is defined as “an anxious apprehension of expected negative events.” In essence we are spending a tremendous amount of energy focusing on the negative events in our lives. Yet, 85% of the things people worry about will never happen. And 30%-40% of the circumstances we worry about have already happened.
With all this worry happening in your life, it is beginning to takes its toll on how you are living life. Worrying can lead to anxiety, affect your appetite, change your sleep habits, your job performance, and how you engage in relationships. You are letting worry control your life, instead of taking control in the midst of your circumstances.
While you may not be able to control your circumstances, which are causing the worry in your life. There are some steps you can take to decrease the worry or even turn it into something positive.
Break Down the Worry
Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about a problem, spend focused time trying to find a solution. Grab a pen and paper and begin by writing down the circumstances causing the worry. Then begin to write out why the circumstances are causing such worry.
Next you want to spend some focused time finding solutions to the worry. Let this be a brain storming sessions which is simply letting your mind find different ways to tackle the situation head-on. Your main goal is not to find one solution in the moment. But to open your mind to all the many possibilities which could lead to a solution.
If you are at a place where you cannot even think about the circumstances, then engage in some breathing exercises. Set an alarm for 15 minutes. Find a quiet place away from noise, electronics, and distractions. Sit quietly, in an upright position, and simply breath in and out through your nose with some elongated breathes. With each breath, let the stress of the worry flow out of your body.
For more different types of breathing exercises check out the following websites or apps
* On the Apple App Store
* Deep Breathing
* Breathe – Breathing Exercises
Don’t let the fact you may not know how to use these exercises, or can’t find them, be an excuse for not taking care of your own mind and health.
When you find yourself in a situation where the worry is overwhelming your life, then take a break. Schedule some specific time, from 30 minutes to an hour, to concentrate on the worrisome item. Do this after work or when you have completed your most important tasks of the day. Give the circumstance the energy it may deserve, but don’t let it take you too far down the rabbit hole. Once you complete the session, end it by engaging in one of the breathing exercises mentioned. This way you are ending on a positive note and not giving the situation any more of your needed energy.
Be In the Moment
Worry can be a major distractor from the better things in life. Ensure that when you are in a specific moment you give it all of your attention. Too often we can miss out on opportunities or good distractions in front of us, because our mind is caught up in the worrisome circumstance. In order to avoid this problem, give whatever is in front of you your full attention.
In order to accomplish this successfully you may need to tell your mind “no” when it begins to run off with the worry. Stop your train of thought and turn your mind back to the situation in front of you. Who knows, maybe the situation in front of you can help solve the problem behind you.
We live in a need to know it now culture. If we don’t have an answer to a problem, we can usually research the issue within seconds to find an answer. This constant exercise makes uncertainty troublesome in our lives. But not knowing the answer and being okay with it, maybe what you need.
There are some situations and circumstances where you will never find the answer. Be alright with the ambiguity. If you know you are spending a tremendous amount of energy on an unsolvable problem, then stop. Let you mind and soul be alright with uncertainty knowing the alternative is being destructive in your life.
Drop the “What If’s…”
Thinking about the “What If’s” in life can be one of our greatest wastes of brain power. What if I did this, what if my boss did that, what if I just tried harder. When entering into this question you are creating an endless mind loop which takes you nowhere.
Instead of thinking about what if, begin to think about the more realistic opportunities. Ask yourself “I can…” or “I will” and find something doable and attainable to pursue. The ending to the these statements can be much more positive. Instead of adding more stress to a worrying situation.
Worrying, by its very nature, focuses on the negative in a situation. If you can learn to be more positive, and focus on the good and positive in your life, you can eliminate the negativity feeding your worry. Stop concentrating on the negative outcomes of a situation and focus on the positive outcomes. If you cannot find a positive outcome, then change the question. Negativity will never take you any place worthwhile. Stay positive so you can stay focused to find the right path out of worry.
In a over-worry filled society, take back control of the situations and circumstances you can. Stop trying to survive a situation and learn to thrive by controlling what you can in your own life. With our ever-changing and evolving culture the stress, worry, and anxiety are not going away or lessen. But you can take back control of your life by learning to thrive.
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