Worries are a fact of life and at times can even be useful. They can motivate you to work toward a goal, for example, a student who worries about doing well on an exam is more likely to study than a student who doesn’t worry at all.
However, some people have worries that are incessant, pervasive, unproductive and difficult to turn off. Their worries are present from the moment they wake up until they drift off to sleep at night. This type of constant, chronic worrying can have a negative impact on their ability to function in day-to-day life.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, in this article we will share some things you can incorporate into your day to help stop the constant/chronic worrying.
Mindfulness is being completely immersed in the present moment. It involves acknowledging the worries that enter your head and then letting them drift away without engaging them, allowing you to refocus on what you are doing in that moment. Meditation, going for a walk in nature or playing with your kids are great ways to practice mindfulness.
When you worry, you’re stressing over the possibility of something going wrong. Uncertainty is a fact of life, so rather than worrying about the uncertainty of a situation, accept it. Acceptance means noticing that uncertainty exists and letting go. Focus on the things that are actually happening, instead of what might happen. Learning to do this will make your life easier and reduce your worrying.
Write Down Your Worries
Identify what it is you’re worried about and then write it all down on a piece of paper. While it might sound counter-intuitive to focus on your worries like this, it’s actually a great way to empty all the fears and negative emotions out of your mind.
Set Aside A Designated “Worry Time”
Instead of worrying all day, every day, set aside a specific amount of time each day where you allow yourself time to think about your problems and anything that is worrying you. If you catch yourself worrying at a time other than your designated worry time, you must make a point to think of something else. Use your “worry time” productively by thinking of solutions to the worries.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Exercise is very helpful in managing your worries, as exercising releases chemicals in the brain that counteract anxiety and low mood. Also, the time you spend focusing on your exercise, gives you time away from your worries, and works off nervous energy.
Eat A Healthy Diet
In addition to managing your worries by exercising, it is equally important to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. If you’re not choosing to eat the right foods, your brain is not going to function the way you want it to. Eating nutrient-deficient food, not getting enough carbohydrates, protein or fat in your diet, or not eating enough overall can fluctuate blood-sugar levels that can trigger anxiety and worry.
Challenge Your Worrying Thoughts
Those that suffer from constant/chronic worry tend to see the world as more dangerous than it actually is and immediately jump to worst-case scenarios. Try challenging these thoughts by first identifying what is worrying you in as much detail as possible. Then, instead of viewing your thoughts as facts, try looking at them from different perspectives. For example, what is the probability that what I am worried about will actually happen and what evidence do I have to support this?
Focus On Things You Can Control
Sometimes worrying occurs when you feel like you can’t control the issue and you don’t know what the outcome will be. But rather than stressing out over what you can’t do, focus on something you can control in that moment. Put your energy into something you can manage, like exercising or cleaning your house. Essentially, anything where you’re allowing yourself to make decisions and be in control of the outcome.
Talk To Someone
Sometimes we make the things that we’re worried about so much bigger than they actually are by keeping them bottled up inside and obsessing over them. By sharing them with a friend or talking to a professional therapist we are given the opportunity to see our worries and fears from a different perspective and open up to fresh solutions.