Are the same concerns running through your mind on a continuous loop? Are you constantly examining the negative possibilities of each scenario? You’re definitely not alone. But all worrywarts know that this is no way to live.
Here are ten ways we can find relief from worry. Maybe just one of these tips will be the key to finally putting that particular worry to bed.
1. Decide if the worry is worthy.
If you have a term paper or a work project due next week, it’s normal to worry about it. In fact, worrying can improve your chances of getting it done. In these cases, the worry is a signal that you should act. Start viewing this worry as a beneficial alert to pay attention to things that are important.
2. Relinquish control.
Sometimes we worry because we want to control an outcome. Whether or not you can influence the results, start noticing which worries come down to your impulse to control. Remind yourself that it’s unnecessary and unreasonable to control everything; you’re just one person.
3. Accept what is.
Right behind giving up control is acceptance. When we admit it’s unrealistic to try and control something (especially by worrying about it), we’re ready to accept the results. We see this all of the time with parents whose kids are growing up and moving on or people who are uncertain what the results of a medical procedure will be. There’s no way to tell what will be, and we can be okay with that.
4. Stop feeding it.
When you fixate on something, do you start Googling every experience, fact, or piece of information you can about it? Stop! You’re just introducing more material to help that worry flourish. If it’s a medical concern, see a doctor.
It’s astonishing how many of us don’t exactly know what we think or how we really feel – we only know it’s uncomfortable. Put your worries down on paper. This is a good way to find out if it’s worth worrying about, or if there’s a solution to be found in your own words. Or, writing it down could be enough to release it.
6. Redefine “perfect”.
It’ unsurprising that worriers are often usually perfectionists. What does it mean for something to be “perfect”? Work on moving the goalposts to something more attainable, and the worry may level off.
7. Schedule worry time.
Are you worried, but also busy? Does your busy-ness make the worry feel more urgent? Set aside time specifically to worry. No, really! Let it consume all of your attention for a designated time period. If you worship routine and schedule, this is a good way to prevent certain worries from taking over.
Meditation is almost always an answer. That’s because it happens to be a scientifically proven way to reduce worry. If scheduling worry sounds terrible, schedule meditation instead. It helps with the control and acceptance tips shared above.
9. Put that nervous energy to use.Worry is energy. Redirect that energy and get moving with yoga, exercise, dance, crafting – anything. Chances are, your brain will not be able to continue worrying with the same intensity while you’re being challenged in other ways.
10. Practice self-love and care.
A lot of our worries are simply us being too hard on ourselves. Back off of yourself a little and express love and appreciation instead. Choose a day to sleep in, make sure you’re relaxing a little every day, and treat yourself to things that make you feel good.
How much of your time do you think you spend worrying? If you have any tips for dealing with too much worry, share them in the comments.