Are endless worries in your head that make you tired, depressed and anxious? Do you wish you could just stop worrying? Yes? Then keep on reading to find out what techniques helped me to overcome excessive worrying. Stop worrying today!
What is worrying?
Let me start off by telling you that worrying is absolutely normal. However, the line of healthy worrying and unhealthy worrying is super thin. Worrying is basically thinking about a potential threat/problem and finding beforehand a strategy on how to prevent the threat from actually happening or the consequences of the event. It’s basically trying to find a solution for a problem, that doesn’t even exist at this very moment. Here is an example:
“What if he/she leaves me?” Obviously, the worry is that the partner leaves the other one. Continuing in the cycle of worry, the person is thinking about how to prevent that from happening or what will occur if the partner would leave.
I worry too much…
I always felt that I worry more than the average person. In my High School days worrying was more focused on “What if they don’t like me?” – social teenager worrying. Then I started going to university. And this brought my worrying to a whole new level. Suddenly, I was worried about money, studying, social contacts and work. And it was an endless cycle. If I had finished one scenario/thought I would automatically transition into the next one. It would start right after waking up until I eventually fell asleep. As a result, I developed symptoms like tiredness, lethargic, headaches, I couldn’t concentrate and I simply stayed in bed all day. In other words, I was miserable.
Breaking the cycle
Breaking or trying to break the cycle of worrying was probably one of the toughest things I have ever done. I knew I wanted to have a better life quality and the only person that could change that was me. I started concentrating on building myself up and develop techniques that would help me break this cycle (and even help me grow as a person).
Answer these two question about your worries:
- Right now: Is there a problem that exists around you in the outside world?
- Can you do anything to change this problem?
2x Yes = Change the problem! 2x No: Worries are irrelevant 1xYes & 1x No: Worries are irrelevant
This approach helped me, showing myself that most of my worries are absolutely unnecessary and irrelevant. I would always recall these questions when I had a worry or was drifting into the worry cycle.
Write Down Worries/ Thoughts
Writing down my worries and thoughts helped me tremendously in dealing with them because I could actually see them in front of me. Often times I’d realize how senseless this worry is and that there was literally no reason to be worried. Starting a journal would be a good idea because you could go back and check if you’ve had the same worry before. Furthermore, it can help you identify a pattern of your worries and when they occur.
Accepting That You Have No Control
Worrying is all about trying to gain control about a potential (It didn’t even happen yet!) event. What if I tell you: The universe only gives YOU what you can handle. That means: Whatever might happen in the future, you’ll be prepared and you’ll be strong enough for every situation that will come your way. Have faith!
At the beginning of my meditation journey, I was unable to concentrate or even stay focused one minute. This made me start small with simple breathing exercises because we’re breathing anyways. What I would do is inhale, hold and exhale my breath for three seconds and do that three times. The next step was 1-minute meditation and from there I build it up. The main benefit I got from meditating was my ability to focus on the important things and reduce my worrisome thoughts and increase self-awareness, my attention span, and my emotional health. I’d reduce everything that didn’t do me any good and increase everything that I need to feel good.
Find something that makes you feel good& keeps you occupied
This is a tricky one because everyone is different. However, I can give you some examples of what makes me feel good and keeps me in the current moment:
- Outdoors: I love being in nature and go hiking, take photos of beautiful plants, sceneries and just breathing in the fresh air. I regularly drive to State Parks. a local park or nearby hiking trails to walk there with my dogs. I call it nature therapy.
- Hobbies: I’ve tried many hobbies, however one stuck with me: Photography. I’m not a professional, but I do enjoy taking nature pictures (If you want to check them out: here) Another thing I love is DIYing. From decoration, furniture to jewelry– I kinda try everything.
- Exercise: I go regularly to the gym to exercise and it clears my mind every time and I feel more energetic and better afterward.
- Food: I love cooking and I love trying out new recipes.
- Vitamin D3: I started helping my body with a D3 supplement. The best thing is, it is a natural depression and anxiety reducer.
- Self-care: I started concentrating on doing things for myself and only for myself. Simple things as taking a 10-minute bath, positive affirmation ( I am enough, I am okay the way I am, etc.), going for a walk and setting healthy boundaries.
I hope that one or two of my techniques will help you. It’s never easy to break a habit, but I do believe in you!