Whilst worrying is necessary for spurring us on to achieve our goals, chronic worrying can disrupt the balance in our nervous system and be detrimental to our health.
Distract yourself through relaxation
When we’re worried – particularly about a number of things at once – our brains don’t tend to find a logical solution to our problems. In order to think logically, we must take the time to relax and unwind. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. After a couple of minutes of relaxation, the tension will leave your body and you will be in a better position to tackle the problem from a fresh perspective.
Forget the things you can’t change
If you’re worrying about something that’s happened in the past, you need to stop. The power of your mind isn’t strong enough to solve problems through panic, so it’s important to beat your worries by thinking logically and tackling them head-on. Bad memories from the past are toxic to our health and highly counterproductive so you must bury the burdens of your past and move on.
Write a worry list
Write down everything you’re worried about; the bills, your job, the car MOT – everything. Then rate them on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the things that are concerning you most. You can then turn your worry list into an action list. Take action on the worries that you rated the highest first, and then work through the rest of the list. You will feel a sense of relief each time you tick a worry off, and this is a sure-fire way to boost your happiness and relieve your worries.
Discipline your thoughts
If you’re a chronic worrier, you need to learn to take control of your thoughts rather than letting them take control of you. To do this, every time you think a negative thought, you must turn it into a positive. Every time you worry, think “is this really helpful?” If the answer is no, turn the thought into a positive or forget it completely. Whilst this may seem difficult at first, it will eventually become second nature and you will find that turning a negative into a positive is a much more constructive way of dealing with your thoughts.
Talk to friends and family
A problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to your family, your friends, or a doctor if you have a good relationship with them. Sometimes saying your problems out loud can get your thoughts straight in your head and if you’re worrying about something useless, saying it out loud can make you realise that it’s just not worth the worry. With those close to you, you can laugh, cry, and moan as much as you like without being judged and this is a healthy way to relieve stress.
Confront the problem head-on
Some worries can’t be tamed through talking to others or relaxation. A problem that won’t go away until you physically do something about it needs to be confronted head-on. Sometimes, we have so much on our mind that we don’t know what to deal with first. Make a decision on which problem you want to solve and how you will go about it, and then stick to it. You will probably find that once you resolve the problem, you’ll wish you’d done something about it sooner.
Put things into perspective
Don’t be overwhelmed by small things; try and see the bigger picture. Is your problem really as bad as you’re making it out to be? The chances are there will be many people worse off than you. Instead of zoning in on certain things and panicking about them, put everything into perspective. Does this problem affect your entire life? Will you still be panicking about this in a few weeks or months time? If the answer is no, then it’s really not worth the worry.