Worrying is a part of human evolution. Millions of years ago if you worried it was probably so you wouldn’t get eaten by an animal or didn’t eat a poisonous flower. Today worrying has morphed into an addiction caused by things like someone not texting you back or checking WebMD too much.
If you are a chronic worrier like myself-I recommend picking up the book, The Worry Trick . The main takeaways I took from the book are that worrying basically tricks you into asking yourself impossible questions that you can’t prove the answer to. So what ends up happening is almost a ping pong ball effect where you go in circles worrying trying to prove things that simply cannot be proven. What if my identity gets stolen? What if AI takes over the the world? What if I’m single forever? You can’t prove any of these things- and worrying about it won’t change anything. The only thing you can control is your actions. Like maybe go on more dates, build an underground bunker or better yet maybe just change your password every once in awhile.
All in all worrying is the worst. And it is so hard to stop- for me included. For a very long time it has been something I have struggled with, but I am slowly learning new ways to cope and deal with it. I have put together some strategies that have helped me along the way, that I would love to share with all of you!
The fear of the unknown is the main cause of many worries. What if the plane crashes? What if I fail my exam? What if my hair gets frizzy in the rain? The best way to get rid of this specific kind of worry is to start staying present. If you focus on what is going on around you at this moment it will be a lot easier to get to the next. A really easy way to be present is take some moments in your day to feel grateful. In our busy world- its so easy to take a lot for granted and not fully enjoy what life has given us. Start small and maybe make a list of 10 things you are grateful for each night in your phone and take the time to look back on those things during the day.
Before you write this off and say skip, this really does help! I never thought I would actually enjoy mediation- but I love it. This will not only help you stay present, it will help your body’s health as well. It improves sleeping, breathing and brain function. People who worry too much often suffer from shortness of breath. Mediation is all about breathing and has honestly taught me how to breath deeper and remain calm in stressful times. There’s so many apps you can download for free and practice mediation, my favorite and recommendation is Headspace.
Sometimes you grow so accustom to worrying that you can’t even tell what is a worry and what is just a thought. The easiest why to determine what a worry is to watch out for the two little words “what if”. If you hear “what if” it will often be accompanied by a bunch of worries. If you can spot them faster you will be able to put them to rest sooner.
Stop Avoiding them.
When you tell yourself to stop thinking about something that is worrying you, chances are because you said not to worry about it, you probably will. So sometimes the best thing to do is confront it head on.
The best way to confront your worries is to say them out loud to hear how ridiculous they sound. You can even record yourself via video to really hear the craziness of them. When you hear it out loud its giant shadow will shrink and you will realize most of the time worrying is just wasted energy!
The Little Mystic