How to worry less
Let’s face it: we all worry…work, the family, illnesses, finances, the business, aging…There is hardly a day that go by without being worried about something.
At times worrying could be very good for you. Sometimes it is the worries that call us to action, get you to think about a problem in detail, drive you to make a plan air tight, or get to a creative solution.
However, worrying could impact on your health. Sleeping problems, a weak immune system, depression, anxiety and even weight gain could all be the consequence of too much worrying. Worrying is a drug that in the right quantities and at the right times could have amazing results however, over dosage could be fatal.
How do I worry less?
- Book a slot in your diary to worry
I know, it sounds crazy, but if you have a dedicated timeslot to worry, you will find that it is easier to not worry every minute of the day. Pretend that your worries are in a bag. During the scheduled worry time you take them out of the bag, look at them, experience them and ponder on them. When the worry time is done you imagine how you are putting them in the bag and put the bag away in a drawer until it is time for the next worry session.
- Say it out loud
Have you ever noticed that when you talk about your problems or just say it out loud you realise how silly the worry was? We are creative beings and we can grow a small worry into an untamed monster in our minds. By just saying it out loud you will feel better as you now can articulate the problem and once you have sound-boarded it with others you will realise that your worries are not unique or bigger than those of others.
- Distinct between solvable and unsolvable worries
Some problems will stay with us and we cannot change it in any way. Accept it – that is life.
- Gather information
Many of our worries are the side-effect of not knowing. When you get bad news about your or a loved one’s health you tend to worry. A large portion of those worries will disappear when you gather information about the problem. Remember that uncertainty eats our joy.
- Do physical exercise
A healthy body equals a healthy mind. The one cannot exist without the other. Go for a brisk walk, or work in the garden. It is not surprising that Buddha said: “Keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
- Take action
There is a vast difference between worrying and solving the problem. Worrying is all about repeating thoughts that are unhelpful and leads to more stress and worry. On the other hand, problem-solving is getting out of the current way of thinking and doing something to make the problem smaller. Ask yourself: if another person would tell me about this problem, what would my advice be?
- Practise gratitude and appreciation
Worries have the ability to consume you and before you know it you can’t see any good in life. In my blog of July 2018 I have talked about the importance of gratitude and appreciation. If you have neglected this habit it might now be a good time to implement this practice.
- Read a book at night before you go to bed
Worries are always bigger at night than they are during the day. Many people have the habit of thinking about their problems before they go to sleep. The result is merely a lack of sleep or dreadful nightmares. Rather replace this thinking time with reading time. And read something fun and fulfilling. Your body should not associate your bedroom with pondering about your worries…
- If all else fails, seek help
Sometimes the worries that we carry are too big to deal with on our own. Seek help – it is not a weakness; in fact, it is only those with good self-insight that tend to realise when they need external help.
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. Leo F. Buscaglia