Worry, it’s one of those thought processes we all have. Yet some of us spend much more time worrying than others. We become consumed with worrying about everything.
Now, to be fair some of us are biologically wired to worry more. Our brains sensors around fear and danger are more sensitive than others. However, with that said, I have five simple things you can try to help minimize your worry and help you gain a sense of peace.
Find your center
This is not about finding you belly, although it is good to know where that is for this exercise. This is more about finding your inner center – Your core.
To get started, find a comfortable place to sit, with your feet firmly on the floor and hands gently laying in your lap or laying down with your head and neck supported and your palm open on each side. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in through the nose and release through the mouth. Focus on your breathing for five full breaths. Feel the air come into your lungs and as your release feel your body relax.
As you relax start to feel your heart beat, feel your pulse. Focus yourself on your body as a way to get out of your head. Your senses may become heightened, but just relax and let them relax with your breath. Breathing send oxygen to the brain, which soothes and calms the stress response.
Know your what and where
In some cases, worry can come from a feeling of no control or lack of control.
To understand if the worry is control based you have to do a little detective work. First, what has you worried? Is it something internal like stress or emotions or is it external, like an event or activity?
If it’s internal and you’re stressed or emotions, do you know what the cause is or what it might be? how real is the issue? In many cases, we have a tendency to make situations much worse than they actually are. I understand that when you’re in the middle of these stressful or emotional situations it can feel overwhelming, but the fact remains unless it’s life threatening, it’s not a bad as we may think it is. This is where our next process is beneficial – Gratitude.
Now, if the worry is coming from an external factor we need to evaluate the situation and determine what are we specifically worried about. In some cases, the worry is more around a level of discomfort – being in unfamiliar surroundings, meet new or different people, eating something new. In other cases, the evaluation brings up fear of danger or injury. If this is the case this is a proper reaction and you should do what necessary to relieve your stress and worry level.
Gratitude journals are a wonderful tool for those who are dealing with worrying behavior. By writing and focusing on things you’re grateful for, you release dopamine reduces stress and giving a “sense of pleasure” in the body. This motivating hormone is short lived, so the mind is compelled to do more of whatever gave you the hit – More things to be grateful for.
Switch your perspective from worrying about everything that could go wrong to appreciating the things that are going right, is a magic trick for your mind.
Spend a few minutes in the evening or when you first wake up writing down a list of things you’re grateful for — or just recite the list in your mind.
Being stationary, give you nothing to do but think. If worrying is your issue, thinking may not be the best activity for you – at least not long periods of us focused though.
Exercise how ever does a couple of things. First, even the mildest of exercise, like walking, can release serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain.
So while the saying, exercise does the body good. exercise is also an amazing friend to your mind and keeping those negative worrisome thoughts at bay.
Now, when I talk about distraction, I’m not talking about avoidance. Avoiding a situation doesn’t change it, it merely delays it. Distraction is about giving your mind the time and space to process something new – a positive thought.
Giving yourself and mind something to focus on, is a great way to not only stop the worry but move you to a new positive place. Take up a new hobby, garden, write – find something you enjoy that allows your mind to unwind and relax.
Work to teach your mind away from worry toward hope, gratitude, creativity, and optimism. Yes, it will take effort. The good news is, with practice and repetition, we can change our thoughts, perceptions, words, and actions. Give time and enough effort we can change our lives.
Living a life with less worry and angst is possible. Creating a life with more joy and peace is easier than you think.
Feel like you would like some assistance moving away from a life of worry? Consider a complimentary coaching session with me.