From TEDx Talks
Excessive worrying is a type of anxiety that happens when you spend and deplete your good energy obsessing over future events. Worry is a healthy response if it alerts you to something that needs your attention. However, if you find that too much of your days and nights are spent with a troubled focus on the future, here are some solutions to help you with excessive worrying.
Do You Lose Sleep Due to Excessive Worrying?
There are many environmental and psychological reasons that contribute to extreme worrying. For instance, it might stem from an overprotective or an abusive parent. These and other stressors might overload even the strongest among us and leave us feeling insecure with a side-effect of anxiety.
When worry is out of control, many find themselves unable to get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, this also contributes to fatigue and results in even more worry.
Tip o’ the Hat to 9 Steps to End Chronic Worrying
The National Institute of Mental Health refers to excessive worrying as a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). They explain that this type of anxiety usually starts during the teen years or as young adults.
However, both children and adults might experience debilitating symptoms as follows:
· Inability to sleep through the night.
· Frequent urination.
· Uncontrollable thirst for water.
· Inability to control nervousness.
· Constant feelings of restlessness.
· Lack of concentration or focus.
· Easily startled.
· Experience unexplained aches and pains.
· Trouble swallowing.
· Uncontrollable tremble, twitch or shake.
· Irritability and feelings of “being on edge.”
· Excessive sweating, light-headedness, or breathlessness.
In addition, please know that worrying, by itself, is particularly useful. It alerts us to things that need our immediate response such as when you find yourself in the vicinity of an unfriendly wild animal. I think you can easily see what would happen if we did not worry. However, the questions then become, how much worrying is too much and how can you stop it?
15 Steps to Reduce Excessive Worrying
Here are some solutions that I hope you find helpful. This is not an exhaustive list, so add it your own solutions for a well-balanced proverbial anti-anxiety tool belt to help you stop excessive worrying.
1. Write Down All Your Worries
The simple act of writing down your worries on paper helps you see things more clearly and also helps diffuse the associated anxiety.
A direct benefit of this tactic is that it gives you a panoramic view of what is troubling you which leads to better solutions. It also gives you an avenue to mindfully release them if they are unsolvable thereby relieving anxiety.
Here is a straightforward process for writing your worries to help you start your journey.
· Write down a list of all your worries.
· Decide what is real right now.
· Cross off what is in the future.
· Focus on what is happening now.
Remember that it is good to make plans and even continue to revise them. However, strive to accept that you have done everything that is doable at this moment.
2. Talk About Your Worries to a Trusted Person
When we keep our thoughts in our heads, they often mushroom out of control. To avoid this, find a person that you trust with your private thoughts. This person might be a family member, a close friend, a doctor, or a therapist.
“A problem shared is a problem halved.” –RealBuzz
When you share your worries with another, you will sometimes realize that those problems are not as serious as you thought. In addition, getting things out in the open is often an excellent cleansing experience which in turn reduces anxiety.
3. Be Aware of Your Time Spent Worrying
If you already know how much time you spend worrying, use that as motivation to find ways to stop. But, how do we measure worry?
One way is to keep a notepad handy, either on your smartphone or in your pocket for quick retrieval. Start in the morning with what you worry about when you wake up. If you are an excessive worrier, you might find that those worrisome thoughts stay with you the entire day and that’s a wake-up call in itself. Moreover, it begs the question about how your worries affect your daily activities and the people around you.
Another measurement to note is in our physical aches and pains that come from worry. Learn to listen to your body. For example, be aware of how your heart rate goes up and down when you experience stress to know when to take steps to lessen your anxiety.
4. Dedicate 1 Hour to “Worry Time” Everyday
Excessive worries cause so much stress that they often interfere with daily tasks so, schedule a time each day to worry. When a bothersome thought comes to you outside of that time, tell yourself you will not think about it now, but you will think about during your scheduled time.
Use your scheduled time to produce viable solutions for your legitimate worries and make plans to implement them. Finding actionable solutions is a terrific way to brighten your day.
5. Find Solutions to Your Worries
Solutions under duress are not always easy to find, however here are some tips that might help.
· Talk about your worries to someone you trust and ask their opinion about practical solutions. That person might be a close friend or family member, your doctor, or your therapist.
· Get online and research your situation or problem. However, be prepared to weed out faulty information from valuable information and narrow it down to something that is workable for you.
· If there are no solutions, convince yourself to accept that it is out of your control and move on. Letting go of something that’s been troubling you will inevitably reduce your anxiety levels.
Tip o’ the Hat to PositivityBlog
6. Accept that Some Things are Unsolvable
Some people report that this is the first thing to try when you try to solve your worries and, it also falls in line with your list of worries. When you get to the point of complete acceptance, you will experience much less stress over worries and be able to wake up with a smile.
First, list your worries, then, check off the ones that you believe to be unsolvable. Then, the next time that worry comes into your mind, remind yourself that it is no longer on your list and move on with a lighter step and a happier outlook.
7. Is Your Excessive Worrying Worth Your Time?
When the Legacy Project asked their elders what they most regretted about their lifetimes, it became clear that worry was at the top of their list.
“Well, I think that if you worry, and you worry a lot, you have to stop and think to yourself, “This too will pass.” You just can’t go on worrying all the time because it destroys you and life, really. But there’s all the times when you think of worrying and you can’t help it — then just make yourself stop and think: it doesn’t do you any good. You have to put it out of your mind as much as you can at the time. You just have to take one day at a time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible, but you can’t always do that because things don’t always happen the way you were hoping they would happen. So the most important thing is one day at a time.” —Eleanor, 102 years old
Therefore, instead of letting worry cripple your life and waste your time, read these suggestions and incorporate them into your everyday routines to live a fuller, happier life.
8. What Are the Benefits to Excessive Worrying?
Excessive worrying is not healthy on any level and drains your positive energy. However, we all have normal daily activities that elicit worry when something needs our attention. Learning to know the difference is a key factor in lowering your anxiety levels.
Use your list from Step 1 above and separate the real and present issues from the anticipated or imagined as a way to ease the stress in your life.
9. Observe How Excessive Worrying Affects Those Around You
Humans are social beings by nature. We have an innate need to feel like we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Moreover, scientists have proven that the human brain cannot develop without the presence of another human brain. The point, in this case, is that no human is an island. Instead, our energies, negative or positive, emanate from our physical bodies and are felt by all those present.
Extreme worry comes out in many forms such as irritability and lack of empathy, trust, or self-confidence. It is easy to understand how those behaviors do not nurture healthy interpersonal relationships.
If you are an excessive worrier and it seems like people try to avoid you, it is time to start with this list of suggestions and pare down those anxieties to a more manageable level.
Tip o’ the Hat to Excessive Worry Harms Interpersonal Relationships
Scientific evidence tells us that anxiety brought on by worry, regardless of its source, will put you in a high-risk category for chronic medical conditions. Some of the disorders you may expect from anxiety because of extreme worry are gastrointestinal disorders, chronic respiratory disorders, or heart disease.
In addition, if you become ill, your symptoms may be more severe and put you at a greater risk for death.
11. How Worrying Affects You Mentally
Chronic worrying wears away at your positive feelings and leaves you in despair. Additionally, the constant stress of worrying cause mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
As a result of continual stress, many people develop a habit of expecting the worst or they always perceive the downside of a situation and miss the positive points. If you have only sad stories to tell your friends, you are suffering from this side effect of worry.
Tip o’ the Hat to PsychCentral
12. Allow Yourself to Get Uncomfortable and Cry
Do you know that humans have 3 types of tears? First, there are the reflex tears that react to irritations. Next are the continuous tears that keep your eyes lubricated, and finally, we come to the emotional tears.
Interestingly, emotional tears consist of stress hormones and other toxins that accumulate when your body experiences anxiety. Therefore, flushing these toxins out of your body through emotional tears is a healthy relief. Because unrelieved stress causes health issues, do not avoid crying — instead, let your tears flow freely.
Tip o’ the Hat to RelieveThatStress
13. Embrace the Unknown • You are Not a Psychic
One thing I have learned over time is that change is the only thing in our human existence that we can be certain will happen. The goal then becomes to understand that we have no control over the future. Conversely, we always have control over our reactions to change.
If you are confident enough that you know you can handle anything that comes your way, you are embracing the unknown. This is a huge shift for most people, especially those who worry too much.
However, with courage, good intentions, and positive expectations, you move forward with the knowledge that you are going to be marvelous regardless of the outcome. This is an amazingly effective way to free yourself from worrisome fear.
Tip o’ the Hat to EliteDaily
Meditation has more benefits than mere relaxation – it also gives you peace of mind and for a worrier that is a welcome relief. If you meditate regularly, over time you will notice that your mind is clearer, you are less emotional, and you have a greater ability to problem-solve.
These are real and tangible benefits that are not difficult to achieve through meditation. Some popular types of meditation are as follows:
· Transcendental meditation
· Healing music meditation
· Mindfulness meditation
· Focused meditation
· Mantra meditation
· Movement meditation
Even if you are a beginner and you practice the most basic types of meditation, you will find yourself more relaxed and with less tension and anxiety. That makes meditation a winning exercise for anyone who wants to relieve their worries.
Tip o’ the Hat to HealthLine
Unlike the unknown future, choosing not to worry is something over which you do have control. This decision will naturally lead to a better life for you and everyone around you because when one person is enlightened, all those around will receive those gifts as well.
Consequently, if you want to raise the bar on your happiness factor, make a conscious decision to stop worrying and follow these steps to help you achieve your goal. Also, resolve to stay in the here and now while you embrace the future fearlessly. If you do, you will soon begin to experience a higher level of happiness that you may then spread to everyone around you.