“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia
Sometimes worry can take over our lives. If we let it get out of control we can find ourselves worrying most of our day. Imagine 18 hours of worrying per day. Well, that's like a prison sentence. Why would we want that?
Here are some great tips to stop worrying from taking over your mind.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Since worrying about the future pulls us into the future, nothing eliminates worry faster than mindfulness. Mindfulness keeps you focused on the present moment. It grounds you back to where you are supposed to be.
Take a look around. Notice and take in your surroundings. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear?
This practice is a sure way to connect with the present moment you are living in. It helps you to stop living in the worry about the future and realise that if you do, your present moments are being sacrificed.
2. Do Deep Breathing
Have you ever noticed your breathing when you are worrying? If not, the next time you are worried about future issues, focus on how your breathing has changed.
Worrying causes our breathing to become shallow.
So, by simply changing your breathing, during times of worry you can carry yourself back to positive thinking. When you deep breath, inhale through your nose and count to four. Then let the breath out through your nose to a count of four.
Do that four times.
See how you feel after.
It is transformative.
3. Express gratitude
As you are probably already aware, worry creates negative thoughts and feelings. Gratitude does the exact opposite. Give yourself a boost of positivity by being grateful for what you do have.
Since your brain cannot simultaneously project positive and negative thoughts at the same time, gratitude eradicates your worry. Its also incredibly fast to achieve.
Really quickly begin listing at least three things or more that you are grateful for.
Before you know it, the feeling of gratitude will replace the negative feeling of worry
4. Lean Into “What Ifs”
Rather than try to ignore the worry, lean into by asking yourself the following question, “What if what I’m worrying about were to actually happen?”
Once you have your answer then ask yourself this follow-up question, “Then what would happen?” Keep asking the follow-up question until you have run out of “then what’s”.
Face the real facts, not the exacerbated version of the same facts that worry offers you.
5. Take Back Control
What do you have control over? What can you fix? What can you do to prevent whatever you are worrying about from happening?
For many of us, worry creates a feeling of being out of control and not safe. When the reality is, we are in control.
If what we are worrying about is totally out of our control then recognise that and don't think about it again.
If your anxiety is something you can physically manage then it's time to take action or drop it from the worry list.
Either way, you are in control.
6. Is it even important?
Worry serves as a great benchmark to let us know what is important and what is not. When you are worried about something, tune-in and figure out if it's even important.
How important is what you are worrying about on a scale of 1-10? If you gave it a 5 or less, ask yourself this question,” Since this thing I’m worried about isn’t super important, what is really driving the worry?” Get to the root of the problem.
If you gave it a 5 or higher, then it’s time to turn worry into a motivator to start taking action.
- Create awareness around what the worry is costing you.
- Use one or more of the worry techniques above.
- Remember that you are not alone when it comes to worrying (we all do it).
So, there you have it. By following the steps above you’ll be able to have a more worry-free life so that you can prevent worry from ruining your precious days and start living more in the present moment.