For most of us, worrying is an involuntary tick, an unwelcome acquaintance who creeps into our heads and has no problem making itself at home.
Whether you worry a lot or just a bit, most of us have had something to worry about in our lives.
If worry is getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, why not try out a few of our tips for overcoming worry and nipping it in the bud once and for all?
1. Ask yourself - how often have my worries actually happened?
One day in a person’s life can have thousands of potential outcomes. You might meet the love of your life, you might get in a car accident. You might spill hot coffee down your favourite blouse, you might bump into an old friend you haven’t seen for years. Or, you might have a day with nothing out of the ordinary happen.
We simply don’t know what’s waiting around the corner for us on any given day, therefore it’s pointless to waste precious time trying to forecast the worst through constant worry. The only thing worrying achieves is ruining the present moment, ensuring we don’t enjoy it.
So, if you find yourself staring blankly at your book or TV screen, totally consumed with a scenario that hasn’t happened and may not even happen, your worries are infiltrating beyond your mind and affecting your life.
2. Pull yourself back into the present moment
When external distractions are doing anything but making you feel better, it’s time to simplify things and take them back to basics.
Make yourself your favourite hot drink and put all your energies into focusing on the simple joy of the moment. Dwell on how it tastes, how the warm mug feels between your hands, look intently and notice the colour of the drink… It might take a while to escape the clutches of your worry riddled mind, but eventually, with enough practice and focus, you should find yourself extricated from your worries and fully immersed in your head.
Afterwards, your worries might just not feel so important to dwell on.
3. Put a to-do list together
It’s hard to get anything done when we’re choosing to mope around filled with worry. Our standards slip and so does our overall quality of life contributing to a bit of a landslide.
Get on top of things by putting together a to-do list with all the tasks you’ve neglected. Whether it’s that trip to the gym you’ve been putting off for a month or a the pile of laundry waiting to be done - taking small productive steps will improve the overall quality of your life and in time make your worries seem more surmountable and less significant.
4. Gain perspective
Sometimes all we need to do to tackle our worries is to talk it over with a close friend or relative. When we talk to to others, we get to see their side and how they view the situation - often from an angle we hadn’t even considered because we were too busy worrying about the scenario!
By the end of the conversation you may even be wondering why you were worrying about it in the first place. Never underestimate the power of perspective.
5. Write it all down
If you’ve tried everything and you just can’t seem to rest your overactive mind to ease out of overdrive, try writing your worries down.
The simple act of detailing what’s bothering you and why, can be a cathartic exercise and while it might not make your worries go away, it has certainly been shown to relieve them.
You could write them down to reflect on in a month’s time and see if it was worth your time worrying. Or it has been said that writing down your worries and tearing them to shreds afterwards can be a relieving way of tackling what’s bothering you.