Worry is a constant part of our daily lives. We constantly worry about loved ones, money and work, and wonder if we are good enough. Intrusive thoughts can effectively impede daily functioning. So how can we deal with excessive worrying?
The ability to think about future events allows us to anticipate difficulties and problems, so we can plan solutions. This is definitely a useful trait when it helps in achieving goals. However, there are times when we experience anxiety due to such forward thinking. We then anticipate worst-case scenarios, fail to rationally assess the situation and feel that we will not be able to cope. Excessive worrying makes our thoughts increasingly catastrophic and uncontrollable, which takes a toll on our mood. When we worry too much, anxiety is also felt in our bodies. Among the physical symptoms of worry are:
- sleep problems,
- difficulty focusing,
- tension and/or muscle pain,
- increased feeling of fatigue,
- inability to sit still and relax.
Psychologists indicate that about 80% of what we worry about will never happen. About 10% of events are beyond our control, and we can manage the rest. So how do we stop worrying about things that will probably never happen? How to control recurring obsessive thoughts that make it difficult to function peacefully?
What can we do when we worry too much?
Worrying in various situations is natural and inherent in our lives. However, if we feel that intrusive thoughts are impairing our well-being and health, such as having trouble sleeping or not being able to focus, then we should take care of ourselves and find our own way to limit the time we spend worrying.
Take care of your mental and physical health
Staying fit – both mentally and physically – is the foundation of well-being. An overstressed body, exposed to stress and the effects of many environmental factors, needs plenty of sleep, a valuable diet and physical activity. We will cope better when we are regenerated, so let’s take care to rest and eat regular and wholesome meals. Let’s also remember to practice sports. Movement, especially outdoors, improves your mood and allows you to calm down. We don’t have to force ourselves to run or lift weights, regular walks are a great idea.
Keep the mind occupied
Intrusive thoughts resulting from worry can flood us at any time of the day, but they most often occur when our mind is not occupied. So the easiest way would be to occupy ourselves with something that will effectively chase away unwanted thoughts and black scenarios. We can read a book, watch a movie, play board games, meet with friends or bake a cake – we have to find an effective method ourselves, but the possibilities are many.
Focus on the here and now
When we worry, we very often focus on the past or the future, while we have no control over either past events or anything that will happen. We think so much about what was or will be that we ignore the present. So let’s practice being here and now, let’s not waste time imagining and thinking. Let’s focus on facts and separate them from our opinions. A good way to do this is to practice mindfulness, which teaches you to redirect your attention to the present moment.
main photo: pixabay.com/Peggy_Marco