My mom is a habitual worrywart. Everything is on panic button alert at any given second.
Quite frankly, it makes anyone in the room on edge when the momma of the house is stressing. There worries start rubbing off onto you like a quick spreading contagion until everyone in the room is biting their nails and freaking out. Alright, it is not that bad, but whether it is your worry or someone else’s, worry can have an impact on your wellbeing.
I know that a little—okay, maybe more than I want to admit—of this personality trait transferred to me. It especially comes out when I am trying to sleep and my mental wheels are spinning as I worry about little things: Should I have spent that much on a very necessary jean purchase? Did I take meat out for tomorrow’s meal? Oh crap, I need to remember to…you know, the usual minor thoughts that control my mind as I fret, fret and then fret some more. When big-deal concerns come up can you imagine introvert worrier me and my toxic worrier mom in one room? Not pretty, folks. It’s like a walapolooza of worry.
The truth is, worrying has no benefit at all. It will not instantaneously solve your problems nor will it help you make any beneficial progress. On the contrary, worrying is an energy sucker that can lead to high anxiety for those of us who’s minds go into overdrive thinking about “what might happen.” Excessive worrying can have a major impact in your day-to-day life that may affect sleeping patterns, job performance and even your appetite.
But even if you categorize yourself as a minor worrywart, there are always ways to ease your vexed and anxious mind. Stop worrying!
- Distract Yourself: Call a friend, listen to music, read a book, journal, turn the TV on. Pick an activity that busies your brain so you can distract yourself from being hijacked by worry. A captive mind can bring your focus elsewhere so you can breathe in worryless air for several minutes, allowing yourself time to think in a worry-free zone.
- Workout your Worry: Nothing is better than that post-workout endorphin high that comes from a good sweat session. Bathing your brain in the feel-good chemicals is a sure way to clear your mind. Next time that fretful twitch starts to creep in on you, head to the gym.
- Make a Decision: Often time worries come down to an unresolved issue that keeps nagging at your mind. Make a decision! If you have to flip a coin. For me I know I am either relieved by the outcome of the coin flip or disheartened. In both cases I know which decision I need to make.
- Put on your Unconcerned Hat: Remember when Oprah made a huge deal about The Secret? The same premise that says positive thinking can create life changing results works to override a worried mind that wants to be carefree. If you actively pretend you aren’t worried, you can make it so that your behavior, thoughts and feelings are literally untroubled.
- Problem Solve: Worrying doesn’t help, but actions do. Make an effort to seek solutions to even the most seemingly hopeless issues. Productive worry will help you let go of the worries you can’t fix. Your years of learning brainstorming in English class will actually come in handy here. Write down solutions and talk things out with a friend or family member. Prod yourself to consider the situation differently for a positive result.
The next time you step into the infinite web of “what if,” remember that your anxious worry is not a feeling, but an opportunity to focus on a problem and dive into a productive thought process.
Are you an excessive worrier? Do you know someone who is? How does it impact you? Share your worry-free thoughts below!
Feature photo courtesy of photoloni courtesy of Flickr (CC BY 3.0)