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How to Stop Worrying: 10 Steps to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety doesn’t have to be a normal part of your life. Follow these 10 steps to learn how to stop worrying and start living.
Anxiety can be harmful to both your mental and physical well-being, and it manifests in anything from fatigue, to a rapid heart rate, to gastrointestinal issues. Luckily, there are steps you can take to learn how to stop worrying about everything. Waiting too long to address a large amount of stress only makes the symptoms worse. Follow these steps to understand how to stop worrying and start prioritizing your overall well-being.
10 Steps to Reduce Anxiety:
STEP 1: Write out a list and analyze
STEP 2: Practice self compassion
STEP 3: Embrace uncertainty
STEP 4: Lessen the impact of worry
STEP 5: Branch out
STEP 6: Slow down, breath
STEP 7: Practice gratitude
STEP 8: Cry out loud
STEP 9: Talk it out
STEP 10: Take care of your health
First, write out a list of all of the things you’re worried about. Take a look. Most people don’t realize that there are two different types of worrying: productive and unproductive.
A productive worry is something that you can quickly and easily address in the moment. Perhaps you know that you’re not going to have time to make lunch tomorrow afternoon, so you meal prep the night before. Or, maybe you’re worried about getting an Uber to your early morning flight, so you pre-book the ride in advance.
An unproductive worry is something that is completely out of your control at the moment. For example, you can’t sleep at night because you’re worried about developing cancer. Worrying about things like that will only continue to spiral because there is no immediate action that can be taken. Identifying your worries by “productive” or “unproductive” can help take away the power that those worries have on you by showing you how to not worry so much about things that are out of your control.
Take a look at those unproductive worries. Remind yourself that they are unproductive, and there is nothing to be done about them at the moment.
Once you recognize that uncertainty is a normal part of life, it becomes easier to accept. Yes, you may get cancer one day. Or, maybe you won’t. The truth is, there’s no way to truly know that with 100% certainty, so there’s no use in worrying so much that you lose sleep over it.
Identify the unproductive worry that takes up the most real estate in your mind. Say it out loud. Say it again. Repeat the phrase or sentence over and over until it loses its meaning. You learn how to stop worrying about that uncertainty by repeating what it is until it no longer holds any power.
Excessive worry can lead to a multitude of unwanted side effects, including negative thoughts about yourself. To combat this, try practicing self compassion. Self compassion is the act of meeting your shortcomings or personal failures with empathy, understanding, and kindness.
Practicing self compassion can look like a lot of different things. One way to do this is by re-evaluating how you think of yourself. How would you speak with a friend who was struggling with negative thoughts about themselves? Why wouldn’t you speak to yourself that way? Understanding that you need to give yourself the same grace you give to others is a vital step in how to stop worrying about everything.
Big worriers tend to avoid trying new things or experiences because they think it will make them uncomfortable or inconvenienced. Going to the gym, attending a party, or speaking at a public event are all examples of situations that an overly-anxious person may try to avoid.
Put yourself out there, and try out some of the things that you’ve been avoiding due to stress. Making yourself uncomfortable or just branching out in general helps you rely less on stress as a coping mechanism.
A contributing factor to anxiety buildup is the feeling of urgency. We feel like we need to address whatever we’re worried about right here, right now. And, this often makes us feel like we’re behind or doomed to failure because we can’t worry about everything, all at once, all the time. This could also contribute to a feeling of burnout.
Live in the moment. It will be okay if you don’t address that nagging feeling right now. Take some time to practice breathing exercises, read a comforting book, or listen to some of your favorite music. After a moment of rest, you’ll be able to approach the problem with a clearer mind and a calmer heart.
When we fixate on one negative thought or worry, our brains naturally start expecting more. Before long, we may notice that most of our thoughts are negative or stressful. One way to alleviate this downward thought spiral is by practicing gratitude.
Try keeping a gratitude journal. Write out experiences you come across during your day or week that you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them.. Turning those overwhelming negative thoughts into tiny (but mighty) positive celebrations is a really important step in learning how to stop worrying about everything.
Turns out, big girls DO cry, and they should cry more often. The amygdala, or the emotional part of your brain, is suppressed when you worry too much. These suppressed emotions bubble to the surface in the form of headaches, fatigue, or even gastrointestinal problems because your body needs to express them somehow.
Don’t be afraid to let the tears fall. Sometimes a good cry can turn any anxiety mountain into just a bothersome molehill.
Anxiety manifests in a plethora of physical tolls on the body. Some examples are insomnia, overeating, undereating, body aches, and more.
When we’re anxious, we tend to hold our stress in our bodies by tensing up. Take a moment to analyze your body, and identify where you’re feeling aches or pains. Regular exercise is a great way to teach yourself how to not worry so much. It can help move the blood flow in your body, which alleviates those aches and pains you may feel.
Also, try to set up a nighttime routine that calms your mind. People suffering from stress or anxiety tend to keep themselves awake at night, worrying over their problems and trying to work through them as they lie down in bed. Try putting the phone down an hour before you go to bed or reading a book instead of watching a show or movie. Natural sleep aids like melatonin, lavender, or essential oils have also been proven to help the sleep process.
If anxiety is making you feel exhausted after work, check out our blog to learn more about how to fix that problem.
Chronic anxiety can force a person to isolate themselves from the people they know and love when they need those people the most. Simply taking a phone call with a loved one to talk about the source of your anxiety or stress can have immediate effects on your mindset about it. Sometimes, all we need is perspective.
And, of course, if you think that your anxiety is reaching an overwhelming level, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help.
- How do I train my brain to stop worrying?
- It’s all a mindset. Take some time to analyze whether the things you’re worried about are productive or unproductive, and try to remind yourself that there’s nothing to be done about unproductive worries. Embrace uncertainty.
- How do I stop worrying and overthinking?
- Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Try out yoga, go on a walk, or keep a gratitude journal. Any step towards bettering your health, big or small, is a step away from those feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Why can’t I just stop worrying?
- It’s a process! Give yourself time to set your mind and body right, and the worries will go away with time.
- What causes excessive worrying?
- Excessive worry is caused by a multitude of small anxieties that build up overtime unaddressed. To learn how to stop worrying about everything, follow our 10 steps.
No one likes feeling anxious or stressed all of the time. It’s an exhausting experience, but we’re here to help. By following these steps, you can begin your journey on how to stop worrying about everything. Start your journey to better workplace health with Joychiever.
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