Worried? Here’s how to stop.

As the saying goes, “It’s not the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play them.” And worry is a card that certainly ends up in everyone’s hand at one point or another: there is no escape.

Because it’s impossible to avoid worries altogether, we must learn to manage them and the best way to do this is to adopt coping strategies.

A few of the strategies worth adopting include:

Writing: Maybe you’re a poet and you know it (or maybe not!) You don’t have to be a writer to use writing to your advantage. Journalling each day, and taking time to write about how something made you feel, is a cathartic way to deal with life’s ups and downs. It won’t erase your worries, but it’ll better help you manage them.

Let it out: Have you ever noticed that you feel better after a good cry? That’s because letting feelings out is healthier than pinning them in. Feelings of fret are like wine: there’s no point in keeping them bottled up.

Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is a relaxation technique that allows us to stay in the moment without judgement. One way to easily practice it is with eating. The next time you’re consuming your favourite food, stop to experience each bite as though you’ve never tasted anything like it before. Odds are, you’ll discover something you haven’t yet. It helps people with excessive worries because it forces them into the moment, and prevents them from fearing the future.

Exercise: Of all the things we can do for ourselves, exercise offers the most benefits. It enhances both physical and mental health while literally increasing our happiness. Each time you work out, your body releases endorphins, which offer a sense of worry-busting elation. You don’t need to run a marathon – taking up yoga, going for a walk, or playing with your kids all decreases worry to some degree.

Cut back on caffeine: Coffee is a hard habit to break and quitting it altogether often seems ridiculous; we’re not masochists, after all. But too much caffeine has a tendency to amp up anxiety, which increases how serious we take each worry that comes our way. This isn’t to say you must wave a tearful goodbye to your morning cuppa, but don’t overdo it either. In short, drink a little, not a latte.

Hang out with friends: People with solid social circles have extended lifespans; yep, longevity – that’s what friends are for. We use friends for emotional support, for laughter, and for comradery, all things that help decrease apprehension. If your social circle is lacking, find a way to meet new people – join a club, sign up for a team, or volunteer.

Spend time in nature: Not everyone loves nature. But, even if you downgrade the Great Outdoors, labeling it as merely “so-so”, spending time outside is still beneficial. For one thing, it increases Vitamin D, a vitamin most people are deficient in. Ten minutes a day is all that’s needed to reap the perks of the sun. For another, it offers you fresh air. And that’s one of the best ways to thwart worries: stop for a moment and breathe.

Remember the stats: Science suggests that the vast majority of worries will never come to fruition; in fact, only about eight percent of worries are worth your time. Remember this stat the next time concern blows its horn – chances are, you shouldn’t even acknowledge the commotion.

MEET KAREN

Hiya, I’m Karen, energy therapist and mind body expert for dynamic and ambitious women who are struggling with anxiety. I help them to get to the root cause of their anxiety so they can take back control other thoughts and be the calm and confident woman they want to be.
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