What is Worrying?
Worrying is a form of thinking about the future, defined as thinking about future events in a way that leaves you feeling anxious or apprehensive.
And to make it clear from the beginning my lovely, worry is normal. So normal. We all do it. But it’s when it becomes excessive or detracts from your life, and takes control, then we need to look at it seriously. But hey, everyone could do with worrying less, right?
We can get caught up in the idea, unconsciously, that if we “worry enough,” we can prevent bad things from happening.
However, the negative affects on not just your mood, but also your mindset and your body are quite profound. Not only can worrying too much lead to high levels of anxiety (which never does you any good for your mindset) but it can also make you physically ill too.
Can Excessive Worry Make Me Physically Ill?
Honestly? Yes it can when it’s chronic. The problem mainly occurs when fight or flight is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety – releasing stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones also cause physical reactions such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and inability to concentrate, and long term even heart issues.
Moreover, if you don’t deal with excessive worrying and stress to depression and other mental health issues.
Why is it so hard to stop worrying?
Constant worrying can be extremely destructive to your sense of well-being and peace. It can keep you up at night and ruin you day – stealing from you any moments of joy that you might have gleamed. And even though I’m sure you don’t enjoy feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop.
My Top 6 Tips to Help Stop Worrying
Tip 1: Create a Worry Wobble Time
Choose a set time and place for worrying. It can be a small part of your day and schedule it in like everything else. For example, you may say that between 6 and 6.15 every day is your worry time when you are in the kitchen on your own. Make a list of everything that is worrying you and go over that list during that time. When you look at worries in a structured way and almost allow yourself to ‘indulge’ in the worry for a short period of time, you minimise the impact on the rest of your day.
So if things come up during your day, don’t fret about them, add them to your list to look at during Worry Wobble Time and you give yourself permission to put off the worrying and to manage it much better.
Tip 2: Exercise Daily
I probably don’t need to say much on this subject. WE ALL KNOW what exercise does for our bodies but what it does for you mood (feel-good hormones released) and mindset (release of tension and stress from your muscles). I truly believe it’s the most under-utilised anti-depressant on the plant. And it doesn’t have to be high-intensity bootcamp stuff either. Just move. Walk, run, skip or hop. Move my lovely and you’ll feel better. Bonus points if you can get outside too as looking up at the sky really puts things into perspective.
Tip 3: Reduce Caffeine
I love coffee… no I mean really LOVE coffee. I would drink 10 cups a day if I could but it gets me wired. And when you’re feeling anxious or worrying and your nervous system is already fired up you simply don’t need added wiring – it’s too much. If you need to, have a cup in the morning and then switch to herbal tea and water for the rest of the day and you will feel so much more at peace. Your physiology and your psychology are so intertwined, this stuff really matters.
Tip 4: Breathe
Cocoa breaths are the way to go – long inhale and smooth elongated exhales. They work a treat at immediately calming you down. Watch my video on Cocoa Breaths HERE
Tip 5: Mindfulness Meditation
Practicing mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment. This can help calm your thoughts and worries. Mindfulness meditation is designed to take you out of your mind and focus on “being”.
The next time you are feeling like worry is overwhelming you, try these steps:
- Find a quiet place where you can relax comfortably.
- Close your eyes and take 5 cocoa breaths.
- Notice your thoughts without passing judgement on them.
- Gently return to your usual pattern of breathing.
- Continue letting your thoughts pass for 10 minutes while you sit comfortable with your eyes closed. (I prefer sitting with music or I have the urge to fill in the space with humming or singing (not a natural quiet person) but this is personal preference.)
- Slowly return yourself to consciousness and your surroundings and I love to have a stretch immediately after.
Tip 6: Talk
Whether it’s to a coach like me, or your mum or your best friend but get it off your chest. No prizes for bottling things up. And if you don’t have anyone to talk to maybe it’s time to hire someone or get a new group of friends – it’s never too late to meet your best friend (length of friendship has nothing over things in common and someone who is in a similar place in life to you right now.
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