The following is a writeup on a recent article from HealthLine entitled “7 Tips for Worrying Less”.
What exactly is worrying?
Worrying is defined as distress caused by something that you might possibly experience in the future. It is a normal part of the human experience — everyone experiences it from time to time. But left unchecked, it can have effects on both your physical and mental health. While there’s no way to completely rid yourself of these thoughts, it is possible to significantly reduce their negative effects.
The article lists seven tips to keep in your back pocket for keeping your worries under control.
Try mindfulness meditation
Practicing mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment. This can help tame racing thoughts. Clinical psychotherapist Kevon Owen explains that mindfulness meditation is “designed to take you out of your mind.”
“It sounds like an oversimplification,” says Clinical psychotherapist Kevon Owen, “but increasing your oxygen levels lowers the physiological effects of anxiety on your body.” In other words, your heart rate goes down, your muscles relax, and your mind slows down — all of which can aid in reducing worry.
Explore guided imagery
Conjuring soothing images can be a powerful way to slow down a racing mind. It’s a powerful strategy to enhance your coping skills. See Article in Frontiers in Psychology, entitled “ Nature-Based Guided Imagery as an Intervention for State Anxiety”.
The article describes how nature-based guided imagery can help trigger positive behavioral and physiological responses.
Do a body scan
When you’re worried, it’s normal to store tension in your muscles. A body scan meditation helps you bring your focus back to your physical being so you can start to release the tension you’re holding.
Start by directing your attention toward your scalp, bringing all of your attention to how it feels. Are you feeling any tension or tightness there? Continue scanning down your body, all the way to the tips of your toes.
Talk to others
Talking to someone who has dealt with your same worries or understands your situation can provide much-needed validation and support. Share your concerns with friends who take the time to listen and understand what you are going through. You’ll feel less alone.
Rather than bottling up your worries, call a close friend and set up a date to get together. Let your friend know you just need a moment to vent or talk things through.
Keep a Worry Journal
Keeping a record of your worries can help you analyze and process your feelings. Simply writing down your thoughts about a bothersome situation may allow you to look at them in a new light. What exactly are you worried about?
Exercise can have a big impact on your mental state. And it doesn’t have to involve a vigorous gym session or 10-mile hike. Even a 10-minute walk around the block can help calm a racing mind.
Could it be anxiety?
Worrying is a natural instinct protecting you from threatening situations by making you more vigilant. Anxiety, on the other hand, is unproductive, making you less functional. You might experience powerful physiological symptoms (increased heart rate, sweating, muscle tension, lightheadedness).
When to seek help
While it’s normal to worry from time to time, excessive worry and anxiety can take a toll on your health.
Consider seeking professional help if your worries or anxieties start to have a noticeable impact on your day-to-day life, including your: eating habits, sleep quality, relationships with others, performance at work or at school.
HOW TO FIND A THERAPIST
There is a very helpful section on “7 Tips For Worrying Less”. It’s entitled “How to Find A Therapist”.
Finding a therapist can feel daunting…ask yourself a few basic questions:
- What issues do you want to address?
- Are there any specific traits you’d like in a therapist?
- How much can you realistically afford to spend per session?
- Where will therapy fit into your schedule?
Next, start making a list of therapists in your area. See the link for the American Psychological Association’s psychologist locator.
Concerned about the cost? See “7 Tips for Worrying Less” for their Guide to Affordable Therapy.
The Bottom Line
Understanding that worry is a normal part of being human is the first step in diminishing its effects.
It’s okay to feel nervous now and again, but when your concerns become excessive or begin affecting your daily life, it may be time to seek professional help.
We hope you enjoyed this blog and the HealthLine article entitled “7 Tips For Worrying Less”. Do try some of these suggestions, and let us know how they work out for you. Remember… a healthy brain in a calm body is the goal here. If you have a calm body, your brain will be healthier and will work better. And a better working brain is always our goal!
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