How to Stop Worrying About the Future, Health, Work, Relationships And Things You Can’t Control
In a world of troubles and cares, it would be almost impossible not to worry. We worry about almost everything ranging from our health, future, family (husband, wife, children, parents etc), relationship, career, school and the list goes on and on. The bad thing about worrying is that it is usually about things we are not sure of nor have control over.
The truth however is that no matter how much we worry about them, they cannot change nor be the way we want them to be so instead of worrying, our primary concern should be working towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. Worry, fear, anxiety are triplet troubles that steal our happiness and peace of mind.
Hospitals now report increased cases of worry and anxiety patients in recent times. The reason is because people face a lot of issues on a daily basis. So to help curb this, here are some tips to help prevent one from worrying too much. You must also remember worry only affects today and does nothing for tomorrow.
So much for the worries right? Great, so before we share tips on how to manage worry (because that is the much we can do), let us look at some of the things that worrying can rob you off plus some of its effects:
- Worry Leaves You Vulnerable
It leaves you not just vulnerable but susceptible to literally anything. It drains you of all energy and this makes you worry the more. It happens this way because it comes when you are at your lowest ebb.
- It costs your joy and crushes every positive mood.
Worrying does not get you anywhere. Instead of making things better, it actually does the exact opposite.
Worrying about what is yet to happen only uses up your valuable time and affects your mental health. Depression for instance is an outcome of chronic worrying.
- It takes tour focus away from things that are very valuable. Instead of noticing and working on opportunities to help you leave the bad situation, it blocks you from even seeing them. It stops you from focusing on the very important things of life.
- Worrying creates a loop for more worries. For instance, if you are worried about work, it can rub off on your relationship with your family or partner and from there, it creates a whirlpool for other worries.
Having seen how much worry can cost you, both mentally and emotionally, let us look at some ways to combat it or at most reduce it to the barest minimum:
The first step to combating is to identify why we worry. Ask yourself “what am I worried about? Why am I worried about it? The main reason why people worry is because they are afraid something bad will happen to their object of worry.
Here is the truth, there are situations that ought to get you worried. For instance, if you see a snake in the walkway, you have something cogent to be worried about. In this case, you not being worried now becomes something to actually be worried about.
What this means is that there are situations that should genuinely get you worried (for instance the above scenario).
Worrying becomes problematic when:
It affects your health and poses as a limitation.
It becomes something you have absolutely no control over. When these are the issues, then you should really pay attention to yourself.
List All Your Worries
A lot of people swear by this life hack. It is said that listing your worries is a great way to critically look at them.
Just find somewhere really quiet, take your time and list every single one of them. When you are done, honestly ask yourself which of the worries you cannot change or help then cross them out.
Next, identify those you can actually work towards getting a solution to. Those should be your primary concern. Those are the “real” worries and if you notice, they are the ones you can change. By the time you are done narrowing down your list, you will realise that you have very little left on your worry list because the ones left actually have solutions to them which may only be a stone throw away from you.
Uncertainty is Part of Life
Yes we all know that life is full of uncertainties and quite unpredictable (even being alive is uncertain). The moment you understand this, you will begin to worry less because sometimes what you are worried about ends up being just the way it was while something else that is entirely out of your scope gives you a fresh perspective to worry from.
Here is an example: you may be worried sick that your father may die soon due to poor health. Now out of the blues, you lose your mother who has been healthy an strong all this while. Do you get the point? The message/lesson here is do not worry because life is unpredictable. It can deal its harsh blows to you at any time.
Take Deep Calming Breaths
This therapeutic. It is just like when you are observing some yoga postures or at the hospital. Taking deep breaths helps soothe your nerves. Those few minutes do wonders to your system.
The next time you feel that pang of worry, take few seconds to take deep breaths. Repeat this as often as you can. You will notice that you will not take the leap into that pool of worry.
Instead, pause to ask yourself if your worries are not unfounded. For instance, staying up and worrying if you are going to have cancer is an example of this.
Why Exactly Are You Worried
Now here is an important question to ask yourself especially when you are worried about someone (most likely a partner). Identify what is making you worried.
Is it because they are dear to you so they are always in your heart? Is it because you think they may break up with you? Is it about their safety etc. If you are not in the same state with your partner, the much you can do is to always be in touch with them and of course, pray for them. As for the other worry (whether they will break up or not) there is nothing you can do about it.
It is their decision not yours and if it ever happens, remember that life is very unpredictable. That should help you deal with it.
This is another way to successfully bust worrying. A lot of people are worried about what the future holds for them without remembering that the future begins today.
You are worried about being successful, having a great career etc. Have you paused to think of the fact that you would not have even had that luxury if you were dead, for instance or bed ridden.
Being in the now, in the present instead of worrying about what we do not know yet can help us to stop worrying about tomorrow.
Make a list of all the things you are grateful for, then list all your worries on the other side. Now look at them and see if you cannot work towards finding a lasting solution to some of them.
The key is this, appreciate what you have now and hope and pray for a better tomorrow. Remember, a lot of people are dying to be in your shoes.
A lot of people are more prone to worry than others. This is just as some people are more prone to certain health challenges such as cancer. These people who are more likely to be chronic worriers are usually the melancholics and the phlegmatic. They are also more likely to be depressed (which can be as a result of worrying) and are also known to be suicidal.
Ask yourself, am I easily worried(especially over things I have no control over?) Do I worry for long? Does it seriously dampen my mood?
If you notice that you are the sort of person who is a natural worrier, then you obviously have more work to do. This is where being mindful can help you. You will need to be mindful and particular about tour emotions everyday. Once you feel yourself slipping, get something doing to distract yourself. Surround yourself with positive people who can lift your spirit and encourage you.
Do not think you can deal with this alone. There have been instances where people who are chronic worriers sank into such a deep state of depression that they finally took their own lives.
Do not underestimate the power of worrying. Be mindful of whenever it sets in and do your beat to combat it.
It is Not That Bad
You know how our mind always imagines the worst right? It is the same when you are worried. You imagine the most horrible of things and in the end, it is usually just a figment of your imagination.
So just understand that things have not gotten so bad yet. Yes life is filled with ups and downs and nobody has it all perfect but then again, it is still not that bad.
Always remember that there are people out there who have had it worse. There are people who are praying for half of the things that you already have.
Whenever your mind begins to conjure things up, remind it that your situation is not hopeless. At least you are alive, healthy, a family who loves and supports you. If you have all these plus God, there is nothing you cannot do.
So when next you are tosses from side to side by the waves of life and you feel like giving up, tell yourself that all is well.
Take Charge of the Situation
This is very important if you are worried about work. Listen, you may be worried about the salary, tour boss, colleagues and a whole lot of other things.
Identify the source of your worry. If you are not pleased with your current work, remind yourself that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Be sure you have a better job before leaving the one you have. There are thousands of unemployed people out there.
If it is your boss, find out what the matter is. Ensure you accomplish every task he assigns to you. If after doing this and the relationship does not improve, then perhaps you need to talk to someone about it (a trusted colleague for instance to seek for advice).
Alternatively, you can approach him/her yourself to find out what the matter is. Let them know the rift is affecting your productivity and you would like to know what you can do to amend the situation. This way, you have laid out all your cards on the table and have completely come clean. He/she will most likely cone clean too.
Make Yourself Uncomfortable
You may wonder how this can possibly help right? Let me explain. People that worry are often not receptive to new environments and change. They love routine because they are afraid that change will disrupt their balance.
Essentially they are more comfortable in their comfort zone. The goal therefore should be to practice discomfort or put in another way, to do things that make you uncomfortable or things you do not want to do.
If you want to overcome worry, do not shy away from uncomfortable situations. For instance, it could large gatherings or public speaking.
The aim is to force yourself to do the very things that make you uncomfortable, this way you will not use worry as a strategy to cope with such or similar situations.
Talk About It
A problem shared is a problem have solved. Talking about the situation is a sure way of helping yourself. Most people tend to shut others out when going through this and it explains why a lot of them sink into depression very easily.
Having someone to talk to on the other hand can help you process your thoughts faster as well as get solutions.
You may never know who has gone through similar or worse experience u til you talk about it. Therefore, when, feeling very down, find people you can rely on-family and friends, then talk about it with them.
You never can tell the lessons you may glean from their own experiences. While most people argue that psychologists are alien in Nigeria, they are still very much around and frankly speaking, a good bet. They offer professional advice to you and help you get to the root of the problem..
They do this through questioning, to help you understand the cause(s) of your worry and or what it is related to.
Essentially, digging deep and getting to the root of the problem helps you to overcome worry.
— Desmond Dreckett (@DesmondDreckett) September 24, 2018
Are you worried about any aspect of your life. Is anything causing your worry not mentioned in this article? Do you have other tips and ideas that can help in managing worry, please list them in the comment box below.
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