Worry. It starts with a nagging thought. That creates another few thoughts. And before you
know it there is a storm brewing in your mind, making you think irrationally and zapping
your mental and physical energy. f you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless repeat. You may feel like you're spiralling out of control, going crazy, or about to burn out under the weight of all this anxiety. But there are steps you can take right now to hit the pause button on anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from relentless worrying.
Write it down. If you can’t talk about your worries, write them down. Putting your
worries on paper allows you to see them for what they are. You can see what part of your
worry is reality and what part is hyped up fear. Bringing the words from brain to paper
will also help to calm the chaos in your mind.
Change your perspective — zoom out.When you are filled with worry, dread or
anxiety, zoom out in your mind’s eye. Imagine that you’re floating away and viewing a
stressful situation as a detached, outside observer, above the scene. From this larger
viewpoint, ask yourself whether the situation is worth worrying about. Give yourself
permission to gain some perspective. Another option is to zoom out in time. Imagine yourself one week, one month, one year, or even one decade from today. And ask how much the current situation will matter to you then. What we typically find is what worries us today will not matter next week.
Make friends with uncertainty. Feel okay about not knowing exactly how things will
turn out. Accept the unpredictability of life. Can you imagine how dull life would be if we
knew everything that would happen? Think of all that is right with life and embrace
ambiguity. So next time you find yourself overwhelmed with worry, take a deep breath and
know that it's normal and by changing just a few ways that you think you can change it.
Expand awareness and wishes to all people. Whatever the worrying is about, it’s
important you know you’re not alone. Feeling vulnerable is part of the human condition and millions of people struggle with the same source of vulnerability that you experience. But when we’re feeling vulnerable with anxiety it often times is all about us, we need to also impersonalize the experience and get outside of ourselves. You can do this by imagining all the other people who struggle worrying and wish them all the same intentions that you just wished yourself. For example, May we all feel a sense of safety and security, May we all be free from the fear that keeps us stick in a perpetual cycle of worry, May we all feel that sense of belonging, etc…
Get up and get moving.Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety
treatmentbecause it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being. Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.