How to stop worrying when everything seems to be closing in can be challenging. No wonder you find it hard to enjoy life. Yet, there are simple and effective ways to deal with worries and return to living your best life.
How to Stop Worrying: Try These Simple Ways
If you want to know how to stop worrying, relax. By incorporating simple strategies, you can find relief from anxiety-producing thoughts and lingering problems. Use any or all of them. Whatever works to reduce your worrying will help you enjoy life more.
Talk It Out
Your worries may be overwhelming right now. It could be that you’ve taken on too much responsibility or have problems with no clear solutions. You may also have a medical condition causing you anxiety. Counseling or talking with a professional therapist may help you manage symptoms. It’s a proactive way for you to address how to stop worrying that’s detracting from living your best life.
Yet, you can get a similar peace of mind by talking with someone you trust. If your worries aren’t all-consuming and your life isn’t too negatively affected by worry and anxiety, speaking with a friend can help. Let them know what’s bothering you and benefit from their conscious listening. Talking it out can be incredibly life-affirming and help you feel less anxious.
Engage in Conscious Distraction
How can you stop worrying when all you can think about is what troubles you? One straightforward strategy involves deliberate conscious distraction. Another way to describe it is an intentional distraction, when you intentionally divert your primary focus from what you’re doing or switch tasks.
- Being intentional stimulates many brain areas, possibly leading to neuronal pathway changes. What this means in practical terms is that intention promotes learning.
- With intentional distraction, you consciously switch from a primary focus to something completely different, giving your brain something new to embrace.
How to Stop Worrying: Deep Breathing Helps
Psychiatrists and therapists often recommend deep breathing exercises as part of holistic approaches to reduce anxiety. The physical and psychological underpinnings of how deep breathing helps you with how to stop worrying include:
- Deep breathing helps bring you to the present moment. This may provide a relaxing effect.
- The human body has a rest-and-digest system, officially called the parasympathetic nervous system. This reduces blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and relaxes the stomach muscles.
- Engaging the parasympathetic system during deep breathing may help calm anxious feelings accompanying worrying.
Meditation and Mindfulness are Terrific Techniques to Stop Worrying
Are you pressed for time? Or are you stressed out and worried at work? No problem. There are quick and effective meditations you can do while at your desk.
Research shows that meditation reduces stress and helps boost cognitive reserves. When you’re less stressed, worries tend to recede. Or you find that they’re not as pressing as you thought. Furthermore, after meditating, you’re better able to see workable solutions to problems or determine choices. Problem-solving skills also improve after meditation and mindfulness.
When you exercise, you concentrate on the physical activity. Research from Harvard Health Publishing shows that exercise creates a diversion and distraction from whatever bothers you. This makes exercise an effective technique for how to stop worrying.
- Furthermore, physical movement reduces muscle tension. This also helps remove anxious feelings.
- Executive function improves after exercise. The amygdala, controlled by the brain areas responsible for executive function, reacts less to real or perceived worries and threats after exercise.
- Increasing your heart rate creates changes in brain chemistry. These include amping up specific neurochemicals that quash anxiety, endocannabinoids, and other changes.
- Exercise contributes to resilience reserves, which help guard against roller-coaster emotions experienced during worrying.
How to Stop Worrying: Recognize Patterns Causing Worry
Everyone has patterns in their life. We may not recognize them, especially ones that are detrimental to our mental health, but they exist. It’s crucial to identify the patterns that contribute to worry. This is the first step to learning how to overcome them.
How do you recognize unhealthy patterns? Keep a journal. This helps you track behavior that causes worries and may help you find ways to cope with it. Anything you do that contributes to excessive, obsessive, or decision-controlling concerns is what you want to note. You may be able to spot negative patterns that could benefit from professional counseling.
Change Daily Habits to Healthier Ones
Many of us engage in daily habits counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle. If something we do daily adds to our stress levels, it’s best to identify and replace it with something more refreshing and calming.
Some suggestions include:
- Organize your space. A messy environment is not conducive to a worry-free life. On the other hand, a clean, well-organized space provides a sense of order and calm.
- Reduce social media time. Constantly checking social media is a known anxiety trigger. It’s too easy to compare yourself to others and feel you don’t measure up. Comments and photos posted by your followers may cause you unnecessary worry.
- Give yourself a treat. Institute daily me-time so you can treat yourself to something pleasurable. Whether this is a delightful bouquet you buy yourself or a sweet treat from the café, if it helps you enjoy a little happiness and peace, it’s a powerful strategy to help you stop worrying.
- Sleep well. When you’re tired from restless sleep, worries take center stage. It’s hard to think clearly, let alone cope with the onslaught of anxious thoughts. Create a regular sleep schedule and an environment that promotes calming, restful sleep.
- Practice gratitude. Instead of always focusing on what worries you, consider what you’re most grateful for. You have good health, a comfortable home, friends you care about, and a job you enjoy. These positive aspects of your life can significantly assist you when you want to learn how to stop worrying.
Pause, Accept, and Deal with Worries Later
This technique is called side-stepping. It works well for how to stop worrying about things in the moment. You’ll still deal with them later. First, you mustn’t put off addressing the issue indefinitely. That’s procrastinating, and it will backfire. Worries will flood back and worsen in intensity.
- Suppose you have a hectic schedule and know you can’t deal with this worry now.
- Set aside time tonight, tomorrow morning, or the weekend, and sit down and work through the problem.
- Enlist help from someone who may have wise counsel.
- Instead of avoiding the problem, you’ve scheduled a time to face it and work out solutions squarely.
Get Social – Preferably in Person
Interacting with others is a great way to socialize and have fun. When you’re enjoying the company of friends, staying focused on your worries is hard. The best way to use this strategy is to visit friends, family, or acquaintances in person. Use digital devices only if a physical meeting isn’t convenient.
Cultivate Resilience – It’s the Sure-Fire Way to Overcome the Tendency to Worry
Many research studies show that resiliency protects against developing mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. When you can more quickly recover from stress, anxious tendencies, and trauma, you’ll be less consumed by your worries.
Cultivating resilience involves:
- Making connections.
- Learning from mistakes.
- Becoming accepting of change.
- Keeping things in perspective.
- Being proactive.
- Helping others.
- Taking good self-care.
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation.
- Staying away from negative outlets, like alcohol and drugs.
- Setting realistic goals and acting to achieve them.
How to Stop Worrying: Get to the Source
What is the reason you’re worried? Before fully addressing the worry, you must determine where it comes from. This may take some digging and time. Yet, the effort will pay off.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques will help if you want to learn how to stop worrying. There are mind-based, body-based, and soothing relaxation activities. As for options, you have many to choose from, including:
- Taking time for meditation.
- Practicing yoga.
- Engaging in progressive muscle relaxation.
- Doing slow breathing from the diaphragm.
- Engaging in prayer.
- Listening to music.
- Delighting the senses with pleasing smells, like scented candles and incense.
- Using visualization to picture a calming scene or environment.
- Getting a massage.
How to Stop Worrying: Have a Higher Purpose
Worries drag on your emotions, cognitive abilities, and physical health. If you constantly loop one worry after another, you’re sliding down a steep slope to more misery. Getting outside your immediate concerns and focusing on a higher purpose can help alter the worry train trajectory.
Think about what’s most important in your life. Is it your family, career, passionate pursuit of learning, travel, relationships, self-improvement, or helping others? Having a higher purpose makes you feel more fulfilled. You’ll be less distracted by problems and more successful in how to stop worrying.