These days, worry can feel like our collective default setting. If we’re not worrying about catching a virus, we’re fretting about our financial situation. When we’re not stressing about societal strife, we’re agonizing over the political division and elections.
You’re not alone if all feels overwhelming. Worrying is not surprising during tough times and can actually help guide us away from unhealthy situations. The problem? When worry starts to run your life it can be hard to turn it off.
So, if you’re desperately seeking some calm, you must take that as a sign that big changes are needed.
Why Do We Worry?
The world is a very uncertain place. Many of us worry because we just don’t know what’s going to happen next. This reality could leave you concerned about all aspects of your life, e.g. health, finances, relationships, family, career, etc.
In addition, all this inherent uncertainty can feel like a threat to your status. Like everyone else, you care deeply about how you’re perceived by others. Thanks to social media, this fear has been amplified to previously unimagined levels. So… we worry about it.
Worry is a normal human reaction until it isn’t. Too much worry is a problem.
How Worry Impacts Us
Worry is a self-feeding cycle. One negative thought leads to another, more escalated thought. This process adds up to more stress in your life. It also leads to a relentless and persistent form of worrying called rumination. This state sees us obsessively fixated on a problem — going over it again and again. From there, the cycle restarts but with even more intensity.
Such chronic worrying often presents physical symptoms and medical issues, like:
- An increase in the stress hormone cortisol
- Rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, dizziness, and loss of concentration
- Sweating, trembling, shortness of breath
- Raised blood sugar levels
- Headaches, muscle aches, and tension
- Digestive issues
Left unchecked, worry-related symptoms can lead to major health problems, ranging from heart attacks to depression disorder.
6 Tips for Creating More Calm When Worry Runs Your World
1. Keep a Journal.
This is a way to “talk back” to the worry. Keep track of patterns. Identify triggers. Make lists of things that make you feel grateful. Keep your hands busy and your mind focused on things happening in the present..
2. Practice Mindfulness.
Speaking of the present, it is the antidote to worry. Your upset is due to the fact that you fixate on what went wrong in the past and/or what can go wrong in the future. Yet, you live in the present. Slow down and experience each moment. It can be freeing to pay attention, observe and explore your surroundings, relationships, and responses with more intention and less judgment.
3. Set Aside Some “Worry Time”.
You have to let the worry out at some point. It is less upsetting to acknowledge and engage your anxiety without avoiding it or waiting for it to overtake you. So why not assert some control over the process?.
4. Take Regular Tech Breaks.
Headlines, social media, alerts and notifications: a smartphone can be a worry generator. Use it judiciously..
5. Celebrate Your Accomplishments.
Your successes don’t have to be monumental. Just be sure to not let those moments pass unrecognized. Your celebrations and self-love will serve as a counterbalance to the weight of worrying..
6. Cultivate Ways to Relax.
You’ve used up your worry time. You put aside your devices and wrote in your journal. Now what? How about you develop some stress management skills? Popular options include:
- Deep breathing exercises
Stress management is often a blend of what works personally and learning new techniques. Use your imagination and seek help from a therapist to find the best options for you!
Don’t Worry, Try Therapy
It’s important that you don’t transfer your worry issues. In other words, the solution is not to start worrying about how much you worry. If you find it difficult to manage this tendency, help is available. I’ve worked with many clients who struggle with worry. Please read more about anxiety counseling. I’d love to help. Reach out for a free consultation soon.
Getting Started With Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!