Worrying is helpful if it encourages us to solve problems. But if you are preoccupied of “what ifs”, worry becomes a problem of its own. Unrelenting doubts and fears are not helpful or productive. They drain your emotional energy, drive your anxiety levels soaring, and gets in the way with your daily activities with no positive outcome.
Chronic worrying keeps you up at night and tensed all day long. For most, the restless thoughts are filled with ideas – both harmful and encouraging.
On the negative side, you may believe that chronic worrying is harmful, and it is going to affect your physical and emotional health.
On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying will help you in avoiding bad things that might happen, avoid troubles, and might lead to solutions.
To the extent that worrying is a conditioned behavior, it can be undone. There are psychological ways for undoing the worry tradition.
Help Tip #1: Construct a worry period
Telling yourself not to worry does not work. In reality, trying to do so often makes them more persistent. But you can distract yourself or your thoughts for a moment.
Pick a set of time and place for worrying. This should be the same set of time and place everyday and early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. Only during this period that you are allowed to worry about whatever that is bothering you.
If an anxious thought comes into your head while you are not on your worry period, make a note about it and postpone it until your worry period. Keep in mind that you’ll have plenty of time to think about it later and continue to enjoy your day.
Help Tip #2: Determine if your problem is solvable
Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and you will feel like you are getting something to accomplish. But worrying and problem solving are two different things.
If a worry though comes into your head, think if the problem can be solved by you.
If the worry can be resolved, create a list of possible solutions. Focus on the things you have control to change not the circumstances beyond your control.
Help Tip #3: Challenge anxious beliefs
If you are a chronic worrier, you tend to look at the world in ways that make it appear more risky than it really is. You may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, conclude right away to worst-case scenarios.
In this case, begin by identifying the thought as detailed as possible about what worries you. Then, instead of judging your thoughts as facts, treat them like a hypothesis that you are testing out. As you challenge your worries and fears, you will develop a more balanced perspective in life.
Help Tip #4: Be conscious of how others influence you
You may not be aware of how people or situations are affecting you. You have been dealing with the tension so long that it feels normal. You may want to start having a worry diary or so. Every time you worry, write down the thought and what you think it might trigger.
If someone in your life is dragging you down or seem to leave you always feeling stressed. Then, think about spending more time with that person to create a healthier relationship.
Everybody worries. It can be a healthy response to life by preventing us from being irresponsible. But some people worry a lot more than the others to the point that worrying becomes a worry itself.