Worry Free is the Way to Be
A wave of worry seems to be washing over the country: Worry over finances, worry over the coronavirus, worry over who will be elected into office next, worry about whether or not our children are making wise decisions. This list can go on forever. Excessive worry or anxiety is not healthy and can lead to an anxiety disorder. Below are 10 ways to combat worry:
1.) Talk about it. Whether in counseling, to a friend, or family member, talking through our worries can sometimes help to relieve us of the worry. Sometimes we just need to get things off of our chest in order to move on.
2.) Write it down. Some people are able to best sort through their thoughts by journaling.
3.) Accept the worry but move forward. Sometimes worry is inevitable, such as when a person is newly diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes by accepting that we are in a season of stress and that worry will accompany it, we can try to move forward one day at a time.
4.) Take action. Sometimes we are able to do something to change the circumstance that is causing the anxiety. In cases such as these, it is often better to take action than to wait around and hope something will change.
5.) Don’t feed into the worry. If you are a perfectly healthy person who worries about your health and then spends all of your free time obsessing over and researching sickness and diseases, this will only serve to increase your anxiety.
6.) Set aside a time to worry. If you are someone who typically worries all day long, set aside a quiet time in your day to focus on things that worry you and how to handle them. This will allow you to be more productive in other areas of your life throughout the day.
7.) Fact Check Rather Than Assume. Sometimes when in a state of panic or worry, our minds will go to the worst places. Just because you have a mole that you didn’t notice before does not mean that you have cancer. Rather than assuming the worse and stressing out, choose to fact check by making a doctor appointment and letting a professional determine if it is serious.
8.) Challenge distorted thoughts. Sometimes when we worry, our minds resort to “all or nothing thinking”. A woman who has been mistreated by her boyfriend in an unhealthy relationship may have it in her mind that all men will treat her this way. This is a distorted thought as each person is unique and just because one person treated her poorly does not mean all people will.
9.) Use distraction techniques. A person may be anxiously awaiting for the mail to arrive to find out whether or not she was accepted in to the college she has her heart set on. Rather than spending the day worrying, she can distract herself with something she enjoys such as binge-watching her favorite television show while she waits.
10.) Seek professional help. If you have tried several things over a period of time to try to learn to control your worry but have not had any success, it may be time to seek professional help through a counselor.