Happy or not so happy, joyful or not, we all know what worry is. And sadly enough I feel that worry is really taking over the world and humanity nowadays… People are busy, always running around, rushing and worrying… So what causes worries, what effect it has on our body and how can we overcome it? Let me reveal some reasons for worrying and 10 ways to deal with it.
So what is worry?
An actual definition of the word is this:
Worry refers to the thoughts, images, and emotions of a negative nature in a repetitive, uncontrollable manner that results from a proactive cognitive risk analysis made to avoid or solve anticipated potential threats and their potential consequences (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worry).
Worry is something that eats us up – literally. Worry gives you sickness and anxiety. According to WebMD the fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can boost blood sugar levels and triglycerides (blood fats) that can be used by the body for fuel. The hormones also cause physical reactions such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Fast heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle aches
- Muscle tension
- Nervous energy
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling and twitching
And this is only the beginning. If you worry a lot and do not deal with it or learn how to overcome worries, it may progress and become an anxiety or depression.
All the what ‘ifs’ only happen in our head. We overthink things and when an idea pops into our head, we react and pay attention to it. Why? Is it a genuine concern? Is it needed? Is it going to affect your life? Is it really happening? We constantly worry about things that NEVER happened and possibly WILL NOT happen.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to be ignorant, of course. All this ‘laxy daisy’ can be too much sometimes. So I will refer back to my mantra – ‘it’s all about the balance’ 😉
Worry vs Concern
You may have a concern about your child. Or your friend. Or maybe a partner. This is ok. As Dr. Sala said: ‘concern should be a positive force resulting in our enrichment and betterment’. Having a concern is actually using your knowledge and working towards doing something about it with a decision of choice.
But worrying makes no difference. It’s your mind messing with you. Just like the body craves calories, the mind craves control. We may not be able to actually do anything about a problem, but worrying about it makes us feel like we’re doing something. We fool our minds into thinking we’re actually solving a problem by running it over and over and over and over and over and over and over again in our minds (Nick Wignall). You cannot worry about all possible what if’s because you will simply go crazy! So don’t forget what Van Walder said:
Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
‘People worry in attempt to control their problems’ (Irving Schattner).
Worries come from the past experiences. Or overthinking the future events. But it creates a lot of stress and fills our mind with unnecessary thoughts.
‘It’s hard to be genuinely productive and creative (much less happy and content) when we’re worrying all the time’ (Nick Wignall)
Worry will never change the outcome. It won’t stop the bad stuff from happening, it just stops YOU from enjoying the good.
And I know it is easier said than done sometimes. All those phrases ‘don’t worry, be happy’, ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ really doesn’t help when you are feeling agitated. But you can do something about it and I recommend to really work on it if you worry a lot. At the end of the day, you would really need to deal with a challenge (NOT a problem 😉 – I believe using the words accordingly can add to or reduce the worry) ONLY when and IF it happens, so worry about it beforehand makes no difference.
What could be done?
Here are the 12 tips I have gathered and discovered in dealing with worry:
- Exercise daily – we all very clear on that 🙂
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. reduce sugars, carbs, eat your greens, fruit, and veg – you get the gist.
- Postpone your worries. Set aside 15 minutes a day – ‘worry period’ – where you allow yourself to focus on problems and fears. See if there is anything you can do about it 😉 But the main thing is not to respond to the worry anytime it crosses your mind – push it away, tell your worry to wait 😉
- Talk to someone. Let your emotions out and be honest with yourself. Don’t keep it inside you.
- Learn to relax – find what works for you. Relaxation music, hot bath, yoga, mindful breathing, going for a walk, reading etc.
- Meditate. I spoke quite a bit about it in my previous post The Unconventional Guide to Meditation.
- Have a strong social network. Surround yourself with amazing people. Positive, happy, inspiring people. I am delighted to say I have a lovely bunch around me. Find yours too. Or connect with me 🙂
- Live in the present.
- Face your fears. Worry is intended to protect us from our fear, and yet it can lead to dwelling on things that will never happen. When we face our fears head-on, they tend to diminish. Rather than worrying uselessly, we can practice deliberately accepting that what we’re afraid of could happen: “It’s possible I’ll miss my flight.” “I can’t know for sure that this sniffle won’t turn into a nasty cold.” (Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D.)
- Start a journal. Just putting it all down on paper. It makes an enormous difference.
Worrying doesn’t mean you love someone more. Parents, in particular, tend to use this phrase with their children. You worry because you worry. It helps no one nor it shows more love. Trust the person. trust circumstances. Trust the World.
Few of my thoughts. Hope this helps.
Lots of love,