Good Strategies to Worry Less
Worries aren’t only disheartening; they are also bad for you. Studies show stress drains immunity and rewires your brain for more anxiety. These 10 tips will help you reduce worries and increase your well-being.
1. Raise happy hormones
You are built to create happy hormones. Factors like stress, though, diminish your supply. Top-up these natural joy-boosters with a daily workout, hugs, and sunshine. If you miss your regular embrace, cuddle a pet or massage your hands or feet to increase oxytocin.
Eat tryptophan-rich foods too. However, remember this joy-enhancing amino acid converts to serotonin only when it crosses the blood-brain barrier, and healthy carbohydrates like brown rice or beans will assist the process.
Also, avoid substances that shrink serotonin like too much caffeine.
2. Be positive
Your happiness will grow if you are positive. To an extent, how your mind works depends on how it has before. Are you often negative? Then you’re conditioned to create downbeat thoughts, but you can retrain your mind to worry less.
At first, you will need to force positive thinking, but this is okay. Even though it seems false for a while, your mind will soon become upbeat without effort.
3. Stay in the moment
Why do you worry? Old events, or what might happen, no doubt, bother you most. Here in the moment, though, there’s little stress. Come into the present when you note worries rise and focus on the environment. Look at your surroundings and describe them to cut rumination.
Concentrate on your actions too. Note how it feels to perform tasks and consider what you want to do as you tackle them. If you take a walk, focus on sensations and consider where you’re going and why. This approach involves mindfulness.
4. Reduce worry time to five minutes
Research shows a small amount of worry time helps. So, for five minutes a day, mull over concerns. Let-rip when your time slot arrives. The chances are, you can’t always worry on demand.
Choose when to worry, though, and you won’t do so as much on other occasions.
5. Radical acceptance
You won’t stop unwanted thoughts with willpower. They grow when you fight them, therefore practice acceptance. Without resistance in place, they may even leave.
View your concerns like they don’t belong to you. Think of them as clouds in the wind. Clouds don’t bother you, and your thoughts need not worry you either. Just know they exist, but don’t engage with them and they will blow away.
This approach to worry management is called radical acceptance.
6. Journal writing
Science suggests it’s therapeutic to write about your problems. Don’t focus on them but jot them down to ease stress.
Put pen to paper or type concerns to create clarity and cut anxiety.
7. Switch on logic
Worries turn on fight or flight and put you in survival mode. Use the logical region of your brain, though, and your anxiety will fade.
Carry out a cognitive task; count or do a crossword puzzle. Or join in a question-and-answer show on TV.
Meditation calms the mind; it stops your inner voice so you can enjoy being still. Meditate once a day for about twenty minutes. You can’t go wrong because there are no set rules.
Just pay attention to your breath as air enters and leaves your body and your worries may fade. Check out this anxiety reducing podcast on autogenetic training as a tool for meditation.
9. Gain body awareness
Get physical to shift awareness to your body and away from troubles. Run, cycle, walk, play a team sport, or attend an exercise class.
As long as you move, you won’t focus on concerns. Exercise also increases happy chemicals so you don’t linger on problems.
10. Don’t take your thoughts seriously
You wouldn’t entertain worries if you imagined your thoughts were unimportant. However, even when your concerns are small, you might emphasize them out of habit.
To worry less, imagine they are background noise, not data to handle. So what if your inner voice rambles? It’s not as though it presents the truth; it stems from your changing perspective.
Don’t let worries reduce your happiness. Rather, increase happy-hormone production and positivity. Also, stay in the present, cut worry time to short daily sessions, and practice radical acceptance.
Write about concerns, get logical when they flow, and meditate to calm your mind too. Stuck in your head? Shift to your body. Further, don’t take your concerns to heart and you’ll worry less.