If you feel like you are always worrying it’s important to remember that everyone worries, however some people do have a tendency to worry more than others. The one thing I’ve noticed, as a therapist, is that anxiety has a lot to do with worrying about the future. If you fall in the category of constant worry these tips could really help you out.
- Embrace reality. Realize that worry is a part of life and you will never stop worrying completely. That being said it is possible to bring your worry down from a 10 out of 10 to a 4 or a 5. Using these tips and seeking help from a therapist are a great place to start.
- Use cognitive distractions. If you are having a really hard time letting go of worry for an upcoming event, it’s important to use distractions that will actively take your mind off it. Watching TV can sometimes work but instead try something that you need to focus on like putting extra hours in at work. This will keep your mind working and stop you from thinking about what’s coming up. This is a short-term solution, as eventually you will have to feel your feelings and work through them.
- Use a journal. It’s impossible and unhealthy, to distract yourself from your worries forever. In times when you are not actively distracting yourself, be sure to let it out, cry if you need to and keep a journal. When you’re journaling, be sure to write out your emotions clearly: Write things like “I feel sad and I want to cry” or “I’m angry and feel like screaming”.
- Call a supportive friend. Often when you’re worried about something you will play it over in your head and blow it out of proportion. By calling a friend who is supportive they will help to ground you, they will also remind you what you have been through and that you’re strong and can get through this.
- Remind yourself you can handle it. When you are going through something difficult, it’s easy to forget what you have overcome in the past. Oftentimes it’s not the event you’re worried about but it’s your doubt in your ability to overcome the event that makes you stressed. So next time you’re worried about something think back to all that you have overcome and remind yourself that you will get through this.
- See a psychotherapist. If your worrying is becoming unbearable it could be what we call catastrophizing, or seeing a situation as far worse than it is. Anxiety is actually a learned response and is often caused by past events not going as you planned. Maybe you felt unsafe or you were left behind so your mind is now trying to protect you but really it’s making things worse.
Worrying is a part of life but that doesn’t mean it needs to consume you. Next time you find yourself worrying too much, try one of these tips. If you find your constant worry is taking over your life, seek out professional help. A few sessions with a psychotherapist can really make a difference.