The Sunday News
To worry is to feel or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems. It is normal to worry but when it becomes excessive it can progress to be a disorder and can affect one’s health, both physically and mentally.
Worry, when within the normal range, can push people to improve their lives, motivate one to live a healthier life or push them to work harder at their career or improve a relationship. While worry is not the best way to jolt one to do something some people can use it positively.
For most of the population though, worry isn’t exactly the catalyst to anything good. It does more harm than good and most often progresses to anxiety and even becomes a lifestyle for some people.
What are you worried about?
Most people worry about everything and anything but there are specific things that people worry about, such as money, relationships, work and responsibilities.
When it comes to money a lot of us had set standards and deadlines of things we would have wanted to achieve at a certain stage but we are not yet there because of well . . . circumstances. While we all feel the pressure it does not help to worry continuously about money that you do not have. Instead it would be wise to convert that worry into energy for you to embark on projects that will benefit you financially.
If it’s your health that you are worried about focus your thoughts on what is healthy, adjust your diet and do physical exercises. Do not, however, go overboard and research on your symptoms and worst case scenarios.
The mind is a very powerful tool, it can create scenarios that may trick your body into believing that you are headed for that bad stage and you will even feel the symptoms getting worse at a fast rate. The worry will actually aggravate your situation and make you sicker.
Try, instead, to relax and allow those you have entrusted with your health to see to it while you relax and keep your mind clear in order to aid your body to heal.
Others worry about relationships. For someone who is trying to improve a relationship worry may make it worse if the person feels insecure or threatened or that things are getting worse. One may end up pushing the other person away while trying to save the relationship.
What happens with worry is that it may cause you to assume things that may not be real on the ground, thereby causing you to act obsessively and if you fail to curb that worry things may escalate in the direction you do not want it to be and you will be left worse off. I have heard of people whose imaginations lead them to scary conclusions and they react to those (unreal conclusions) and people are left wondering what may be wrong with them.
Can you do anything about it?
We attach meaning to situations and that meaning will determine your actions, emotions and outcome of that which you are facing or pursuing. It is, therefore, imperative that we take care not to create mountains out of molehills by attaching meanings that paint a worse picture than that which is on the ground. When stressed, it is hard to view things objectively, hence the advice to try and approach problems or perceived problems from a calm area.
Steps to stop worrying:
Realise that you are worrying
The first step would be to accept that you are a worrier and that you need to address it. Try to look into what triggers your worry and work on eliminating the source of your worries. Deliberately set out to change you mindset to a positive one to avoid more worrying.
Take part in activities that help you relax
Everyone knows what makes them tick. For me it’s taking a walk at the end of a day when temperatures are cool, seeing nature, listening to calm music, watching an inspirational movie or dancing to set the mood for the day. What works for me may not work for you. Choose your go-to activities that make you feel relaxed and incorporate them in your daily life.
Do not believe every thought
The mind, in its creativity can throw you into depression if you allow it to lead you further down the dark road. Learn to choose the thoughts to entertain and neglect the bad ones. Eventually they will fade.
Overlook the small stuff
Everyone has everyday worries. There is no need to over-analyse everything that happens. Sometimes just look at things and choose not to react or absorb them. There will always be things, people and situations that annoy you. Let them be, they won’t have an effect on you if you choose to ignore them.
Live in the present
Stop worrying about what may or may not happen. Live in the moment. Tomorrow has its own issues which you will handle tomorrow. Deal with what is there today and do not allow worries about the future to consume you.
Be patient, grateful
Impatience is the major cause of stress, mostly in situations that people have no control over. Practice patience, accept that which you cannot change, be grateful for what you can and have hope and faith in the future. It can only look bright if you expect it to be.
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