Advertising
Advertising

How to Stop Worrying and Regain Control of Your Life

How to Stop Worrying and Regain Control of Your Life

Have you ever experienced this — your brain couldn’t stop replaying worst-case scenarios as you close your eyes?

What if I can’t make a great impression on my first day of work? Let’s see, I will wear this shirt with that pair of pants. Will I overdress? Oh no, I need to wake up earlier to iron my shirt. Wait, did I lock the door?

Usually, most of these worries are unnecessary.

In a study done in 2015[1], researchers discovered neurotic, worry-obsessed, and anxious people tend to be more creative. Unfortunately, while over-worriers are blessed to be extraordinarily creative, it is their creativity that fuels their anxiety.

Over-worriers put their thoughts in the wrong places

They use their imaginations in the wrong way. They tend to put their creativity to generate what ifs, could haves, should haves, instead of solving problems.

They focus too much on the future. American motivational speaker Leo F. Buscaglia says it best, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

Advertising

They keep guessing other’s mind. Reading someone’s mind doesn’t work usually. It will end up in more worries and misunderstandings.

Many people with the tendency of over-worrying believe they can hardly change this habit, or although the panic brought by over-worrying is unbearable, they can live normally after the panic recedes. So they choose to leave the problem unsolved. If that’s your thought, you should abandon it as soon as possible because…

It takes a toll on your mental health and physical health

Hypervigilance. Because of anxieties and worries, an over-thinker is constantly on the lookout for possible threats, even in the tiniest things.

Reduced concentration and indecisiveness. The brain of the over-worrier drifts in and out of their thoughts. Without focus, they can’t think properly or make decisions.

Problem-focused. Worriers are obsessed with problems instead of solutions.

Worries lower your immune system. Constant worries put you in a more tired and lethargic place, which makes you more prone to infections.

Advertising

Worries cause insomnia. With your head spinning and thoughts tossing you left and right, it’s hard to get a good night sleep.

So how can you stop worrying and overthinking?

Write off your worries

How? Whenever you are worried, list the problems bothering you and possible solutions non-stop within 3 minutes. You don’t have to be organized with your thoughts, just write as your mind flows.

Why? It’s usually the abstract and ambiguous thoughts that make you worry much. By turning the thoughts into something concrete through writing, you can empty worries and fears out of your mind. Also, thinking more of solutions can shift your attention to the outcome and action instead of the problem itself.

Example: You made an insensitive remark towards your co-worker, and you are worried she is upset with you. Instead, write down the possible actions you can take to solve the situation, like apologizing to your co-worker.

Focus on external environment instead of your inner thoughts

How? When your mind is not occupied, don’t wander off to your worries and inner thoughts, but shift your focus to something else — the details of what you see.

Advertising

Why? Science has found that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.[2] A wandering mind usually creates negative thoughts, and most worries are self-produced. Occupying your mind with objective facts rather than subjective imagination can help you live in the present.

Example: When you are commuting to work, don’t let your idle mind wander off to personal troubles and distresses, but pay attention to the people, the scenery, or the little things next to you.

Challenge your irrational anxious thoughts

How? List your worries out and ask yourself in a third-person perspective.

  • Are there any evidences to support this thought for being true/false?
  • Can I look at this situation more positively and realistically?
  • What’s the possibility of this worry going to happen?
  • How will worrying about this help or hurt me?

Why? As humans, we are easily convinced and persuaded by our irrational thoughts because of our confirmation bias. Take a objective look at your own worries can help you eliminate unnecessary thoughts.

Example: You just pitched an idea to your boss, and you thought your performance was less than satisfactory. Start asking yourself these questions:

  • Could your boss spot the one tiny point you missed?
  • Would worrying increase the chances of your pitch being chosen?

When you rationally challenge yourself, you’ll soon realize these worries are insignificant.

Advertising

Need more guidance? Here are two books to further lead you to a less anxious and worrisome life:

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

    This book deals with the fundamental causes of worries, and provides solutions to improve your physical health, mental health, and overall psychological mindset.

    Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking

      The authors suggest to get rid of worries, one of the most important ways is to be mindful and clean up your mental clutter.

      Featured photo credit: Cuppa Catholic via cuppacatholic.blogspot.hk

      Reference

      More by this author

      Frank Yung

      Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

      Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day 10 Best Standing Desks That Are High in Quality and Cheap in Price Finally, a Way to Avoid Jet Lag: The Jet Lag Calculator The Best Places Around the World to Retire in 2017 Take 5 Minutes To Read And Improve Your Writing Skills Forever

      Trending in Communication

      1 15 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk for Success 2 27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down 3 How to Find Motivation When You’re Totally Burnt Out 4 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life 5 Top 10 Online Learning Sites To Advance Communication Skills at Work

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on October 9, 2018

      27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

      27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

      Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

      If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

      Advertising

      1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
      2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
      3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
      4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
      5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
      6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
      7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
      8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
      9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
      10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
      11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
      12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
      13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
      14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
      15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
      16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
      17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
      18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
      19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
      20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
      21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
      22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
      23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
      24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
      25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
      26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
      27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

      Remember:

      Advertising

      It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

      If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

      Advertising

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Advertising

      Read Next