Worrying is not good for your well-being.
Are you a constant worrier? Do you worry about small details such as what to wear on Monday? Does meal planning keep you awake at night?
For chronic worriers, the likelihood of becoming severely stressed is almost 100%.
It is normal to get a little stressed and worry from time to time. However, if it is excessive, it will become uncontrollable, which may also lead to anxiety and worsen as an anxiety disorder.
What causes stress and worry in adults?
According to surveys in the US, 40% of workers say that work is the biggest source of their stress.
Work worries include:
- Being unhappy or unsatisfied with your job
- Burn out
- Being unsatisfied with pay
- Working under an uncomfortable environment
- Office politics and bullying
- Facing racism, discrimination and other forms of harassment
Personal life circumstances also contribute to stress, for example:
- Loss of a loved one
- Increase in obligations
- A life-changing event such as having a baby, moving into a new home, or getting married
- Mental and emotional problems
- Traumatic event
- A natural disaster which puts you in uncertain situations
Constant worrying will keep you up at night disrupting your sleep patterns, which will impede your creativity and focus. Subsequently, it will affect your work performance and your personal life.
Constant worry will affect your mood and if you’re anxious out of your mind, it will interfere with your daily life. It will also affect your relationships.
Another negative effect: over time, you may begin to harbor negative thoughts and emotions that will result in always expecting the worst.
Constant worrying, negative thinking, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
What happens to your physiological health when you’re overly stressed?
- It will leave you feeling restless and jittery
- It may cause insomnia and migraine
- You experience loss of focus and concentration
- You may purge and take it out on people you love
- It can also lead to substance abuse
If you’re a constant worrier, it could be a symptom of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is a major anxiety disorder that will make you feel uneasy and nervous about anything and everything when left diagnosed and untreated by a medical professional.
Rather than being a disorder, worrying might just maybe a terrible habit you’ve acquired over time. Just as you acquired it, you can help yourself get out of it.
1. Try to change your lifestyle
Analyze your situation. What triggers your stress? What makes you worried?
Is it work? Are you dealing with toxic colleagues and impossible deadlines? Nothing is worth sacrificing your peace of mind.
Try to look for another job that doesn’t consume you. It’s not that easy and change can be terrifying but if you’ve been dealing with so much at your workplace, it’s is likely not worth staying.
Protect your sanity at all costs.
Is your stress caused by a toxic partner? Evaluate your relationship. Is it worth fighting for? Are you the only one making an effort to make it work? Is your self-worth still intact?
2. When in doubt refer to the Serenity Prayer
It doesn’t matter what your religion is because the serenity prayer makes a lot of sense and can definitely help you in challenging times.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”
Not everything is in your control. There are some things you’re meant to let go.
3. Take care of your body
Exercise and eat the right food. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins “the happy hormone.” During and after exercise, your brain won’t dwell on worrying. You will feel happier and healthier. It uplifts mood almost instantly.
There are also certain types of food that lift up your moods such as chocolates, nuts, eggs, fatty fish such as salmon, yogurt, and more.
4. Accept that some things can’t be perfect
If you’re a perfectionist you must have impossibly high standards, which means that you’ll also be discontented with solutions that others find acceptable—this leads to even more worrying!
5. Quit blaming yourself
A guilt trip isn’t fun. You are not responsible for the bad things that have been happening. When your mind is clouded with worry and you’re always expecting the worst, you may start to believe that everything is your fault.
For example, you have a presentation at work with your teammates. You did your best and one of your teammates fell short and your presentation wasn’t approved or chosen by those judging your work.
You will start ruminating about what you may have done wrong, even if it ain’t your fault. This can also cause you to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Change your mindset to believe that everything happens for a reason, some things didn’t work out because they’re not supposed to, and something better will come along. Look at life with a glass half full outlook.
6. Create a worry list
If there are so many things that worry you, write them down. Allot a time where you can go over it. Read each item on the list one by one so that you can analyze and validate it.
Examine the list and approach it in a logical way, setting aside your emotions. If you have proven they aren’t valid, cross them off of your list.
Next, write your solution.
Writing can help you put your thoughts in order, then you’ll realize some of the things you’re worried about may not even be valid.
7. Make it a habit to meditate twice daily
Meditation lets you focus on the present. It stops your mind from wandering and especially worrying. I personally call it a “mind-retreat.”
When you wake up and before going to bed do this:
Go somewhere quiet and sit comfortably on a chair or a cushion. Gently close your eyes and breathe into your nose, then exhale through your mouth. Hold your breath for two seconds as you inhale and then exhale slowly.
Focus on your breath and observe your belly fall and your chest expands while you inhale.
Focus on the sensations you feel on your body. When something in your mind comes up, return to your focus bearing no judgment.
When you’ve learned to let go of your worries and accept that you cannot control everything, that’s the time you’ll find peace. Don’t engage in worry. Let your anxious thoughts pass your mind like weightless air.
Rather than being stuck in issues you cannot control, find ways to uplift your spirit daily.
The more receptive you are, the more you’ll be able to grow and set yourself free from your wandering thoughts.