Worrying: A Destructive Habit

♥ ”Worrying gives a small thing a big shadow” Swedish Proverb ♥

I can always find something to worry about. I don’t know how I manage to, I just do. Would I call myself a chronic worrier? I’m not sure I’d go that far but one thing’s for sure: I’m bent on breaking this destructive habit. Worrying is a vicious cycle. It saps your emotional energy, sends your anxiety levels soaring, interferes with your day and disturbs your sleeping pattern. Luckily it is also a mental habit that you can easily learn how to break with a few simple steps.

Studies on worrying have shown the following statistics:

40% of what we worry about never happens

30% of what we worry about has already happened

Only 8% of what we worry about actually happens…

♥ Make a list of all your worries no matter how big or small they are. Next to each worry determine whether it is productive or unproductive. A productive worry is one you can do something about. An unproductive worry is one you can’t do anything about. For example, worrying whether or not you will get cancer is unproductive. On the other hand, if you have an exam tomorrow and are worried because you haven’t studied, studying would be a good idea. This is an example of a productive worry because you can do something about it. Next to all the unproductive worries jot down all the possible positive outcomes related to the worry itself. Make your list as long as possible with around 10-20 points. When you find yourself worrying go over your list. This will remind you to look for positive outcomes instead of always imagining the worst

♥ When you head off to sleep DO NOT plan for tomorrow. All it does is disrupt your sleep and dreams

♥ If possible steer clear of the source or situation that makes you worry in the first place

♥ Remember that it’s never ever as bad as you think it will be. Our cunning mind always manages to blow things out of proportion. Bear that in mind

♥ When you worry, you are sort of predicting the future. Nobody knows what the future holds so it’s totally good for nothing

♥ Worrying is bad for your health! That should be a big enough reason to stop you from worrying!

♥ Stop trying to be in control of the universe. Not everything goes the way you want it. So you need to relax and accept that sometimes things really are out of your hands

♥ Worrying about something that has already happened is absurd. Let go of the past. Forgive yourself and others. Nobody can change bygones

♥ As soon as you find yourself beginning to worry distract yourself. Call a friend. Read a book. Go for a walk. Watch a movie. Listen to some music

♥ Whenever you find yourself worrying about something in the future say to yourself  ”I will worry about this tomorrow. There is no need to worry about it today as it won’t happen for quite a while anyway.” Delay worrying for another day

♥ Remember to keep things in perspective

♥ Accept uncertainty. People who worry too much have a need to be certain about everything. The only thing certain in this world is uncertainty itself. Worrying about uncertainty is just a waste of energy

♥ Do lots of exercise. Exercise helps to release endorphins in your body. Endorphins are feel good chemicals

♥ Stop worrying what people think of you. You do not need to identify your self worth with the opinions of others

♥ Remind yourself that more often than not, worrying is not going to help

♥ Live in the present. Most of the problems you worry about appear when you live in the past or the future

♥ Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to always be worrying, let alone worrying about the small insignificant things

♥ Be careful what you wish for. By continuously thinking about something you give it power. In some form these thoughts are more likely to materialize. Beware!

Keep a pen and paper by your bed so if any thoughts pop into your head when you’re just ready to sleep you can write them down and clear your mind

♥ Spend some time relaxing each day. Listen to soothing music. Do some yoga. Go for a long walk

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 1:55 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i worry altogether too much! good list 🙂

    • Thank you Kate! I hope you’re making good use of the list! ( I certainly am)

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