Worry is a natural reaction to life’s uncertainties. However, many people worry compulsively. Are you a person who continually dwells on the things that could go wrong in your life? Do you try to control situations outside of your power? Here, we explain how to worry less and feel happier.
Am I worrying too much?
People who worry excessively tend to catastrophically project into the future, imagining adverse events that have not yet happened. Everyday activities like driving, flying, changing jobs, meeting new people, begin to feel over-whelming. Continuous worrying like this can have adverse effects both mentally and physically. Worry can essentially create massive anxiety.
We all feel concern for people we love, and we all feel anxious about certain changes or when life feels out of our control. But if you start to project your worries onto those you love, your influence may feel negative, and they may back away.
How worrying can affect your body?
Our physical reactions to an imagined disaster are much the same as if the event were really happening. Our body does not differentiate between real or projected events. Worry releases adrenaline and cortisol into the body creating stress levels. It is not hard to see how much wear and tear we cause to our bodies and minds when worry becomes a behaviour pattern.
It’s when the worry is not based on rationality or data, that it can become extremely unhealthy and even lead to you placing heavy restrictions on the way you live your life. For example, if you stop driving or flying, travel becomes limited. You miss out on work opportunities, holidays and new experiences.
How to worry less?
With a little practice you can reduce your day-to-day worries. Here are our 2 go to tips on how to worry a little less and feel a little happier.
Change the way you think, leave worry in the past!
A great way to change your thinking around worry, is to acknowledge your resiliency. Think about every adversity you have survived so far. When you acknowledge the past trauma, pain, and disappointment you have overcome, you can truly honour your own strength. When we are going through a challenging time, all can feel lost, but inevitably we get back up and find a way to embrace life again. Often when we look back, we find valuable lessons in the things that have happened to us. We realise that through adversity, we grow.
A good question to ask yourself is ‘What if?’. For example, what if you apply for promotion and are rejected. Well, initially you are likely to feel highly disappointed. Allow yourself that feeling. Then, perhaps you will be ready to think objectively about how you can improve your skills and knowledge to be better prepared for the next opportunity. Maybe you will really think about what it is you would like to do next and hit on a whole new idea. Ultimately, the experience will not have been a waste of time - you will take from it what you can and use it positively.
Remember, you are much more resilient than you know.
Write Your Worries Away!
If a situation is really playing on your mind, take a blank piece of paper and write down your feelings about it. Then allow yourself to free-write your thoughts on how you could let go of your worries relating to the situation. For example, if you are anxious about your child leaving home for university, acknowledge your worries and then write about all the wonderfully positive life experiences your child will gain. Think about the great times you can have together making memories during term breaks. Allow yourself to let your child fly.
When we choose to fill our minds with positive rather than negative thoughts, we naturally start to worry less and feel happier. We hope that you can feel a little happier this autumn!