We all worry about stuff from time to time. Its normal and seems to be ingrained in our minds that its necessary to worry about things in order to feel good. Unfortunaly our brains are confused and don’t realise worrying serves no purpose to our functioning, worrying is simply a bad habit we have picked up over time.
Its not something easy to break, but I’m going to try and share some cool tips and tricks which can help your mind realize that worrying is irrational and a total waste of time.
Our minds seem to negotiate happiness; when things are going well it decides the time has come to compensate with some bad thoughts in order to counter balance things. With some re-training of the mind you can stop these depressing thoughts sneaking in when things are going well.
Worry Serves No Purpose
This is something important that we often forget when stuck in a worrying train of thought. Worrying was originally something that was a healthy habit that came about in times we needed it (being attacked, solving problems as they arise in the moment) this is the Fight or Fly response. Unfortunately the human body has become accustomed to using the Fight or Fly response as something to respond to silly day to day stressors like “what will people think of me” or the host of “What If” thoughts.
Worrying is never useful. It clouds our thought and drains our energy, the more it triggers a stress response the less capable we become at handling what actually matters “the here and now”.
1- Replace Thoughts
When worrying or stuck in a distressing train of thought learn to counter balance the thoughts. For instance every time you have a worrying thought that makes you feel anxious think back to when the last time something you were worrying about actually happened. I will bet that 95% of the things you have worried about in the past haven’t come true. This simple rationalization will usually make things click in your head.
Also try to think the opposite of the thought that is trapped in your mind. If your upset about something someone said, imagine them saying the opposite to you instead. The power of your mind is truly amazing.
2- Delay Worrying
This is a great tip I picked up a while back its pretty simple.
Get a Pen and Paper
Wirte down all the things that are worrying you now
Tell yourself that you will Worry About Them Later
The mind is a funny thing and for some reason if you tell it that you will worry about something later it will quite happily put things off. As your fooled into thinking that your still worrying about things.
It will take some dedication at first but each time a bad thought crops up just tell yourself “Worry About it Later” and imagine the thought being brushed off. After about a half hour of doing this worrying thoughts will dissipate. Delaying worrying is one habit you need to pickup!
3- Don’t go too Hard
I have noticed at times when I am training too hard and eating too little (possibly through fasting, keeping busy) I quickly become moody, anxious, irritable and start worrying about insignificant things. Throw some coffee in the mix and its a sure fire way to burn yourself out.
Sometime worry and stress is your mind getting confused and trying make you calm down by figuring out what is wrong (which can never be done through worry). This goes hand in hand with overtraining.
If you are every feeling like everything is too much, it probably is. Turn down all your stressors, eat lots of good food and get some rest. You will be surprised at how quickly your train of thought becomes rational again. Remember when your stressed out or overworked your body forgets to signal that you need food, which can lead to a vicious cycle of under eating provoking a anxious/worrisome mind.
The article above can give you a very good idea of why over doing things can lead to a breakdown. And how stressors can affect your body without you even realizing.
4- Have a Release
One of the best ways to get things into perspective is to have a release. Too many of us are prone to store up emotions as we have no one to talk to, or are uncomfortable speaking to others about our problems. One way around this is to keep a Journal, this is something that is surprisingly helpful. Each night note down things about your day, how you felt (good or bad) and things your grateful for. You will be shocked at how effective writing a 10 minute journal entry is at clearing your mind and putting it at ease. Anytime I have some worries or anxieties grabbing a little book and noting them all down keeps me sane. Journalling helps you:
Clear Your Mind
Get things off your chest
Fools you into thinking things have been dealt with
Provides interesting read back material allowing you to see how far you’ve come
Another great release is obviously exercise. I wrote about this previously over here…….. Personally I find in order to release I need to do some activity that lets me get into a flow state; this could be something like running, swimming and even hitting a boxing bag for 20-30 minutes. Its for that reason I recommend that people under high stress should use some form of intense exercise to calm the mind and channel excess energy.