How often do we worry about something that may never happen? While worrying can sometimes be helpful, as it causes us to take action to solve a particular problem, the majority of our worries is without merit and can actually be harmful to our health.
Worrying about something that may never happen causes a lot of undue stress. Worrying will not prevent something from happening. We also tend to worry about things that have already occurred. Because we cannot change the past, not much good can come from it. We can only learn from our mistakes and move on. Although it is natural to worry about our health, loved ones, and financial issues, it is unhealthy to constantly stress about matters that are out of your control. Yes, you should do everything that you can to make sure you are in good health, that your children are safe and that you are financially stable. But, you should not spend large amounts of time worrying about things that may never occur.
While a certain amount of worrying is normal, excessive worry may cause extreme anxiety and even feelings of panic and despair. According to WebMd, chronic worry can cause:
- difficulty swallowing
- dry mouth
- fast heartbeat
- inability to concentrate
- muscle aches
- muscle tension
- nervous energy
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
- trembling and twitching
- suppression of the immune system
- digestive disorders
- muscle tension
- short-term memory loss
- premature coronary artery disease
- heart attack
If worrying is consuming a large part of your day, you should consider the ill-effects of this excess anxiety on your health. So, what should you do to put these worries to rest, so that you can actually enjoy life again?
Out of sight, out of mind
Try to be present in each moment. If you are spending time with your family, your mind should not wander to issues involving work. Focus on what you are doing for the present moment. Likewise, when you are at work, concentrate on your job. Don’t think about all of the issues going on at home. There is nothing you can do about them now, and any amount of worry will not magically erase your problems.
Set aside some worry-time
Set aside some time each day to focus on your problems. Use this time to be proactive in finding solutions. It might help to make a list of all of your concerns. Then you could circle the issues that you have some control over. These are the things that you should focus on. Try to make positive steps in resolving these issues. The problems that you have no control over, you should cross out. You could even list them on a piece of paper and then crumble it up and throw it away. Physically putting your worries into the trash might help. It will give you some sense of control in that you have decided not to spend any more time on these things, hence putting your worries to rest.
Think: Will this matter a year from now?
This might put things into perspective. Realizing that, in a year, the argument you had with your best friend won’t even matter because everything will be smoothed over helps. Even if you lose your job, it might seem devastating at the time. But, you are going to be proactive. You are not just going to sit on your hands and let your family starve. By this time next year, it is likely that you will have a new job and everything will be fine. Time really does heal.
Stay in control
Worrying can often take over, causing us to be overly stressed and often lead to irrational thinking. Try to regain control of your thoughts and your circumstances. Remember that, although you often can’t control what will happen, you always have control over your reactions. So, take a deep breath, don’t panic, and come up with a plan. You can control the direction your life will take. Sometimes events that seem catastrophic in our lives may actually be detours that will lead to better things. So, take a step back and think outside the box. Look at your problems in a new light. Work together with loved ones to come up with creative solutions. Don’t let your problems and worry take over. You’ve got this!
Working out can actually help you relieve stress and anxiety. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins into your body, lifting your mood and helping to alleviate stress. It also increases feelings of self-confidence and reduces negativity and symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Exercising regularly has also been proven to elevate your mood, resulting in increased levels of energy and optimism. Plus, while you’re getting rid of all of that negativity, you can also feel good as you’re whipping your body into great shape!
If you are feeling completely overwhelmed and it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to get better, then professional help is definitely an option. There is no reason to take on stress by yourself. A psychologist or therapist can help you deal with overwhelming stress, anxiety and feelings of helplessness. So if you can’t get a handle on these things by yourself, then it might be time to seek professional help. Psychology Today offers a link to aid you in getting the help that you need: Find a therapist
If you’re religious…
Make a list of all of your worries. Instead of writing Worry List at the top, write Prayer List. Many people feel that praying for all of their problems, no matter how big or small, helps them to handle what comes their way. So, if you are a religious person, you can pray for what you are concerned about. You might ask others to pray for you as well.
Don’t worry. Be happy!
Implementing some or all of these techniques may help you to handle stress and anxiety. Realize that worrying only takes away your control over situations, making you feel even more helpless. Instead, be proactive and do what you can to change your situation and deal with your problems. Try not to worry about circumstances that may never even happen. Try to think positively in your every day life. When you worry less, you will able to enjoy life more. Remember, you are in control. So, worry less and live more!