When you slow down for a moment, decompress, zoom out, and think about it, you will realize that literally nothing good can come of worrying.
Unlike fear, which is a natural mechanism and has been saving our lives for centuries, worry is pointless. It won’t help you prepare better. It won’t help you deal with a situation better. It’s all negative, pointless, and counterproductive.
Yet stopping is often a huge challenge, as it has become so ingrained in our minds. Let’s explore the nine signs that you worry too much, and see how you can stop.
Signs you worry too much
How much worry is too much worry, is the question. We could argue that any worry is too much, however, let’s see some actual symptoms you can look out for:
- You are linking your emotions to your eating habits, and as a result of this, you’re now eating too much or not eating enough.
- You often find yourself close to tears.
- You replay events in your mind over and over again.
- You keep thinking about possible outcomes for situations that have not yet happened.
- You keep thinking about alternative outcomes for situations that have already happened.
- You are having trouble sleeping.
- You always jump to the worst possible conclusions and expect the worst.
- You never feel relaxed, mentally or physically.
- Your health is starting to suffer.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs of constant and consuming worry, it might be time to do something about it – even though stepping out of that circle may sound impossible right now.
How to stop worrying too much
The first thing you need to realize is that there is nothing wrong with you: we all worry, and a lot of us sometimes lose control over it. Our thoughts are incredibly powerful, and you can sometimes just sink into them. And when they are negative, they have a very sinister way of forcing themselves on your attention.
In order to stop these spirals of worry, try the following:
Identify your worries
The first step to overcoming is identifying: so try writing down a list of everything you worry about. From the smallest things that bug you in the night to the major worries you feel are messing with your head.
Label and dissect them
Now that you have clearly spelled out everything, you can start going through them one by one. Analyze each worry and approach it from many different angles. You will find that some of them are simply irrational and unlikely, while others can be dealt with through a more hands-on approach.
Plan what you can
When you come up against a worry that is real, figure out a way to deal with every possible outcome. Let’s say you’re worried about how you’re going to live when you retire, which is an issue that many people are plagued by today. Instead of worrying, take action. Figure out how you want to approach retirement and take concrete steps: research, save, plan, and stick to your plan once you have it.
Accept the unexpected
A lot of our fears come from uncertainty and the ‘what if’ questions.
The truth is, if so and so happens (for example, you trip and fall down the stairs), it will simply happen. There’s no way of knowing what tomorrow brings, and there’s no way of preventing some of the things that are going to happen.
Once you accept that life is about uncertainty and the unknown (and even start waking up with a feeling of curiosity as to what the day will bring), you will begin to truly let go of your worry.
Make yourself uncomfortable
We worry a lot about being uncomfortable and doing things we have never done before. Instead of playing into the hands of worry, just go do it. Deliberately put yourself into situations you know you won’t like, and let your brain learn. After a while, you will cotton on to the fact that you have done this more than once, have been fine, and can now do it again, without the discomfort.
Don’t fight it
Although our natural impulse is often to fight the feelings of dread and discomfort, which then only intensify, the way out of that cycle is to accept that you’re feeling this way. It will pass; you just have to acknowledge it. Accept that it’s there and that it’s just a thought, just a feeling – nothing is really happening. Let it run its course instead of bashing against it.
Even if you worry that you will never be able to stop worrying – if you try the above tactics, you will slowly notice worry is slowly leaving your world.