When your head hits the pillow at night, do you doze off easily? Or, like many of us, do you lie there thinking, worrying? As I said, you’re not alone. But, don’t worry (see what I did there?), we’re going to cover how to stop worrying all the time.
This is Part 4 of the Self-Love Series. If you missed parts 1 and 2, you can catch them here: Self-Love Series.
Download your free, printable Worry Journal from the Self-Care Lounge
A 60+ page Journalette™ (tiny journal) focused on helping you let go of worry, get calm, and refocus. The Worry Journal has writing pages, with space for morning and evening writing (your choice), guidance for letting go of worry, and coloring pages (which, by the way, are proven to induce a calmer state).
Enter your name and email address and I’ll immediately send you access to the Self-Care Lounge, where you can get your Worry Journal (and other self-care goodies).
(In a hurry, but know you want to feel less worried all the time? Click here to Pin this to Pinterest and come back to finish reading later)
First, recognize that worrying (a lot) is a habit.
In, my post on Breaking Bad Habits, I explained how to break general bad habits. But worrying is one of the not-so-obvious habits in life, right? We almost expect that everyone worries.
And everyone does. (Don’t feel bad.)
There are levels to this.
When worried thoughts make you feel anxious, consume a large part of your daily thought processes, it can be hard to:
Focus and be productive
Get deep sleep
That last one is something few people talk about. But it’s important to know that when you’re worrying, you’re reinforcing a limiting-belief in yourself (and the world). I’ll be writing a post coming up about trust.
Worry erodes your sense of trust. And as that happens, you doubt yourself, other people, that things work out for you, etc. And you end up feeling fearful.
All that fear and over-worrying saps your energy.
That’s why this is part of the Self-Love Series. In this series, we’re helping you cultivate more self-love and release habits that don’t serve you.
So, what to do?
Here’s what you can do when you’re in a worrying-moment
1.Get grounded in the present
Most worry is about anxiety over something that happened in the past or concern about the future.
In both instances, you’re not fully present.
As much as you can, try to stay focused on the moment where you are, this moment.
This takes work.
And you’ll find yourself (constantly) slipping back into future thinking or mulling over the past.
This is normal. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Simply take notice, and then come back to the present.
The simplest way I know of is to take a few deep breaths.
While taking them, notice your breathing, how each breath feels, notice your body.
Breathing is a powerful anchor into the present moment.
Then once you’ve taken the deep breaths, be more mindful of where you are in the present moment. What you’re doing, who you’re around.
I recorded this ‘Letting Go of Worry Meditation’ for you, specifically to help with releasing anxious, worried thoughts. It has a powerful breathing exercise in it to help you get grounded in the present and also walks you through releasing worry.
Can’t finish this meditation now? Subscribe to the YouTube Channel HERE and come back to it later.
Keep refocusing when you catch your mind wandering back to worry world.
Do this over
This is a life-long practice.
You will notice a difference. in your mood. In your life.
2. Create your ‘stop’ question
I created a question I ask myself when I start worrying. You can steal this question or create one of your own.
My question to myself: what can I do about (what I’m worrying about) at this very moment?
Most times the answer is nothing.
Just last night, I had a moment like this and stopped myself. There was nothing I could do last night, so I choose to let those thoughts go.
If you’re worrying over something that happened in the past, what can you do about it right now? Probably nothing. It’s already happened. You’re reaching into the past and pulling that moment into the present. Is that *really* how you want to spend your Saturday evening? (or whatever day/time it is)
If you’re worrying over something that may / may not happen in the future, what can you do about it right now?
And notice for the future worrying, I mentioned something that may/may not happen.
That’s the thing with worry.
Understand that it’s mostly made up stories, especially about the future. Things that may not even happen.
Does it make sense to spend the precious time you have right now (the only time you’re guaranteed to have) draining your energy over events and situations that may not even come true?
You know the answer to that question.
If you already journal, add in journaling about something you’re worried over. This helps release a lot of the worry from your mind onto the page.
If I’m going through something particular tough, or I notice I can’t shake my worrying, I prefer to keep a tiny journal, my Worry Journal, specifically about my worries. I write in it and then put it away.
Out of sight.
Here’s how to stop worrying long-term
We’ve covered suggestions for dealing with worrying in the moment. But how can you help break this habit worrying?
You can pretty much always expect me to suggest this. Keeping a journal or notebook, where you regularly write about your feelings, concerns, joys, dreams, etc… can be life-changing. It’s (almost) free and has unbelievable benefits for helping you relax, de-sress, and release worries.
The more wound up you’re, the more you’ll worry. It’s a vicious wheel that is hard to get off. Find ways to relax daily, if you can. It helps clear space in the mind.
Try my Deep Relaxation Meditation if you’re looking for ideas.
*Call someone and talk about it
Put a limit on this.
Set a timer and allow yourself to vent about your worry for a certain period of time only.
It’s good to vent. Not good to spiral into overthinking and over-worrying. You know that spiral I’m referring to. Putting a time limit is so simple but effective.
You don’t have to try everything or do ‘all the things’ to make changes in your life. Actually, I think the more you try to change everything at once, the more chances you’ll change nothing.
Pick one thing.
One suggestion from above. And give it a try.
Let me know how it goes.
Remember to access your Worry Journal in the Self-Care Lounge. Enter your name and email address below in the black and gold box.
See you inside!