We all have things that worry us, and we are all anxious sometimes. But, when these anxious thoughts overwhelm you and take over your personality, it is difficult to live everyday life. In these anxious moments, it is almost impossible to stay focused on anything besides the thing that is bothering you. It’s difficult to make decisions and take any action when anxiety takes you over. Worrying is always directly connected with overthinking. When you think about the things that worry you, you are sometimes aware that these things shouldn’t bother you this much. The next step is thinking why you worry.
Finally, you stop worrying about the thing that initially bothered you, and you end up worrying because you worry too much. This looks like a never-ending circle that you cannot escape from. But running away from problems is not a solution either. You shouldn’t try to repress these anxious thoughts. They will appear on the surface and catch you sooner or later. Sometimes, they can be even more intense when they reappear. Instead, you should confront these thoughts and learn how to handle them. Here are 5 steps that will help your brain stop worrying.
- Write down things that worry you
Instead of dealing with your negative thoughts on your own, try writing them down. People tend to feel relieved when they put their feelings on paper. Sharing your emotions and worries with a piece of paper is similar to sharing it with someone. Although nobody actually heard you, you feel like you put it out of your system. You can write a diary every day and write everything that bothered you during that day. You don’t need to just number the things out, you can also write about how certain things made you feel. If you can’t find time for writing in a diary, another good option is writing your problems on post-its during the day. In this way, you can express your frustrations.
- Keep yourself occupied
If you have a lot of free time, you have a lot of time on your hands to think and overthink. If you are not busy enough, you will find problems where they are not. And you will allow your mind to overreact and to make a big deal of everything. So, keep yourself occupied and busy. Find a hobby, join a book club, or start learning a new language… anything that will keep your mind off negativity. The best thing for keeping the negative thoughts away is exercise and physical activity. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health. After you are done with exercising, your body is tired, but your mind is also tired, and you don’t have the energy to worry and to think negatively. It will also help you with your sleep.
- Irrational fears
When you are worried about something, ask yourself whether that fear is rational. Many fears we have don’t actually have a firm background and are just a product of our brains. Try convincing yourself that a certain fear or worry is irrational. Besides this, there are things in life you can’t change. Even when something that bothers you is rational, try telling yourself that things will happen the way they will happen, either way. You can chose to make the best out of everything or to burden yourself with thinking about all the possible outcomes. Either way, you worrying won’t make any difference, so isn’t it better to try and be positive and relaxed?
- Focus on breathing
Whenever you feel that your anxiety will hit you, try to breathe. There are numerous breathing techniques that literally reprogram your brain and calm you down. If you can’t think of any technique at the exact moment, try counting to ten. Concentrate on your breathing and counting. Meditation is also proven to be beneficial when it comes to anxiety. Meditation trains your brain to be worry free. Don’t expect to lose all of your worrisome thoughts while trying meditation for the first time. But, with time, you will learn to see those thoughts going away, and you will see all the benefits meditation carries.
- Live in the present
Try to live in the present as much as you can. Don’t allow the past to affect your life. If you hold on to the negative things and people from the past, you are only hurting yourself and are not allowing yourself to move on and become a better, more optimistic person. Forgive yourself and forgive others! Learn from the past experiences and see them as lessons. Whatever happened in the past can’t be changed, and whatever will happen in the future can hardly be affected on. So, live in today!