“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” -Arthur Somers Roche
Do you often worry about your work, finances, health, relationships and other aspects of your life? Do worries invade your thoughts and spoil your day? Do you feel as if worrying has become a habit that is stopping you from enjoying your life?
Worrying thoughts can sap your energy and make you feel low. If your mind is often a whirlpool of worries, try these worry-reducing techniques to recapture your enthusiasm for life.
Talk About Your Worries
How many times have you felt much better after discussing your worries with a concerned friend or relative? The old saying, “A problem shared is a problem halved,” has been scientifically verified.
During a research project carried out by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, some participants were asked to share their worries about making a speech in front of a video camera. Other participants were not given this opportunity.
Those who discussed their worries were found to have significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who didn’t.
The researchers also discovered that the participants who shared their worries with fellow participants had the lowest stress levels.
This indicates that discussing your worries with people in a similar situation can give the best results. So, if you have money worries, you may alleviate those worries most by sharing them with someone who also has financial problems.
However, if you lead a busy life, it can be difficult to find time to meet friends and talk about your problems. You may also wish to keep certain worrying thoughts completely confidential.
In either of these cases, you can still write about your concerns.
Write Your Worries Down
Buy a hardback notebook and use it as a journal. Or, start a password-protected online journal on a website such as Penzu or Journalate.
Whenever you feel worried about something, write your concerns down in your journal. Don’t worry about your grammar or your sentence structure.
Just let your worries flow onto the paper or screen and be completely honest about your thoughts and feelings.
Remember that your journal is for your eyes only and there is no censorship.
You may not think that there is a big difference between thinking about your worries and writing them down.
However, once you’ve put your worries in writing, you’ll realize that you feel more relaxed and able to think more clearly. This may help you to think of possible solutions to the problems that are worrying you.
Even if you don’t come up with solutions, the process of writing down your worries will have had a beneficial, therapeutic effect on your mind and your worries will no longer weigh you down.
Conquer Your Worrying Thoughts
If you often have worrying thoughts entering your mind throughout the day, banish each one by saying to yourself, “I’ll worry about this tomorrow.”
Of course, when tomorrow comes, you can tell yourself the same thing. This technique is advocated by self-help author, Susan Jeffers, in her book, “Embracing Uncertainty”.
After practising this technique for some time, you’ll notice that fewer worrying thoughts enter your head.
This makes it easier to conquer the worrying thoughts you do have and sets you free to enjoy your life in the present moment.
Create a New Habit
It takes at least two weeks for a habit to form, so repeat one or more of these worry-reducing techniques every day for a fortnight.
Continue applying the techniques on an on-going basis, especially during times that are particularly stressful for you.
Over time, you’ll realize that you’re worrying less and enjoying your life much more.