Although we know that worrying can hurt your well-being, snapping out of negative thought patterns can be incredibly difficult. That’s because these thought patterns are hardwired in our brains. When we try to stop worrying, what we are doing is confronting our beliefs, values, and emotions.
To help you stop worrying, here are five steps you should consider following.
Explore the origins of your worry: Do you worry generally or about specific things? If it’s a specific thing, you have the power to take constructive action to actively change that thing. But if you worry in general, the first big step is to become aware of yourself when you find yourself worrying in general about life.
Identify unique worry patterns: There are all kinds of worry patterns. By identifying which type you engage in, you can more easily resolve this pattern. So, what are some examples of worry patterns? One example is an overgeneralization, when we believe that having one negative experience means we will always have this negative experience. Another example is mind-reading, which is when we believe we know what others are thinking even though we haven’t actually asked them what they think. If you need help discovering your worry pattern, the source article features a list of different types.
Stop worry by moving: When you worry, you create neurochemicals that remain in your body even after you have stopped worrying about something. That’s why cardiovascular exercise can be so important. When you exercise, you relieve stress by cleansing yourself of these neurochemicals.
Try mindfulness to calm worries: By sitting quietly, noticing your thoughts, and letting them go, mindfulness can help redirect worries. Over time, mindfulness can train the mind to calm the body so you don’t get so stuck in worries.
Talk to someone about your worries: Talking with a friend or a trained professional can give you more perspective on your worry. Perhaps a simple conversation will show you that what you’re worried about isn’t worth the stress. Or at the very least, it can help you to see a situation differently. Just be careful with who you choose to open up to. Talking with a fellow worrier can only make your worries worse—choose wisely!