Freelance copywriter, blogger and social media manager - Check out her blog Katy Said What
Do you worry 'too much'? While there's no magic cure to help you stop worrying completely, there are steps you can take to worry less.
Recognise unnecessary worry
Some worry is valid; our brains are trying to protect us from potential dangers and keep us safe. However, chronic worry drains us of energy and leads us to being unproductive. A key to worrying less is recognising when you are unnecessarily anxious.
Get some perspective
When you feel yourself consumed with worry or anxiety, learn to give yourself some perspective. Try to separate yourself from your current situation and ask whether it really deserves your worry. Fast forward a week, or a year, and ask “will this situation matter then?” If you answer ‘no’, let the worry go – it’s not worth your concern.
Accept your worry when needed
In this mindful act, simply acknowledging that you are experiencing the feeling of worry will lessen your anxiety. By accepting it, you are stopping it from growing any further. You are worried, you have accepted that, now move on.
Learn to say ‘no’
If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to everything asked of you, you run the risk of over-committing, which will lead to worry. So learn to say no. And it is something you’ll have to learn, as it’s not easy to do. By saying no, you are learning to put greater emphasis on your time, which is valuable. If you’re concerned about letting people down, try this “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this right now. Thanks for asking, though.” See? Nice and friendly.
Imagine the worst – and welcome it
The path of worry can be self-destructive, so a good trick is to imagine the worse and take it to the very extreme, so that the notion becomes ridiculous. For example “If I don’t get this job, I’ll have no money, none of my friends will let me stay with them, so I’ll end up on the street forever.” Once you imagine the worst, your brain will usually offer you another, more realistic, solution and you can then work towards a happier solution.
Become more interested in the world around you
It’s easy to be selfish and forget that more is happening in the world. Rather than succumbing to worry, take more of an interest in what is going on around you. Notice what people are doing and saying; shifting your attention to others can lower your anxiety level.
Purposely practice the steps above over and over and in time you will find yourself worrying less. With a greater sense of perspective, you’ll learn that you are not alone in this world and that a greater joy is just around the corner.