How to Worry Well - Mary Meadows
What are you worried about today?
Worrying is a place most of us are familiar with, we worry mostly about stuff we’ve assumed from conversations, what other people think of us, and of course from our own thoughts, that’s where worry is in our minds. Worrying is helpful it helps us solve problems and take action. Worrying is normal, its how we are made up as humans its how our minds keep us safe.
However worrying can get out of hand, it can become a pattern of how we think, it can lead to feeling anxious, brings us swiftly to a negative place, and most importantly it stops us doing things. So how do you worry less? mostly people say to us ‘stop worrying!’ But saying ‘stop’ doing anything isn’t very helpful, it brings shame and feelings of guilt about whatever it is we are worrying about when it can feel a very real place to be.
So how can we WORRY WELL? Here are my top 5 tips of practical ideas that take practice but are VERY do-able.
- A great strategy is to think ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ This is something we can avoid as we think it may take us to a dark place, but actually its a great idea as it usually prompts us to think ‘thats not true’ or ‘theres no way that could happen’ which is how to kick those unnecessary worries to the curb.
- TALK - tell someone your worries, this can help you find solutions. We underestimate the power of a good conversation. Pick someone you trust, that is a good listener, that helps you feel heard. We can often avoid talking about our worries, because we don’t want to worry someone, when actually they don’t want to think that you are worried. Nothing bad ever happens from a conversation with a friend or partner, promise.
- Do some big thinking about WHY you are worrying. This is how to make our worries smaller, as they don’t often stand up to a bit of scrutiny. Once we’ve made them smaller its far easier to take action.
- Even better write down your worries! (this is harder work than just thinking, and it makes them ‘real’ as opposed to just thoughts) Keep a worry list, write them out and for each one ask yourself Is it true? Is it helpful? Will it happen? Do this just before bed, for the best nights sleep.
- PRACTICE - its very easy to read a blog, read a post on social media and think ‘what a great idea!’ ‘That would really help me!’ And then do….nothing. Nothing changes if nothing changes. So if you want to start helping yourself (newsflash no one can help you more than you) go back to tip1 and take some action!
Above all practice slowing down, taking a deep breath. Breathing is a much underestimated tool for managing our worry and our anxiety, there are countless ‘breathing techniques’ that you can practice, the tip is to practice them every damn day so when that anxious moment comes you have a go to way of slowing down.
In a world where ‘busy’ is glorified don’t be afraid of slowing down, saying no more, going at your own pace regardless of others, lower your expectations of yourself, surround yourself with people who fill you up, support you and help you get out of the ‘worry cycle’ not back in it.
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