When you’ve got a lot on your mind, there’s nothing worse than someone saying ‘Stop worrying about it!’. If only there was a button we could press, that would switch off the part of us that likes to overanalyse, fret and fluster. Well, we’re not helpless in this situation and if we think of our worrying as a bad habit, then we can introduce some new ones and start to think and feel differently.
Mind your language
Our speech is a very powerful tool. The words and language that we use all go towards creating our self image, how others perceive us and even the life that we design for ourselves. If you frequently use language such as ‘I’m afraid that I won’t be able to …’, ‘I worry that….’, ‘The problem is…’, stop and think about the effect this is having on you. Using negative language becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and amplifies any anxiety you’re already experiencing.
Visualise a good result
Our mind can’t differentiate between what is real and what isn’t and so visualisation is a great way of turning an anxious feeling about a situation, in to a more positive one. Take a scenario that you are worrying about and visualise a great outcome. What happens, what does it look like, what does it feel like? This helps with some brain re-wiring and encourages a habit of expecting a positive outcome rather than a negative one. After all, a lot of the time, it’s a 50-50 chance!
Pick a role model
We all know that someone who seems to have a particular way of dealing with life that seems so easy and seamless. If we look at how they behave, the language they use, their attitudes, their body language, they can be great role models and give us ideas for how we can approach our issues differently. How are they dealing with their challenges? Practice being someone else for a little while.
Write it down
Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed by too much thinking and internal chatter, get a piece of paper and write down all the worries in your mind. Write down anything and everything that’s coming up. Then throw the piece of the paper away. If you want to add a bit of ritual to it, you can burn it or throw it in a river or canal. You’ll be surprised at how much this helps clear your mind.
Be your own cheerleader
Often over-worrying starts from a place of lack of confidence or some insecurity. Reminding ourselves that we can cope and that we have some great personal qualities helps build confidence and a reminder that we can deal with what life throws at us. Make a daily list of all your little achievements and you’ll start to feel a sense of empowerment. Whatever was causing you some anxiety now starts to feel less of a challenge.