How To Challenge These Thoughts
During your worry period, challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself:
- Whats the evidence that the thought is true? That its not true?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- Whats the probability that what Im scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
- What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
Hold Yourself Accountable To Your Decision And Deliberately Put A Pin In The Problem
Once youve reached the end of your time limit and have made a decision, hold yourself accountable to that decision and to stop the thinking process.
You can view this final decision as being completed with no wiggle room. Whenever your mind wants to cycle back and revisit your decision, you need to stop and remind yourself that the decision-making process is completed. Youve done your best, and the results will be what they will be.
If the results arent producing the desired outcome, you can always revisit the problem and change course if need be later on after youve given your decision suitable time to have an effect.
Following the above-mentioned process can significantly reduce overthinkingas long as you hold yourself accountable to it. If accountability is a skill you have to develop, so be it. Working at stopping overthinking is a good way to develop that skill.
Since we are all in charge of the thoughts we think, all of us can learn the ability to contain, which means limiting behavior . We all have the ability to direct our thoughts so there is nothing holding us back other than habit and effort.
If you are having difficulty containing your behaviors, we recommend connecting with one of our recommended therapists to help you learn the important skill of containment, one of the seven principles for lasting success over anxiety disorder .
Habits That Will Train Your Brain To Stop Worrying
When you find yourself in a cycle of worry and anxiety, stop and ask where your stop-loss point is, i.e. at what point do you stop worrying and let it go? By giving every worry a limitation, youre not allowing it to control you but you become mindful about everything occupying your mind and choose to focus on other things instead of digging deeper. Its one way to retrain your brain to worry less and worry smarter.
Worrying rarely leads to solutions. Instead of worrying about everything that can go wrong, write away your worries. By writing down your worries, you feel as though youre emptying your brain, and you feel lighter and less tense. Take time to acknowledge your worries and write them down. Explore the roots of your worries or problems. Once you know the most important things you worry about, ask yourself if your worries are solvable. If they are not in your control and there is nothing you can possibly do to change them, focus on those you can do solve or change. Get everything out and dont hold back, says lead author of the Worry Less Report, Hans Schroder . You dont have to share your thoughts with anyone, and dont worry about spelling and grammar. Getting worries out of your head through expressive writing frees up cognitive resources for other things, he adds.
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Ways To Reduce And Prevent Stress
Stress is evident everywhere in our fast-paced world. Its a mental, emotional, or physical strain caused by anxiety or overwork. We all feel stress and often suffer the results of it in some way or other.
What you are about to read can have a significant impact on the levels of stress you experience. This post is not about how to deal with stress its about how to reduce and avoid it.
Most of the stress we experience can be broken down into three categories.
1. Stress we cant controlsuch as the loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or encountering major health challenges.
2. Natural stresssuch as what we feel when we set goals, push ourselves outside our comfort zones, and strive to get better.
3. Stress we can controlsuch as being late to an appointment, having a breakdown in a relationship, or getting upset sitting in traffic.
When you identify and learn how to manage the things that create stress, you will experience improvements in every area of your lifefrom your relationships to your performance, from your health to your outlook on life.
Let me encourage you to print these 33 points and highlight the ones that you are determined to work on. The realization that you are in control of your stress is the foundation of stress management.
3. Avoid heated topics. You know the topics that cause your blood pressure to rise, so learn to avoid them.
Stop Worrying By Sharing Your Fears With Supportive Friends And Family
Its easy to get lost in your thoughts as a chronic worrier, forgetting about family and friends without realizing it. Connecting with others is a powerful method to transform your emotional well-being, even when you feel like isolating.
Sharing the source of your stress, anxiety, or worry with a family member or friend can help you maintain perspective. Many times, our worries are irrational, but they dont seem that way in our own minds.
Talking with supportive friends or family can offer a new view of the situation and be an effective way to stop worrying.
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Focus On What You Can Control
While there’s a lot we can’t change in life, there are some things that we can influence. For instance, while we can’t control the actions of others, we do have control over how we behave in response to them. You may not know how you’re perceived by someone, but you can choose to show kindness towards them. Similarly, we may not know what’s around the corner, but we can make sure we’re looking after ourselves and following a healthy lifestyle so we’re in the best position to help others if a challenging situation does occur.
“When people feel overwhelmed by the lack of control, you have a choice in how you behave,” explains Crowe. “So you can either go towards the anxiety and the fear and get completely caught up in it or you can choose to be more mindful about your reactions to things.”
Recognize The Things Which Are Not In Your Control
Think about all the things you stress about. I bet you some of them are things which are completely, or at least mostly, out of your control.
Yet you still spend a ton of time worrying about them.
If you can identify those areas which are out of your control, and tell yourself I cant control this, then your anxiety level will go down.
For example, every so often, my wife gets stressed out, and she can at times express that stress in the form of anger or irritability.
Now, Im not gonna lie, there certainly are times where I HAVE actually done something which made her angry. I will totally admit that!
But there are also a good amount of times where her frustration comes from a different place. And she is reviewing this article and would admit that :-).
When my wife gets upset, even if not at me directly, its sometimes hard to not start stressing out too.
And that only makes things worse, leading both of us into a vicious cycle of stress madness.
But when I recognize that I cant control her emotions, and the best thing I can do in this situation is to keep my cool, then I dont worry quite as much.
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Break Out The Bubble Gum
Feel like you’re becoming unglued? Grab a stick of gum. Research suggests that chewing gum can help relieve both stress and anxiety. It may be that the rhythmic motion of chewing helps boost blood flow to the brain. An alternative theory suggests that it’s the taste and smell of the gum that elicits the relaxation response. Next time you think, “I can’t stop stressing,” grab a stick of gum as a stress relief technique that is inexpensive, effective, and you can do it virtually everywhere.
What Can I Do About It
Generalized anxiety disorder is usually treated with a combination of counselling, medication and self-help.
Self-guided CBT may be helpful if you have mild to moderate GAD symptoms. Self-guided CBT means you work through CBT exercises by yourself. You can learn more about self-guided CBT from your family doctor or mental health practitioner.
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How To Stop Worrying
This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. Dr. Liana Georgoulis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience, and is now the Clinical Director at Coast Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 11 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 109,265 times.
Nearly everyone worries sometimes. But, worrying too much can get in the way of living a happy life. It can make it harder to sleep, and distract you from positive things in your life. Worrying can even make it harder to deal with the problems you are worrying about. Worse still, some research shows that too much worrying can even lead to physical health problems.XResearch source Constant worrying is a habit that can be hard to break. The good news is, there are many things you can do to stop the pattern of excess worry and live a happier life.
Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.
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Worry Can Cause A Stress Response
Ongoing worry can quickly evolve into chronic stress. When you have a stress response, you may have a tough time identifying exactly what worrying thoughts got you there.
Over time, repetitive negative thoughts can trigger other stress responses in your body. While it may seem like your mind is going a mile a minute, tracking your thoughts and the physical sensations in your body can help slow stress.
How Can You Stop Worrying
Chronic worry can quickly start to negatively impact your day-to-day life and overall mental health. Thankfully, with a little practice, you can make excessive worry a thing of the past.
Here are our best strategies for how to stop worrying and finally start living:
This list could go on forever, but lets take a deeper dive into our favorite methods for how to stop worrying, manage stress, and take back your life.
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Who Are The Worriers
Why are some people so prone to “what if disease,” while others merely worry about something when it happens?
There are several reasons, explains Robert L. Leahy, PhD, the author of The Worry Cure: 7 Steps to Stop Worry From Stopping You and the director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City.
“There is a genetic component,” he says. “There are also nurture or non-nurture factors.”
For example, people who come from divorced homes are 70% more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder — characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension.
Overprotective parents tend to raise worriers as well, he says. “Reverse parenting may also play a role.” This occurs when the child is taking care of the parents because they are not functioning well.
“There is probably is a biological component to chronic worry, but there is also an early environment component,” agrees Sandy Taub, PsyD, a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Wilmington, Del. “The feeling of safety that ‘my mother will keep me safe’ should be internalized and grow along with you so that, for the most part, you feel secure,” she explains.
“But if you had a mom who was not as available and not consistent, you can develop the mind-set that the world is not such a safe place.” Divorce and overprotection can also gnaw away at a person’s feelings of internal safety and security.
Create Your Own Hand Scrub
If your hands have a lot of dead skin, lotion alone wont be able to soothe it. Consider creating hand scrub at home that has the same beneficial effects as the expensive stuff sold in stores. The Beauty Departments blend of lemon, sugar, coconut oil, and Argan oil is instantly enriching while exfoliating skin.
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How Do I Stop Thinking About Someone
Whether its your ex or someone you dont want to think about anymore, they can invade your mind. It can feel like a finger trap, where the more you try to stop thinking about them, the more your mind will think about them. You may say, I find myself thinking about this person, even when I can spend my time and energy doing so much more.
Its not easy to stop thinking about someone. Even strong people can end up trapped in these thoughts. Here are some ways you can stop putting so much mental time and energy into someone.
Focus On Your Strengths Stop Stressing About Your Flaws
One of the main reasons people worry is because youre trying to solve something beyond their capabilities. When you find yourself in a situation where you can change something, chances are you dont have the necessary tools to do so. Instead of forcing yourself to do something out of your reach, you should focus on the places where you can shine.
You need to understand not every person has a specific skill set. No matter how hard you try, you wont be perfect in every area of your life. Some people are inherently good at certain things, lacking in other departments. If youre stressing out about getting a promotion, thats not in your area of expertise. You are not a manager, and you cannot decide whether you get that promotion or not. What you can do is you can focus on having a good track record.
You can work your most complex and do whatever your boss tells you to. Beyond that, the decision is out of your reach. Instead of worrying over the things that are not up to you, try to improve the areas you can improve. Focus on working on yourself and bettering yourself. Everything else is out of your control, and you should take it in stride.
Switching your focus from trying to change externalities to better yourself will alleviate a lot of pressure. You will feel less stressed and, in the long run, you will be happier.
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Write A Letter And Tear It Up
If youre wanting to relieve stress that is clouding up your mind, write a letter to whoever is causing you the stress or write down all of the reasons why youre stressed and then tear it up.
It sounds very Buddha-esque, but it truly can help in letting you physically and figuratively push away your worries.
Not only does the act of getting them down on paper help you to organize things in your mind, but tearing it up and throwing it away can also help your mind release them.
Just make sure you dont actually send the letter, because hateful and rant-filled letters are going to cause you more stress, not less.
Listen To Calming Music
Music is a hugely popular thing to do when youre feeling stressed.
Choose some of your favorite, preferably calming music to switch on and get lost in.
Its one of the best things to do to relieve stress and get yourself feeling better.
In fact, make an entire playlist of stress-busting music filled with your favorite artists that you can put on in the car, while youre on your walk, or just to listen to before you wake up.
If youre looking for calming music in particular, there are plenty of playlists online of music to help you stop stressing out.
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