How To Stop Worrying: 11 Steps To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Are you ready to finally learn how to stop worrying?
Everyone gets worried from time to time in fact, 59% of adults reported a daily sense of worry in 2020. Whether youre preparing for a big presentation or are going through personal changes, its normal to have the occasional sleepless night.
However, too much worry can make it difficult to enjoy life. If you want to take back your life from anxiety and learn how to stop worrying, youre in the right place.
Were here to share our best strategies for how to stop worrying. Well give you the tools you need to get your stress and worry under control.
I Cant Stop Thinking About Bad Things That Could Happen
Sometimes it can feel like your mind is working against you. Youre trying to live your life, but your brain wont stop focusing on bad things that could happen. Whether or not those things actually will happen, these kinds of thoughts can be frustratingand exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to be worried all the time!
The emotion you feel when youre worrying all the time is called anxiety. Your body tenses up, and your mind becomes fixated on the thing youre worried about. It can be hard to concentrate on anything else. Anxiety can also affect your appetite and make it hard to sleep.
A little anxiety can be useful. For example, if youre anxious about an upcoming exam, it might motivate you to study so that you feel more prepared. But anxiety can easily get out of hand. If youre so anxious that you cant concentrate on studying, the anxiety is no longer useful.
Stop Worrying By Keeping A Daily Emotions Journal
Chronic stress and anxiety happen when we dont notice the first signs of worry and let it grow over time. Want to learn how to stop worrying? Checking in with yourself regularly is an important way to maintain your mental health and manage your anxiety.
By the time were in a worry cycle, we often feel disconnected from our emotions. Keeping a daily journal can help you track patterns and actively manage stress before your feelings spiral out of control.
As you practice journaling your emotions and sharing your thoughts, it becomes easier to identify when youre starting to worry. Stopping worry early will ultimately help you feel better and stay focused on what matters most to you.
Also Check: Why Do I Feel So Stressed All The Time
Critical Stop Stressing Tactic: Focus On Things That Are Going Well
If you cant stop stressing about something, one thing that can help is to switch gears and think about something that is going well for you.
Sometimes thats tough, especially if you are in a rut and everything seems to be going badly.
But other times you may have one area in your life which is bothering you, but another area of your life where things are going well.
For example, when I have something worrying me about work, I think about how things are great with my wife.
Being thankful for what is going well can help you stop stressing about what isnt going well.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Whos in my support network? Everyone should have people in their life who are positive influences, support providers, and role models for healthy living. They can be friends, family members, mentors, spiritual leaders, colleagues, and mental health professionals.
What activities do I enjoy? Your work might be enjoyable, but everyone needs hobbies that arent about competition or personal accomplishment. What helps ease your worries and makes you more mindful about your body? These activities might include reading, dancing, gardening, board games, crafts, etc.
What are my sleep habits? If youre getting roughly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, youll be able to think more clearly, boost your immune system, and concentrate better on work and relationships. A simple step such as turning off screens an hour before bed can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.
Am I saying no to unnecessary tasks? Ideally you should be able to pass on tasks that demand too much of you, arent your responsibility, or dont fall in line with your personal values and objectives. If youre not sure where to start, take a look at your schedule and to-do list, and see what can be delegated or removed completely.
Am I organized? Start to declutter your life. When you can manage tasks with an accurate schedule and prioritized to-do list, you reduce the unnecessary anxiety that can accompany a cluttered and confusing agenda.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Hair Thinning From Stress
Build In Time To Stop & Relax
I often hear my clients say Come on, how on earth will I be able to make time for myself when I have so much to do? and I always reply, if you dont look after yourself you wont have the reserves to take care of all the other people in your life you take care of. When our reserves are low were cranky, overly sensitive and generally not as happy as we want to be. So please take some time each day, even if it only 10 minutes, to relax.
- Have a warm bath as this will help your body reach a temperature thats ideal for rest.
- Writing to do lists for the next day can organize your thoughts and clear your mind of any worrying thoughts that pop in to your head
- Relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Dont exercise vigorously though, as it will have the opposite effect.
- Relaxation CDs can help as they use a hypnotic voice to guide you through muscle relaxation and soothing music and sound effects to relax your brain.
- Watching TV or any computer or phone screen keeps the brain engaged and active so it is harder to fall asleep. It is better to read a book or listen to the radio as that relaxes the mind by distracting it from the present worries.
Tips To Manage Stressful Situations
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasnt until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. Weve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Cause Your Sugar To Go Up
Focus On What You Can Control
Remember, letting yourself get absorbed in your problems isnt going to resolve anything. If you have some control over any part of whats happening, try to move your focus to what you can do to prevent or resolve the issue.
If you dont have control over whats going on, consider coping strategies.
If youâre feeling really stressed and just need to calm down in a hurry, take a short walk or use a few minutes to meditate or pare your focus down to whatâs in front of you. When youâre feeling calmer, think about how your attitude and effort can make a difference now and in the future.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Stress From Eyes
Notice Old Patterns Arising In This Novel Circumstance
Though pandemic-related worries are new, Dr. Cairo notes that if you examine them closely, familiar patterns emerge. Even though it feels different, its very likely triggering similar patterns for us, she says. Examining what those patterns may befor me, its a familiar fear of running out of moneycan help you employ strategies youve used in the past to combat them.
Also Check: How Does Stress Affect Arthritis
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
Stop Overloading Your Schedule
When we are too busy, even if the schedule is filled with exciting things, we can feel more stressed, simply from a lack of downtime. If the schedule is cluttered with stressful or unnecessary activities, it becomes even more draining. Learning to say no to demands on your time and cutting out the things in your life that stress you are great strategies for cultivating inner peace.
Read Also: What Is Post Stress Disorder
Problem Your Fear Ideas
Its not solely you who ought to be affected, your ideas as effectively. Ask your ideas, are the stuff you fear about is one thing you must fear? Is it true or not?
Whats the constructive and lifelike approach are you able to have a look at the state of affairs?
Put your self in your pals footwear and suppose how hell deal with it. You might want to problem your fear ideas. If it may have an effect on you significantly, then dont fear.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Hair Fall Out When Stressed
Spend Time With Your Pet
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
When you cuddle or touch your pet, your body releases oxytocin a hormone thats linked to positive mood .
Plus, studies show that pet owners especially those who have dogs tend to have greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem, reduced levels of loneliness and anxiety, and more positive moods .
Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active, and providing companionship.
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Stress In Dogs
Stop Worrying By Practicing Mindfulness And Meditation
While worrying, you may have a hard time focusing on anything else. However, constant rumination on negative thoughts is a bad habit.
When you feel your concentration waning, sitting in a quiet room and clearing your mind can do wonders for your well-being. Mindfulness and meditation can take your focus away from negative thoughts, stop you from feeling anxious, and inspire a state of calm.
A guided meditation app can help clear your mind, refocus your thoughts, or distract from your worries. Over time, meditation can also help you get into a flow state, which allows you to focus on your priorities and knock tasks off your to-do list with ease. Learning to focus on whats in front of you, instead of your worries, can truly change your life.
The Negative Effects Of Rumination
Rumination starts innocently: Its your minds attempt to make sense and move on from a frustrating situation. However, rumination can catch you in a circular, self-perpetuating loop of frustration and stress. When youre dealing with chronic conflicts in your relationships, you may experience chronic stress from too much rumination.
Its important to find ways of catching rumination before you get caught up in it and working on handling conflicts in a healthy way.
Rumination can be oddly irresistible and can steal your attention before you even realize that youre obsessing again. In addition to dividing your attention, rumination has several negative effects.
Dont Miss: How To Get Rid Of Work Related Stress
Read Also: How To Cure Stress Hives
How Do I Accept Reality And Move On
It can be hard to accept reality. Reality can be unpredictable and beyond your control. People who dont accept this truth become control freaks, which can make life worse. Here are some ways to accept reality.
- Take an objective look at the world around you. Put all your emotions to the side.
- Have a realistic view of the situation.
- Can you control this reality? If so, great. If not, realize that there are sometimes no ways to stop bad things from happening.
- Learn to manage your stress about reality. When you manage your stress, you can accept it.
- Focus on your influence on reality. If you can influence it, try to find ways for you to do so.
- Notice how you cope with reality. If you cope in a healthy manner, good. If not, find ways for you to cope healthily. For example, you can share your opinion about reality, but realize its just that, an opinion.
You Try To Manage Your Stress Instead Of Your Stressors
The biggest myth we all believe about chronic stress is that you need to get better at stress management.
But stress management is actually a terrible solution to the problem of chronics stress because youre already stressed! Its like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.
Of course, some form of Band-Aid to stop the bleeding is important if you happen to get shot. But Band-Aids should not be the primary strategy we talk about for dealing with gunshot woundswe should work like hell to avoid getting shot in the first place!
See, when we make stress management our first-line strategy, we distract ourselves from really looking at the true cause of our stress, the stressor itself.
A stressor is the thing that causes a stress response.
If youre always stressed, the real solution is to fix the original cause of the stress not the feeling of stress itself.
For example, if youre constantly stressed at work, you could try and work on doing more deep breathing exercises throughout your day. And maybe your stress level will decrease a little. But no amount of deep breathing exercises will change the fact that youre still terrible at saying no to taking on too much work.
Feeling stressed at work is the messenger trying to tell you that something about how you work is deeply wrong. Over-reliance on stress management techniques is effectively shooting the messenger.
The far more important part of the equation is the stressors that are causing the stress in the first place.
Read Also: Does Stress Cause High Blood Pressure
Stress From Tier Three: No Control
Elements of your life where you have no control lead to stress in multiple ways:
- First, the feeling of being powerless to change things is not a good feeling.
- Second, you often think that there is something you can do, even when there isnt. This can lead you to put pressure or blame on yourself.
- Third, the consequences are real, and when things dont go your way, they can be incredibly tough to deal with.
Also Check: How To Let Out Stress And Anger
Stop Worrying By Practicing Deep Breathing
When we worry, we often focus on bad things that might happen in the future. Staying in the current moment can help relieve worries and negative thinking plus reduce physical symptoms.
You may experience shortness of breath or chest pain when you start to worry. Practicing deep breathing can redirect your attention from your worries and help you become grounded in the present.
Whether youre having trouble sleeping or you feel a panic attack coming on, deep breathing is a quick and easy way to stop worrying.
Recommended Reading: What Are Three Signs Of Caregiver Stress
How To Stop Caring About Things You Cant Control
It’s often hard not to care about things you can’t control-whether your partner will do well on a work presentation, what the weather will be like for our flight, and so on. The problem is that caring about things you can’t control takes your time, zaps your energy, and keeps you from working on the things you can control. To reduce your stress and start leading a happier life, you need to let go and stop caring about those things you can’t control. It might be easier said than done, but all you need are the right tools. We’ll discuss these later in the article.
Don’t Ignore Your Stress
People often don’t address their stress in a proactive way until they feel overwhelmed by it, and often then, they tend to be reactive rather than proactive, which doesn’t always lead to the best decision-making. Stress management is an ongoing process, not a one-time act.
It is important to have an overall stress management plan that includes not only cutting out stressors and managing stress that you feel, but actually remaining aware of the stress you are experiencing, and not letting your stress levels get too high.
Also Check: Does Stress Increase Blood Sugar