Back in April I did a popular blog post outlining an exercise I use to help stop worry.
This blog post forms an extension of the original blog and in this post I’m going to outline 5 ways to help you feel better when you just can’t shake the worry away.
So, you’ve tried to stop worrying but for some reason you literally can’t help feeling worried and it’s really affecting you.
What can you do?
Well, I’ve outlined 5 proven ways that I’ve personally used to help me when I can’t shake the worry from my mind.
I know I always say exercise BUT it’s because it’s sooo powerful to help alleviate many things. It works for me every single time. It may not take the worry away, but it sure as hell helps me feel so much better (and sometimes takes the worry away also) about just about everything. The more intensive the exercise the better, but a walk around the block in the fresh air is better than nothing!
The Mental Health Foundation in the UK has produced a guide called How to look after your mental health using exercise as an endorsement of this. They state that even a short burst of activity such as a 10-minute walk increases mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
The science behind why we feel good after exercise is because, when we exercise, the body releases a protein called BDNF, which has protective and reparative qualities on our memory neurons to effectively reset our brains. Hence the reason why after exercising things often seem clearer for us. At the same time as releasing BDNF, the body also releases endorphins. Endorphins are known for blocking the feeling of pain and discomfort during exercise and for producing feelings of euphoria.
Again, another remedy I know I repeat all the time, but it’s because it works! When you feeling worried about something and you can’t stop thinking about it, STOP what you are doing and go find somewhere quiet to sit for 10 minutes. If you can close the blinds or curtains and light a candle. If you can’t don’t worry just go where you can be alone for a while and follow the below for 10 to 15 minutes (set a timer):
Sitting with both feet on the floor and your hands resting comfortably on your lap try and focus on an object and breathe purposefully, slowly and deeply for the count of 20. Then close your eyes. Breathe in and then on every out breath say out loud or to yourself “RELAX”. Breathe in and then on every out breath say out loud or to yourself to “RELAX”…….. Keep doing this until your alarm goes off. Once the alarm goes off, slowly wriggle your toes and fingers and then slowly open your eyes. Say out loud “thank you ” and continue on with you day as mindfully and calmly as you can.
BTW, when your mid worry cycle, the last thing you will want to do is to stop worrying and do a meditation. Your ego will fight it. Push through and make yourself stop. You will feel better afterwards. I recommend 10 to 15 minutes, but if you can do longer even better.
Grab a pen and a note book and write down the following:
- What you are worrying about.
- Why you are worrying about it.
- What you can do to help with the worry? Try to rationalise the worry.
- Who else can help you alleviate the worry?
- Identify how the worry is helping you.
- Outline how you are going to work through it.
Journalling has been proven to help alleviate stress and worry by a study carried out by Michigan State. To quote an expert:
“Worrying takes up cognitive resources; it’s kind of like people who struggle with worry are constantly multitasking – they are doing one task and trying to monitor and suppress their worries at the same time. Our findings show that if you get these worries out of your head through expressive writing, those cognitive resources are freed up to work toward the task you’re completing and you become more efficient” – Hans Schroder – MSU doctoral student in psychology and a clinical intern at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital.
4. Talk About It
Talking is an excellent way for you to rationalise how you are feeling. Very often when you start verbalising a concern to a third party you begin to realise how small or silly the worry is. OR if it’s a genuine worry, they say a problem shared is a problem halved and I agree. What better way to either come up with a solution or to make yourself feel better by sharing how your feeling with someone you trust. You never know they may come up with a brilliant solution or perhaps they’ve had a similar experience and can share how they got through it.
5. Identify Worry As A Feeling NOT a Real Thing
Now bear with me on this one. This may work for you or it may not!
If you try and think of your worry as not being real, it’s a feeling, it’s not actually tangible, then it may help you to rationalise how you’re feeling. So as soon as the worry arises, if you simply label the worry as a “feeling” as opposed to an actual thing, it can help you distance yourself from the feeling.Some people swear by this analysis. The theory being you’re only scared or worried about the feeling as opposed to anything that has actually happened…………
I hope this blog post helped you.
You may find the following blog posts interesting also:
Click here for a copy of my free e-book: The Happiness Revolution: Instant Happiness Volume. In the book I outline 13 ways to instantly improve your mood, now!