When Worry Takes Over Your Life
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglia
We can worry about almost anything: our job, our relationships, our health, our country, our money, our family, etc.
Modern studies suggest worrying can negatively impact health because it can lead to unnecessary stress in one’s life. When we worry, we spend our time focused on what can go wrong or the negative things that can happen in life. Instead, we should be spending energy on reaching goals and enjoying the positive things in life.
Worry isn’t something we should write-off. Some consequences include increasing the chances of fatal diseases, being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, having a damaged immune system, and sabotaged sleep.
Researchers from the University of Surrey put it like this: “Worry is a chain of thoughts and images that are affectively negative and relatively uncontrollable.”
We worry because we feel out of control. But at some point, we eventually have to come to a “Que, Sera Sera,” moment where we realize we can’t control everything.
Another reason we could worry is because of stressful past circumstances that we don’t want to be repeated. This could surface in stage fright, social anxiety, the fear of failing, etc.
Do you spend a lot of daylight hours worrying?
Is this mental preoccupation being destructive to your overall health and wellness?
Do you want to stop?
Here are some researched-out ways that can help you kick worrying to the curb.
Keep a Journal
Whenever you feel the onslaught of anxious thoughts, write them down. Having a record, over time, can help you see the number of worries that play out in life. Hopefully, it’s slim-to-none. If a similar worry repeats itself, you can already know from past experiences there was nothing to worry about!
Live present with today and right now. If you find yourself worrying about things way out in the future that you have no control over… stop and redirect your thoughts. This takes practice but paired with deep-breathing exercises it can create a happier life.
Sometimes, we can worry about worrying. As a result, when we try to avoid negative thoughts it ends up being a soda pop in a can that’s all shook up. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee explained it like this: “Those who are naturally more accepting of their intrusive thoughts are less obsessional, have lower levels of depression, and are less anxious.”
Spend time “off the grid”
Anxiety UK did a study that revealed half of the people feel worried when disconnected from their Social Media or email.
Have you become controlled by technology?
Do you feel anxious if your phone isn’t within an arms reach away from you? You may need to spend some time off of your devices. This could involve finding a new hobby. Something like baking, long walks, exploring the local scenes, or visiting a library can prove wholesome.
Have a “worry time”
For a brief period of your day, have a spot in your routine dedicated to worrying. This could be in the shower, with a cup of coffee in the mornings, or on your lunch break. Any other time of the day that you catch yourself worrying, procrastinate it for your “worry time.” Use these minutes to find solutions or practice mindfulness.
And remember, you are more valuable to the God in heaven who cares for the birds and the flowers. He cares for you too.
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)