Recently, I have been going through some stressful events in my life. There were worries for sure. But I didn’t let them stop me. Instead, I kept moving forward, more confidently, in the direction of my dreams…
Reflecting on my experience, I identified ten effective ways to stop worrying, and start living more vibrantly! Here they are:
Regulating the breath is one of the most effective anti-anxiety measures I know. Simply inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Practice this technique regularly throughout the day for a minute at a time. You’ll watch anxiety dissipate gradually like a deflating balloon!
2. Stay in the present
When we worry, we tend to focus our attention on the future. The uncertainty of future events and our perceived lack of control over them are often major causes of anxiety. So bring your attention to the present. By focusing on where you are and what you can do at this moment, you’ll stop worrying, at least not as much.
3. Wait, I need more information
Exaggerated worry often stems from a lack of information. For example, you might start worrying about losing your job because your boss didn’t say hello to you this morning. So before you begin to pull your hair out, you may want to gather more information and obtain a more accurate picture of the situation. Who knows? Maybe upon further investigation, you’ll realize that you really had nothing to worry about at all!
4. Write it down
Put some distance between you and your worries by writing them down on paper. It’s an effective way to exhaust worrisome thoughts, gain new perspectives, and restore calm.
5. Get to the bottom of it
Every time you start to worry about something, ask yourself, “So? What’s the worst that could happen?” Ask this question again and again every time you come up with an answer. Eventually you’ll get to the bottom of your fear or worry. You may realize that it’s a ridiculous thought that has cost you all that worry, or that you have a solution for this problem.
6. Share it
Don’t worry alone. Talk it out with someone who cares about you and whom you trust. Sharing your worry helps relieve the heavy burden you carry on your shoulders, and find solutions to the problem that’s causing your anxiety.
7. Change the scenery
Go for a walk, have breakfast with a friend, or take a yoga class. Changing your activity or environment can divert you from worrisome thoughts and give you a breath of fresh air – and a new perspective.
8. Laugh at yourself
Take another view of your worries. You may find humor in a situation. Laughing is one of the best anxiety diffusers there is!
9. Cut off the stimulus
Certain stimulus such as traffic, telephone and TV often aggravate anxiety. Get out in nature or meditate. You’ll find yourself calmer and more centered, regaining clarity and balance.
10. Take on the challenge
If you keep thinking that you are fragile, you may create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Step up and take on the challenge. Every time you do so, you’ll build up your confidence and your ability to handle whatever challenges come your way.
I hope you find these tips helpful. What are some other ways you find effective in stopping anxiety and worry? Please leave a comment.