8 Exercises to Help You Stop Worrying and Start Living
Julia was struggling with anxiety and had been for quite some time.
She was working with a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC) to address and overcome her condition, but one big thing she was having trouble overcoming was her worrying.
Since Julia was a child, she could remember being in a constant state of worry and was always thinking about every worst-case scenario.
It was debilitating, and she needed to reduce her worry in order to live a fuller life, so she brought it up with her coach, who recommended a few exercises to help Julia start to overcome her worrying habit.
Worrying can zap your energy, increase or worsen anxiety, and take you out of the present moment.
When you are in a constant state of worry, you are not trusting in the natural flow and goodness of life. The good news is that worrying is just a habit, it can be broken, and new habits can be formed.
Here are some ways to move beyond worry and into the flow of life.
8 EXERCISES TO HELP YOU STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING
Give yourself permission to acknowledge and feel whatever it is you are feeling and then, reframe it in a positive way.
Instead of saying that you aren’t anxious, you can say that you’re excited which will help you work toward something more positive.
This method is called anxious reappraisal. Researcher, Alison Wood Brooks at Harvard Business School, exhibited its effectiveness.
2. HAVE A WORRY SESSION
Give yourself some time to worry. This may be a 10 or 15-minute worry session. Give yourself permission to have your worrisome thoughts, but try not to dwell on them.
Make sure that you are alone, in a peaceful setting, and feel safe. Use this time to think about the things that need resolutions and create them. This will help you turn something negative into a positive and help you feel in control.
3. EMBRACE YOUR FEELINGS
When you take a moment to embrace what you are feeling as a part of your human experience, those feelings become less overwhelming and hold less power over you.
Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, whether that be anxious, happy, overwhelmed, or excited. Then accept that you feel this way and that you’re still okay and keep moving forward! Don’t allow those feelings to hold any power over you.
4. PAY ATTENTION WHEN WORRYING BEGINS
The key to making lasting changes is to be aware. When you bring more attention to your habits, you can then more easily recognize when these habits begin happening again.
This gives you a chance to break the cycle or habit before it has a chance to take over.
Notice events or instances in which you feel worried and make a mental note if you’re going to be in any of those situations throughout your day.
Think through and prepare yourself to embrace and overcome this feeling before you arrive at it so you remain in control of your feelings and emotions.
5. POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Write down and repeat some positive affirmations out loud when you start to worry such as:
“I don’t need to get tense and worry in order to get things accomplished.”
“My life is blossoming in total perfection.”
“Everything that I need to accomplish is happening easily and effortlessly.”
These affirmations will help you spin your worry in a positive light and help you realize you don’t have to worry to accomplish your day.
6. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR WORRIES
Keep a small notebook with a list of things that cause you to worry and place a checkmark next to the worry each time you notice that you have begun the cycle. This will provide a baseline for your recovery so you can go back and see your progress over time.
Not only will this help you become more aware of your worry habits, but as you notice your list of checkmarks getting shorter and shorter, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment!
7. FOCUS ON THE HERE AND NOW
Give your undivided attention to the moment you’re in right now, the only moment that exists.
It is said that when we dwell on the past, we become depressed. And when we focus on the future, we become anxious.
Staying in the present will help you realize that right now, everything is okay. And tomorrow’s problems will take care of themselves.
All you can do is your very best – you can’t change the past, and you can’t control the future!
8. JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
Support groups can be very helpful for those working to overcome similar issues. As you begin relating to others and realizing that you are not the only one who feels the way you feel, your worry will become less scary and overwhelming.
Not to mention, you might even make some great, supportive friends along the way.
While worry can feel debilitating and paralyzing, it is ultimately a deep-rooted habit that can be overcome. Take some time to work through these 8 exercises, acknowledge how you feel, and begin giving those feeling less power over you.
Before you know it, you’ll have much better control over your anxiety and worry and will have the opportunity to live a much happier, healthier life!
What one exercise in this list will you start trying today? Share it in the comments.
Want to learn more? Check out these 18 Simple Practices To Detox Your Mind From Toxic Thoughts.