Are you worried? You are not alone. People worry all the time; it is only human to worry. However, if not regulated, mild worrying can easily transition to chronic worrying and eventually cause a panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and also insomnia. But that is not all.
When you suffer chronic worrying, especially when you worry about things that are beyond human control, many people around you may translate your conduct as irrational, so they start avoiding you. That is why, like all other mental health problems, frequent worrying can seriously hurt your relationships, ruin your career, negatively impact you emotionally and mentally, irregulate your circadian rhythm, lower your productivity at work, and hurt your self-esteem, among other negative effects. Don’t allow that to happen. Take it upon yourself to control your worrying and feel better. Here are 7 tips that might help you with that.
Acknowledge the worry
You don’t have to be a hero on matters regarding mental health. Accept that you are worried and stop pushing back against the reasons for your worries. Note that accepting does not mean you should surrender to fate, or you should give worries too much attention. It means acknowledging that running away from them will only drag you deeper into the mud, so you stop running, and instead, you start working towards changing your experience.
Note: The success of the following 6 tips will be dependent on this first tip.
Share your worries with a loved one
Again, don’t be a hero. Ask for help whenever you feel like you’ve become a captive of your own worries. And because we mentioned that chronic worrying can push people away from you, you have to make a conscious and deliberate effort to reach out to a trusted friend or family member and share your troubles with them. They will not understand your situation unless you explain it to them, but you can bet that they will be a great source of support if you allow them the chance.
Please be kind to yourself and don’t allow the situation to escalate to the point where you are too sleep-deprived to even bother seeking out adequate attention for your concerns.
On top of providing you with empathy and understanding, loved ones can be great advisors too. These are people who know you well, so they can whip you back to reality if your worries are a result of being too invested in fantasy.
If you are worried about your financial life, they can bail you out either by advising you on matters of finance management or by taking you under their wing until you get back on your feet. Friends and family can also give you a different perspective on love, romantic relationships, career, and family problems. And even when they don’t have anything of value to say to you, knowing that someone has the patience, and is always available, to listen to your worries can be therapeutic in its own way.
Seek professional help
If your chronic worrying is morphing into anxiety disorder and/or depression, the best solution is to seek help from a life coach, a psychiatrist, or any other professional who has previously helped you through a challenging mental issue. You can also get help from your religious leaders if you are a religious person.
Don’t let the stigma around therapy, inherently embedded in your subconscious, hinder you from getting the professional help you need and deserve. Please, also note that the healing process can take a while and it is so much more than just some anti-depressants or sleeping pills. Don’t feel bad about taking your time or facing setbacks, especially if the root of your concerns is some sort of unaddressed trauma experienced at some point in your life.
Join a support group
Group therapy can also help you deal with worries. Join local support groups for anxiety, depression, and other mental health support groups. If you don’t know of such a group in your location, try online support forums, but be careful not to be taken advantage of by opportunistic online fraudsters. What is important and crucial in any sort of help you receive, is to trust the person you are seeking support from.
Take the bike path to relaxation
Regular physical activity can help you relieve stress and worries. Biking, for example, can reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. Riding through nature can magnify this benefit. If pedaling a standard bike hurts your knees or if your fitness level doesn’t allow you to bike for long, consider investing in an electric bike kit to convert your regular bike into a pedal assist. Now go out and spend time in nature in order to boost your enjoyment and motivation. Biking will leave your body soaked in adrenaline, waiting for the night to fall, so you can also finally get a good night’s sleep.
Limit your worries
Have you ever heard about the stop-loss strategy? This is a strategy that investors in stock trading use to put a ceiling on how much loss they can tolerate. When a losing trade gets to the set ceiling, an investor knows that it is time to pack up and exit. You can borrow a leaf from this strategy. Set a ceiling for how much psychological turmoil you can tolerate, after which you call it quits. Just decide to stop wasting your mental energy on issues that you cannot recover from or win against.
Give Gardening a Try
Yes, gardening. When you imagine it, you might feel like it’s something complex that requires a vast amount of prior knowledge, but not really. You simply need to get some easy to germinate plants or veggies, plant them to the best of your knowledge, water them on a daily basis and watch them grow. This entire process takes your mind off of things, gives you a physical engagement and a daily responsibility, and thus, worrying less.
If you don’t have a backyard for this, worry not, you will still be able to get your beauty sleep by trying indoor gardening. If the area where you live is not blessed with plenty of sunlight, you can still grow your veggies facilitated by artificial light. If you’re not an expert, you can invest in some LED grow lights, it has done wonders for many. In other words, gardening is an extremely therapeutic process that will leave you shamelessly attached to your plants, subconsciously embracing your inner grandma, and most importantly, firmly regulating your sleeping patterns.
Meditation helps you live in the present, so you don’t dwell too much on the past, or waste too much mental energy worrying about the future. It helps you halt the seemingly endless loop of negative thoughts and worries. You can find a professional to guide you through the meditation process, or you can rely on online meditation resources. Meditating before going to sleep can be super productive, as clearing your mind before attempting to go to sleep, can actually help you receive the rest you deserve.
Humans cannot run away from worries, doubts, and anxieties. In fact, mild worry is what pushes us to outdo ourselves and achieve big goals. But you should take steps to worry as minimally as you possibly can in order to keep serious mental problems at bay. You can do it if you put your mind to it. Don’t deny yourself the right to worry, and consequently the right to address those worries. Extreme stress can seriously hinder your functionality as a human being on a daily basis, be it in terms of asocial behavior, insomnia, panic attacks, and much more.
IF you cannot seem to get to the bottom of what triggers your worry, anxiety, and sleepless nights, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today. We are the only sleep lab in the state with a Cognitive Behavior Therapist specializing in sleep medicine. We are ready to help you Improve Your Sleep and Improve Your Life.