If you are in the throes of anxiety and worry, long-term management ideas are nice, but they are not what you need right at the moment. If you need to take hold of that anxiety and get relief from it, here are some known ways that you can stop the worry in its tracks.
Stop Your Body
Worrying is a cycle between your mind and body; experts point out that one affects the other until one of them gets calmed down. For example, you might experience anxious feelings that quicken your heart, and then move into your stomach, making it feel like it’s in knots. The reverse could also happen – you may experience muscle tension and pain, which makes you feel anxious about what’s wrong with your body and how you feel.
Regardless of where the anxiety starts, you can begin the process of taking control by addressing the physical symptoms of anxiety.
Taking deep breaths, stretching, and even aerobic exercise can all contribute to alleviating worry. If you are able, a visit to a chiropractor or massage therapist can further assist in calming your body responses. Your calm body sends a message to your brain – “I’m not tense.”
Check your posture as well. Sitting up straight on your “sits bones” (bones in your hip) allows for deeper breathing and decreases muscle tension.
Some Worry is Okay
As worriers look up and read about the negative effects of worry, they may worry about their worry! A good remedy is to recognize that some worrying is okay; it won’t kill you. In fact, some worry is actually necessary – you should, for example, worry about walking in a remote area by yourself after dark.
Experts recommend setting aside a time when you can just worry freely…without worry! Same time, same place, every day or regularly during each week, and not too close to bedtime. This is your worry zone, and when you feel worrying thoughts during the day, you can simply write them down and save them for your worry period. This helps you stop thinking about it – it’s on the list, and you know you’ll get to it.
What Can You Do about It?
When you have a worrying thought that comes barging in to your mind, rather than indulging it, ask yourself a question before you begin dwelling on it: What can I do about it? Often, worry thoughts are simply things that are out of your control, such as concerns about natural disasters. Try to keep a healthy perspective – how does worrying help this? Does worrying make something less or more likely to happen?
Remember that you don’t control everything, and the best possible outcome is just as likely as the bad outcome you’re worrying about.