How to Reduce Worry

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To be worried is to be uneasy or be troubled about something. Worry usually turns small things into big things in our anxiousness.

Worry is that sense of trepidation that can surmount you in cognition to your work or an illness or other situations. A few individuals even suffer from panic attacks where their caliber of worry is so high that it’s debilitating. We worry about the future believing that we are consummately helpless as to influencing what will transpire next in our lives. I have come to trust that we are not helpless in every aspect of our lives.

Luckily, there are methods that you are able to learn and practice that can be valuable for decreasing worry. However, because worrying is a habit that has been well practiced, you should recognize that it will take frequent practice to cut back the habit of worrying.

The more the strategies are rehearsed, the stronger the new habit becomes and the weaker the old habit of worry becomes. This will take some drive in the beginning. In addition, it is crucial to recognize that what works for one person might not work for another. Because each individual is unique, the way in which he or she worries, and the best ways for that individual to learn to cut down his or her worrying, may vary.

The most effective way to decrease worry is to select a technique and rehearse it. If after a couple of weeks of conscientious practice you do not notice a decline in your worrying, it is sensible to shift to another technique and to rehearse that for a while. The important point is to give a technique a good try before deserting it. You are able to try combining techniques until you find which combination works best for you.

Observe You’re Worrying and Catch It Early

Most of us, when we worry, are not even aware that it is begun. That is the nature of habits. That is why learning to become aware of your worrying is fundamental to any technique of worry reduction. Start out by noticing you are worrying: Become more aware of it; observe it with the goal in mind of catching the worry as soon as it starts.

In enforcing any of these worry-reduction methods, the earlier it’s applied, in other words, the earlier you are able to catch the worry, the more effective in the long run the technique will be. This is because the longer an episode of worrying lasts, the more the habit is reinforced and the more you are strengthening the bonds between the particular worrisome ideas in particular. Put differently, you are reinforcing the habit. Therefore, the earlier the worrying is caught, the less that habit is strengthened.

By becoming progressively conscious of the habit of worrying, it is possible to a greater degree to switch it off before it becomes obsessive. It is a great sign when you are consciously catching the worrying early. You are approaching the position of being able to do something about it more effectively.

Count Your Worrying

In learning to keep an eye on your worrying, it is useful to keep track of how often it happens during the day.
i.) Making marks on a notepad or using a wristwatch golf-counter would allow you to record this info.
ii.)  At the end of each day write down the total and watch this trend over a number of days.

This routine is helpful as a reminder to you to observe and catch worrying. It also offers information on how much time you spend worrying. After you begin applying worry-reduction strategies and continue to track the day-to-day frequency of worrying, you will be able to see what impact your strategies are having.

Relaxation Methods for Bodily Disturbance

The worry period steps are designed to help, reduce worrisome thinking during the day. However, worry can also create uncomfortable bodily sensations as well, such as muscle tension, stomach disturbance, and a pounding heart.

Imagining awful things can affect our bodies just as if they were actually happening. These sensations may be good clues to help you catch your worrisome thoughts earlier. Whenever you catch yourself worrying or feeling such sensations, you can replace these with a relaxation response to calm your body and make it easier to think more reasonably and clearly and to focus your attention better on your immediate environment.

TRY THIS AS WELL!

There are many types of relaxation methods for worrying, and you may find that one is better for you than another is with some experimentation.

1. Practice a relaxing image. Picture a scene that creates a sense of calm and peacefulness, for example lying on a warm beach, sitting next to a brook in a beautiful valley, or reclining in your favorite chair at home. Let go of all other thoughts and immerse yourself in this picture as if you were actually there.

2. Focus your attention on your breathing, every time you inhale and exhale. Say the word, “relax” or “calm” or any other word that is significant to you, upon each exhalation.

3. Deliberately tense up different groups of muscles for about five seconds, then release that tension all at once and concentrate for a minute on the feelings of relaxation that enter those muscles once they are released.

4. Breathe with your stomach, rather than your chest, and with practice learn to breathe at a rate of around eight to ten cycles per minute.

With each of these techniques, you will notice thoughts intruding. Just let those thoughts pass through your mind and gently focus your attention back to the relaxation process. With practice, your ability to let go of thinking is likely to increase, making it easier to let go of worrisome thoughts during the day.

You can practice such methods for ten to 15 minutes twice a day, just to build up your ability to elicit a relaxation response briefly, whenever you catch yourself beginning to worry or notice bodily tension or upset.

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