Stop Worrying-- Turn Your Brain Off!

      It is easy to get caught up in worrying about everything that could go wrong, or re-thinking everything you did, or didn't do. So much so that you are unable to sleep and find yourself trapped in your over-thinking head. Psychotherapist and life coach Didi Zahariades, MA, joined us with ways to turn off your head and enjoy your life!

      1. Stop Living in the Past... Let go and Move On! The past cannot be changed no matter how much time you spend worrying about it. Ruminating thoughts are actually anxiety. If you slow your thoughts and pin-point the portions that are focused on the past you can immediately decrease the over thinking. It is good to review experiences, but when you are spending more than 10 minutes 'thinking' about something in the past, you are now 'overthinking' or worrying which is not productive. Action step: Write it down. Get it out of your head and on to paper. Review it later.
      2. You have to Leave Work to be Good at Work Good at Home, etc. There has to be a break in your day, you need it. If you are always 'ON' you will eventually burn out. This may be in the form of trouble sleeping; difficulty communicating with others; short-temper; spacing out and being easily annoyed. Action step: Use a mental STOP sign to turn off your head. Make the conscious choice to STOP over-thinking a particular subject.
      3. Be Present in Your Life. You've worked hard to organize it, plan it, discuss it, get the family together, etc. so ENJOY IT! If you are constantly thinking about the next thing, your next move, how to make this experience better next time, you are missing out on the actual experience! This is also relevant if you are constantly taking pictures of the experience, posting where you are, or overall sharing more than you are actually experiencing. Action step: Challenge yourself to just BE in the moment with your family, friends, and self.
      4. Be Quiet. If you run into a yoga-guru, he is most likely not worrying. He is focused on BEING; we are human-beings not human-doings. If you find yourself overthinking & worrying, you MUST give yourself some quite time. Consider this, when you go on vacation do you immediately click into vaca-mode or does it take you a while? Often you are so programmed to be 'on' that it is difficult to slow down and just enjoy. Action step: Find 5 minutes every day to do nothing. No TV; no music; no phone; no friends. See what if feels like and recognize how tough it is for you. Can you even find 5 minutes?
      5. Stop Thinking More than Others. It increases your stress & workload. This can happen in the office when you THINK your way into more work by presenting more ideas, re-thinking what you said the day prior, etc. This can happen in friendships when you take on too much because you made more suggestions than others, etc. This can happen in volunteer situations when you over-commit or in your family when you THINK of even better ways to do something. This can happen in a relationship when your over-thinking can actually cause problems. Most experts will tell you that more than 80% of your worries will never happen. You aren't overthinking for success, but you are raising your stress level. Action step: Worrying is a choice; make the choice to STOP. It is powerful to say, "I'm choosing to let it go."

      For more information, visit Didi's website.