Everyone worries, but if you're preoccupied with "what ifs" and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. At worst, worries can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. Confidence Coach Laure Redmond joined us to share some helpful tips:
- Know How Much Worrying is too Much It's natural to worry about an unpaid bill, an upcoming job interview, or a first date. But "normal" worry becomes excessive when it's persistent and uncontrollable. You worry every day about many different things, you can't get anxious thoughts out of your head, and it interferes with your daily life.
- Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation This can help you break the endless loop of worrying by focusing your mind on your body instead of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body, you release muscle tension in your body. And as your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
- Talk About Your Worries Talking face to face with someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and diffuse anxiety. When your worries start spiraling, talking them over can make them seem far less threatening. Keeping worries to yourself only causes them to build up until they seem overwhelming. But saying them out loud can often help you to make sense of what you're feeling and put things in perspective. If your fears are unwarranted, verbalizing them can expose them for what they are: needless worries. And if your fears are justified, sharing them with someone else can produce solutions that you may not have thought of alone.
- Make the Distinction between Problem Solving and Worrying Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, you're no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen.
- Don’t Be a Worry Victim Be accountable for who you take your worrying out on, and know that you are the only one who can responsibly take care of you.
- Pay Close Attention to: Urgent! Do you often feel like everything requires your immediate response, attention, or action? This is a warning sign that your worrying is creating a tendency towards controlling yourself and most often, others as well.
- Everyone is Flawed Worrying often evolves out of not feeling good enough. It’s helpful to realize that everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. The warrior realizes that the mistakes are the great teachers - no need to worry if you can trust the lessons.
You can listen to Laure on "Feel Good Naked Radio." For more helpful information, visit Laure's website. She's also available for private coaching for individuals or groups.