We are all worried. We are concerned about money, health and relationships. We are worried about those we love. However, at some point, anxiety can become not only unproductive but also unhealthy. Experiences can spiral out of control and begin to cause unnecessary stress, anxiety, sleep and health problems. If you find yourself worrying too much about yourself and your loved ones, you should start dealing with anxiety. If you can get rid of this habit, you will become calmer and happier.
Method 1 of 3: How to quickly get rid of anxiety
Step 1. Make a list of what makes you worry
For each new disturbing thought, write everything down in a journal. Tell yourself, "I don't have time to think about it now. I'll write it down and think about it later." You will have the opportunity to think about yourself and your loved ones later. You don't have to think that you can forget something, because everything will be written down.
Step 2. Take time to worry
Choose a time and place to worry about what might happen. Allow yourself to worry only at this time - this will be your time for worrying. Choose for yourself what to think about. Do not limit yourself and try to suppress any thoughts. It doesn't matter if your thoughts are helpful or not.
- If you have a disturbing thought during your work day, try to put it aside. Tell yourself that you will come back to her later, during the experience time. Gradually, you will start to do better.
- You should set aside time to experience at about the same time of day every day (for example, from 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm).
- The time should not be too late so that you can fall asleep quickly in the evening.
- It's important to stop worrying as soon as the allotted time runs out. Get up and do something that will distract you from your worried thoughts.
Step 3. Keep yourself busy
If you start to worry about what might happen to you, reread your to-do list. If you don't have such a list, make one. List your goals and objectives that will help you achieve your goals.
- Start with simple tasks like making dinner or doing laundry.
- Try to do only one thing at a time.
Method 2 of 3: Dealing with anxiety
Step 1. Increase your resistance to stress
The ability to resist stress is the ability to deal with unpleasant, negative, or painful emotions. Think about how you react to the thought that something bad has happened to your family. Are you panicking and trying to suppress feelings of fear and anxiety? Are you trying to escape or bury the feeling? Are you doing something destructive? By increasing your resistance to stress, you can properly work with your emotions.
- Experiencing is a way to avoid painful emotions. If you are worried that something bad might happen to your family, you distract yourself from your emotions. Anxiety is an opportunity to distract yourself from anxiety about things that you cannot influence.
- Learn to calm down. If you start to have anxious thoughts about your family, think about what you can do to make it easier to accept. This does not mean that you are running away from the feeling - you just make it less intense, and it becomes easier to come to terms with it.
- Try the following activities: sports, dancing, cleaning the house, quiet music, viewing art or something beautiful, playing with a pet, board games or puzzles, watching your favorite TV series, volunteering, shower or bubble bath, prayer, reading, laughing, singing, visiting a beautiful and peaceful place.
- Find out what things make you feel better and worse (for example, eating too much, refusing to communicate, and so on).
Step 2. Learn to accept the unknown
Often times, people think that experiences are helping them: if you constantly think about what could happen to your family, you know how you can protect people from harm. Unfortunately, this will not help you and will not make your life more predictable. You will only waste your time and energy in vain, because no one knows with a 100% guarantee what will happen in the future.
- Understand that worrying about worst-case scenarios (“What if my dad gets cancer and dies?”, “What if my plane crashes?”) Will not help you prevent these events.
- Ask yourself a few questions. Can you be sure of everything in life? Are there any advantages to constantly worrying about something bad? Do they prevent me from enjoying today? Can I come to terms with the fact that there is a probability of unwanted events, but it is very small?
Step 3. Learn to come to terms with your experiences
You must learn to get used to the experience. For 30 minutes, imagine what you are afraid of (for example, how your family dies in a car accident), and do not chase away the feelings that you have, but try to come to terms with them.
- The purpose of this exercise is to help you calm down and reconcile. It will also make it easier for you to distinguish the problems that are being solved from those that you cannot influence.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the problem I'm facing real, or is it just a contrived scenario? If the problem does not already exist, how likely is it that it will occur?
- How realistic is what I'm worried about?
- Can I prepare for a problem or solve it, or is it beyond my control?
- If you find that there is nothing you can do to reduce the likelihood of injury or death to your family in a car accident (or any other event), try to come to terms with the unknown. Remember, experiences are not actions. Worrying about a car accident will not prevent an accident.
- If you find that the problem is solvable, define the problem, think through possible solutions, and make a plan of action. Take action, not just worry.
Step 4. Talk to a psychotherapist
Do not delay it to the last. Sometimes talking about a person's concerns with a specialist who is able to look at the situation objectively can help. Look for a therapist in your city and make an appointment.
Step 5. Cry
Tears can rid you of negative emotions. Research has shown that crying can help slow your heart rate and breathing. After crying, the person relaxes and the relaxation period lasts longer than crying. If you feel worried about family and feel like crying, don't hold back.
- Cry alone or with a friend.
- Cry only in the place where it will be appropriate (you do not need unnecessary embarrassment).
Step 6. Call a friend
Friends are able to provide psychological support. They will give you their opinion on the situation and help you sort out your thoughts. You will be able to understand if your fears are rational. Simply speaking out about what is bothering you will make you feel more comfortable.
- You can set a goal for yourself - for example, call one friend a week.
- If you can't summon the strength to call, try writing a message.
Method 3 of 3: Lifestyle Changes
Step 1. Reduce your stress levels
Stress relief is not possible, but stress can be mitigated.
- Learn to say no. Don't settle for dinner with a friend if you know you will need to work to complete a project on time, and don't settle for new tasks at work if you already have a lot of responsibilities. Learn to distinguish between the things you must do and the things you think you should do.
- Change the situation. Do you come to work in an inflated state due to traffic jams? Think of a different route, use public transport, or try moving the start of work earlier to avoid traffic jams. Think about the little things that can make a difference in your daily life and relieve you of unnecessary stress.
- Spend less time with people who make you nervous. You may not be able to completely break off the relationship with this person (for example, this is your mom, boss, or coworker). In this case, try to simply limit your communication. Tell your mom that you will be calling once a week because you don't have time to talk every day. Avoid a colleague's company that makes you worry. Find reasons to end any conversations with him.
Step 2. Meditate
Meditating does not mean sitting and not thinking about anything. Meditation is an opportunity to see thoughts come and go without evaluating them. Just a couple of minutes of meditation a day will reduce your anxiety about what might happen to you.
- Sit back and take a couple of deep breaths.
- Imagine that your thoughts are a bubble that goes up from your head and bursts.
- Listen to recordings of meditations with an instructor.
Step 3. Eat chocolate
The treat will distract you from your worries. In addition, chocolate lowers blood cortisol levels (a hormone that causes anxiety symptoms). Substances in dark chocolate can improve mood.
Step 4. Get enough sleep
If you are constantly worried about your family, it may be difficult for you to get the right number of hours of sleep. However, if you constantly stay up late into the night, you only increase the anxiety. Scientists have found that people who go to bed earlier are less susceptible to negative thoughts. Try to go to bed earlier.
Adults should sleep 7-9 hours, adolescents 8-10 hours, and school-age children 9-11 hours a day
Step 5. Express gratitude
If you are worried that something bad will happen to you or your family, it means that you love yourself and your family! In other words, you have something to be thankful for in life.
- Whenever you feel anxiety approaching, stop and remember at least five things for which you are grateful.
- Examples of such things could be family, health, good weather, time for yourself, or delicious food.