How To Stop Worrying
When a problem arises, we often react by worrying about it. But this response only makes things worse. Worrying intensifies our fear, making us more worried and increasing the likelihood that we’ll worry again in the future. This type of preemptive worrying is called “problem-focused” because we focus on the problem itself. In contrast, “non-problem-focused” worry is known as “displaced worry” because it doesn’t directly address the problem at hand. Instead, displaced worry displaces our attention away from the problem and toward something unrelated. For example, when you notice you have an article due tomorrow but haven’t started writing yet, displaced worrying might involve thinking about all the negative consequences that might result if you don’t finish your article in time.
Worrying is a natural human response, but it can cause problems.
All humans feel anxious and worried from time to time. Some degree of anxiety is normal and a helpful emotion that can motivate us to take action. For example, a little bit of anxiety can help us prepare for an important meeting or speech. But if we get stuck in a cycle of worry, it can interfere with daily life and cause significant problems. Worrying is often triggered by a negative event or situation, such as a loved one getting sick, a relationship ending, or not performing well at work. These types of issues can be very stressful and trigger feelings of worry. Unfortunately, worry is often an unproductive response to stress. When we worry, we tend to focus on and magnify the potential negative outcomes of the situation. This can lead to negative emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or frustration. Worrying can also make us feel helpless or stuck and prevent us from taking action to deal with our problems.
The vicious cycle of worry
This vicious cycle of worry is characterized by increased anxiety and negative thoughts about the future, which can make us feel more powerless and stressed. A combination of displacement and problem-focused worrying only serves to amplify this cycle and make it even harder to break out of. Displacement worrying happens when we get stuck on a problem, but aren’t able to solve it. Our thoughts and feelings are stuck on the problem, but we don’t have any way of getting closer to a solution. This can make us feel stuck, frustrated, and helpless. Problem-focused worrying happens when we don’t feel like we’re making progress on a problem. This happens when we’re trying to solve a problem, but aren’t making progress. This can make us feel stuck and frustrated. The vicious cycle of worry and how to break it.
Distracting yourself doesn’t help
People often attempt to deal with their worry by distracting themselves from it – leading to displaced worrying. For example, many people try to avoid facing their worries by watching TV, surfing the internet, or spending time on social media. While these activities can provide a temporary distraction, they also tend to make us forget about the problems we were worried about in the first place. Distracting yourself from your worries doesn’t help because it doesn’t address the root cause of your worry. It can even make it worse, because you have time to think about all the things that could go wrong in the meantime.
Thinking and breathing techniques that DO work
When worry starts to creep in, it’s important to practice a technique that can help you let go of the worry and bring your attention back to the present moment. There are a few different techniques you can use to stop worrying, including thinking, breathing, and distraction. Thinking techniques: When we worry, we often get stuck in unhelpful and repetitive thoughts. Studies have shown that if you actively disrupt this unproductive train of thought, you can break the cycle of worry. Breathing techniques: When we’re worried, we tend to take shallow breaths and hyperventilate. This leads to increased anxiety, which makes it even harder to calm down. Controlled breathing, on the other hand, can help you calm down and let go of your worries. The number one rule: don’t hold your breath! When we don’t breathe, it sends our bodies into panic mode, which makes it even harder to calm down. Distraction techniques: When we’re stuck in a cycle of worry, our minds can get stuck in unhelpful, repetitive patterns. These patterns are partly responsible for the anxiety you feel when you’re worried. Distraction can help break these patterns. These techniques do not attempt to stop you from thinking about your worries. Rather, they help you think about your worries in a different way so you can solve them. By actively working on your worries, you break the cycle of worry and make yourself feel less anxious.
Worrying is a natural human response, but it can cause problems. The vicious cycle of worry is characterized by increased anxiety and negative thoughts about the future, which can make us feel more helpless. When we worry, we often get stuck in unhelpful and repetitive thoughts. There are a few different techniques that can help you let go of the worry and bring your attention back to the present moment. These techniques don’t attempt to stop you from thinking about your worries. Rather, they help you think about your worries in a different way so you can solve them.