ON THE COVER Break The Worry Habit

Don’t let wor­ry­ing spoil your day! There are sim­ple steps you can take to keep you feel­ing pos­i­tive and ready to take on any­thing

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Are you prone to worry? If so I can im­me­di­ately put your mind to rest. You are not alone with your habit, we all worry.

The truth is that our minds will of­ten switch into wor­ry­ing mode, even though we know full well that sim­ply ex­pe­ri­enc­ing great con­cern about a sit­u­a­tion (real or imag­ined) will not help to re­solve it or re­ally make us feel any bet­ter.

Ac­cept­ing this re­al­ity makes it eas­ier for us to find creative ways to break the cy­cle of wor­ry­ing and to de­velop new, more help­ful habits to deal with sit­u­a­tions and cir­cum­stances that cause us anx­i­ety.

Life can be hard and chal­leng­ing, and I am not mak­ing light of this. How­ever, the great thing to re­mem­ber is that we can choose the way we view the world and the sit­u­a­tions we find our­selves in.

The na­ture of our at­ti­tude is so im­por­tant for our hap­pi­ness and well­be­ing. Sci­en­tists say that GAD – Gen­er­alised Anx­i­ety Dis­or­der (or ex­ces­sive wor­ry­ing) – af­fects more than 2 mil­lion peo­ple in the UK and it af­fects more women than men. Let’s en­sure that we are not part of this par­tic­u­lar statis­tic.

RE­LAX­ING WITH MIND­FUL AWARE­NESS Be­gin to no­tice when states of anx­i­ety and worry arise in your mind. If you can, make a note of the causes and also be aware of how your thoughts and bod­ily re­ac­tions re­spond to these anx­ious states. In this way you might well dis­cover some of your own “worry trig­gers” and “worry re­sponses”.

Just ob­serv­ing what is go­ing on for you in a kind, non-judge­men­tal way ac­tu­ally be­gins to calm rather than to es­ca­late your re­sponses to worry. REAL WORRY VER­SUS PER­CEIVED WORRY Of course, there are dif­fer­ent types of worry and it’s im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge this. For ex­am­ple, we might be fac­ing very dif­fi­cult and real prac­ti­cal and emo­tional sit­u­a­tions: the ill­ness of a loved one, fi­nan­cial wor­ries, fam­ily fall-outs…

On the other hand, we may be strug­gling with per­ceived wor­ries such as sleep is­sues, hypochon­dria and so­cial anx­i­eties.

How­ever, worry is worry what­ever its cat­e­gory, and the ef­fects only in­ten­sify our anx­i­ety and con­cern and then it be­comes im­pos­si­ble for us to make use­ful and clear de­ci­sions. BE­ING PRE­PARED FOR WHEN WORRY STRIKES Once you be­come more aware of your worry trig­gers you can con­sider some new, skil­ful ap­proaches to deal with po­ten­tially loom­ing anx­i­eties. For ex­am­ple: ◆ You might de­cide to spend more time around peo­ple who are pos­i­tive and sup­port­ive, and to have less con­tact with those who drain your en­ergy. ◆ If you are feel­ing over­whelmed you could ask oth­ers for help, rather than try­ing to do every­thing on your own. ◆ When­ever you are feel­ing out of con­trol in your life, it’s a sign that you need to cre­ate a sim­ple “one step at a time” ac­tion plan to help you to get or­gan­ised. ◆ You could recog­nise some things you worry about are out of your con­trol and let them go.

Don’t let wor­ry­ing spoil your day

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