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
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