Do You Worry In Chaotic Times?
Are you a worrywart? Do you always fret about everything and anything from your health to what your friends think about you or whether terror is imminent?
If this sounds like you, then you may be worrying your life away. This excessive worry wreaks havoc with your mental health, and it can also affect your physical well-being.
Why do some people worry in the midst of chaos? Some of us are “what-if” people, while others worry about something when it happens?
Do you fit into any of these categories?
The Highly Sensitive Person
Some of us are in the category of “highly sensitive” people. Some of the typical characteristics of an (HSP) highly sensitive person include:
- Getting overwhelmed by too many things to do
- Are easy to get your feelings hurt
- Sensitive to other people’s mood
- Find negative news upsetting
- Find it difficult to hide your feelings
If you have these tendencies, you may not always be anxious. But you become anxious when you are in an environment that overwhelms your capacity to filter excess stimulation.
Worry Prevention vs. Promotion Focus
Anxiety is often associated with having a prevention focus. This means you spend a lot of time thinking about preventing bad things from happening. The contrast to this is the promotion focus. This means you focus on reaching for new opportunities and rewards. While most of us have a dominant focus, it is possible to be high in both types. You may be both concerned with avoiding mistakes and harm while reaching for opportunities. This can result in a constant sense of pushing forward and pulling back, resulting in “worry” or anxiety.
Many of us vary in how much emotional energy it takes for us to process change or the idea of change. For example, you may find it uncomfortable when you must deal with a last-minute change of plans. Or, if you must work with different than usual people. You develop anxiety if you do not allow yourself the time you need to adjust to the changes. Or do you function better if you have habits, routines, and relationships in your life that give you a level of consistency?
Introversion and Extraversion
You might think an anxious person is synonymous with an introvert. Statistics do show that people with anxiety disorders are more introverted. If you have social anxiety it is easier to deal with when you form a few close relationships that allow you not to feel anxious anymore.
If you are an anxious extravert, you can acknowledge that it is normal for you to be social. Then you will understand that if you hold back from social interaction it causes you anxiety.
Worry In the Midst of Chaos
Some simple solutions are to train yourself to counter the negative effects with these next suggestions. Let’s check it out…
Let Go of Perfection.
Research has shown that people who worry tend to be perfectionists. If this sounds like you, consider giving up on perfection.
One of the best ways to deal with a bothersome worry is to act on it. Only taking one simple step towards dealing with your worry will help you feel better.
Write down your worries.
One of the most insidious things about worry is that it can burrow itself deep inside of you, making it difficult to release. A great way to deal with that is to force your worries out by writing them down. A daily journal is a wonderful way to help with worry.
Say “No” More Often.
Another one of the biggest worries people have is worrying about how you will get everything you want or need to get done. One way to address this is by learning to set healthy boundaries. “No” is not a bad word, and if someone is infringing on your time or energy, feel free to use it.
Schedule Some Worry Time.
Trying to stop worry in the midst of crisis can is tough. Instead of removing it, schedule a small window of time each day for it. The idea here is you still get to express your worry, but it will not take over the rest of your day.
Accept the Unpredictability of Life.
This step is easier said than done, but it is an important one to help reduce your worries. The reality is that life is often unpredictable. We can waste our time worrying about it, or we can accept it and try to live in the moment.
Find Something Else to Do.
If you find yourself stuck in a vortex of worry, the best thing to do is…anything else. If you find yourself fidgeting, try doing something else to keep your mind occupied. A great tactic is to do some exercise. It is not only a healthy choice, but it also releases endorphins that will calm you.
Embrace the Power of Meditation.
Meditation has a host of powerful benefits, and reducing worry is one of them. Meditation is something anyone can do, and even a small investment of time each morning is enough to help. One thing that I have begun to do is to take time at 10 am and 10 pm to stop and breathe and refocus my mind.
Write Down Every Worry You Can Not Control.
Write down the worry you cannot control. Try to accept the unpredictability of these events and let them go. After all, it is not within your control anyway. I have found that if I chose one or two passionate topics and advocate for those it is satisfying. Then I can help fight for a good cause without too much trama.
Talk to a Trusted Friend.
A worry shared is a worry halved. When we share our worry in the midst of chaos, you open yourself up to timely advice and help. Reach out to a loved one and they will give you the time to vent. If your worry is becoming an all-encompassing problem, please reach out to a trained professional for help.
Be Positive in Your Self-Talk.
Speak more positively about yourself. In the face of loneliness, you may revert to self-deprecation, but it is important that you are not hard on yourself. It takes time to build self-esteem and energy to maintain it. Try to remember what you love most about yourself. You could post words of encouragement on your bathroom mirror. Or, give yourself a boost by reading self-help books to encourage positive thinking.
Stay in the Present.
When you are going through a rough time, your mood can change from moment to moment. You may tend to look at the future with a negative lens. Instead of doing that, capitalize on all the good moments. You can take time to journal your feelings or call a friend and tell them how excited you are at that moment. It is important to celebrate your wins.
A Spirit of Gratitude.
When was the last time you were completely in awe of something? It could be as simple as a funny movie or going on a long hike in nature. These moments should inspire you with a happy feeling that reminds you that you can be happy in this world.
Get involved with your community or charity through a volunteering position. The benefits can be enormous. It is a vital help to those in need, and it can help you to find friends, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health.
Avoid Toxic Relationships.
Toxic relationships have many faces. They can be personal or work-related. You know the type-you lend money to a family, or a co-worker your car. The toxic person may not pay you back, returns the car damaged with no offer to repair it. Plus, it does not happen once, it happens repeatedly in different forms. Letting go of these relationships will be a source of peace and wholeness.
Even though you may have a worrying type of personality you can choose not to react to situations.
Start paying attention to times when you:
- Make positive predictions
- Feel confidence in your ability to complete challenging tasks
- Receive feedback without personalizing it
- Ask for what you want without being hesitant
- Feel accepting and relaxed
People who worry, benefit from having people in their support network who can be supportive. Over time you can build relationships with people who support you. This will help you break free of narrow or negative ways in which you might see yourself.
I am Shirley Noah, an internationally known stress expert and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and wellbeing. If you are interested in learning more about a worry journaling for a “stress-free” life, please take a look at my popular 8 days, FREE E-course, Worry Journal.