Worrying is chronic. It is more a kind of an epidemic disease which spreads from one person to another just by having a talk or two. When you are speaking to your friend, you start the talk for joy, pure relaxation, but soon the discussion shifts to your exams or your office appraisal, or salary structures etc. once you lend your ears to them you soon start worrying about the same too, because you are in no different situation.
Sometimes, worry just enters your window like a gush of wind; there is nothing around but you begin worrying. Worries can be result of anxiety, hence when they are useless, without a base, and uncontrollable, they are subject to clinical help.
None of us wants to visit doctors, especially for something which is in the mind :/ (well when I am worrying, what can the doctor do? He cannot solve my problem and stop the worry!)
How can you effectively control the act of worrying?
We have already discussed in our previous posts how anxiety can be alleviated by focusing on day to day activities, or present actions rather than thinking in the mind. The same way, ‘mindfulness’ or focus on our daily lives can help reduce unnecessary and long term worries. We need to stop thinking of long term problems and pay attention to what we have at hand. Even long term benefits should not much bother you, as because once you start thinking on long earned profits, worries of by chance not attaining them will also haunt you.
Get yourself out of the obsession- Worry is an obsessive thought. You need to get yourself out of this obsession. Convince yourself that this obsession is dangerous, if required, try reminding yourself about some of the biggest Hindi film taglines on obsession like “Vaada: obsession is dangerous” etc. J which might really scare you of the danger and help you stay away from worrying.
Your focus should be on day to day activities- Think of what you will cook tonight, how can you make the meal more interesting! Feel the green ingredients at hand; smell their freshness to use them as the best garnish. Let your taste buds get accentuated by the terrific aroma of hot and spicy barbecued chicken; watch it cook in the oven light as it slowly turns golden brown. These simple sensations and experiences can give you the pleasure of ‘now’, and slowly diminish your worries on the future.
Engage in a better obsessive activity- like solving puzzles, board games or video games, thriller novels etc. Nowadays, games are lot beyond just fun. They can become obsessions. Mind power is tested and transformed within the games and slowly it tends to become obsession. You will learn new strategies through such activities, and hence you won’t get time for worrying, if you are engaged in your daily life.
Schedule time for exercise- make exercise a part of your daily life. Anxiety is averted by exercise so is worry, which is an element of it. While working out, focus on breathing; pay attention to the amount of calorie you are losing every day. In fact, the machines are designed such that you can observe your heart rate, calorie lost, time of work out etc. in front of your eyes. Your focus automatically shifts to the pleasure of losing weight; of gaining a fit body, from worrying and getting fat.
Celebrate short term gains- if you have bought a new dress; be happy; come home; share the news and celebrate with a bowl of ice-cream. Appreciate the fact that you have achieved one thing that you desired. This will give you contentment. Don’t omit the small episodes of life to worry about when you will have enough money to buy a Honda Civic or BMW.
Visual and sensory motor distractions can be really effective- television, computer, gardening are activities which can be enjoyable, and will provide you images which are new to perception in your daily life. These will distract you from worrying.
Use progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is a stress management technique by which you can learn to reduce anxiety by learning how to relax the muscular tension. It can be done alone or in combination with abdominal breathing, which means breathing fully from your abdomen or from the bottom of your lungs. It is the reverse of the way you breathe when you’re anxious or tense, which typically involves breathing that is shallow and high in your chest. Practice progressive relaxation for 5-10 minutes until you feel fully relaxed and free from obsessive thoughts.
The above methods can help you implement new goals and activities in your daily curriculum which will require focus and understanding, so when you start thinking about small achievements, engagements and managements, you will eventually be shifted from a long term problem, hence less of worry will occur. Try it.