Ok…I lied. Strictly speaking, I haven’t learned to stop yet. But I’m working on it.
Up until recently I became stressed and panicked about the smallest things really easily. I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and have to tidy my room so that I could sleep peacefully without it playing on my mind. It wasn’t just tasks that made me freak out, bad memories-particularly embarrassing ones- would make me lie awake for hours. Worst of all, was people’s comments, I’d evaluate their tone and words to try and understand the meaning of what they said and, despite them probably not meaning anything by it, I would always come to the conclusion that they hate me. I was making myself really unhappy but I was kind of stuck in the cycle of worrying. Here’s how I broke free of that cycle. (cue Queen “I want to break freeeeeee”)
1.WRITE STUFF DOWN
I began to jot down all my worries into one big list scribbled into a notebook I keep on my bookshelf. I just let my mind barf up everything I was thinking, and afterwards I feel so peaceful and calm, knowing that my worries won’t be forgotten, just postponed to when I can deal with them rationally. Another way this helps, is that in the morning when I read these notes through again, they always seem so petty that they make me laugh. I try not to let the knowledge that this will happen affect me when I’m writing my feelings down though as then I find myself writing my worries down in part so that I don’t sound stupid, allowing them to continue to play on my mind.
2. ALL WORRIES ARE VALID
I am aware that some people have far bigger worries than I, but thinking about this doesn’t put them into perspective for me, it just adds guilt to the mixture. I try to remind myself that my worries are valid no matter how petty they may seem.
3. DON’T PUT THE PRESSURE ON YOURSELF TO STOP WORRYING
This ends up generating more worries, as you worry that you are worrying too much and worry what will happen if you don’t start worrying less. Basically it’s counter productive. Instead, try taking it one step at a time. If the voice in your head can reason with the dark side once then you have the ability to overcome it every time. Celebrate the small victories!
4. CALM YOUR MIND
If you are having difficulty sleeping because of worry, calm your mind with relaxing music or read a book as you try to get to sleep. This will calm your mind and distract you from your worries at the same time.
5. HELPFUL RESOURCES
check out these things if you want some help:
This is an app that guides you through daily 10 minute long audio meditation sessions that aren’t too cringey. This does cost money for a full subscription, however once you download it you do get a month long free trial. I find it really helpful and calming and would really recommend.
Just a helpful site to be honest. Loads of posts and information about worry and how to deal with it. It only takes a few minutes to read.
the thoughts room is to calming. You type your worries and watch them fall away to calming music. Nobody can see them, don’t worry. Maybe a little bit cringey but don’t knock it till you try it.
A similar concept, so if the thoughts room is too much, give this one a try.
-The little pocket book of happiness by Lois Blyth & the little pocket book of mindfulness by Anna Black
These books are filled with little activities, quotes and messages that really help restore positivity and peace of mind. I find them really helpful when I’m feeling especially stressed however they are not a must have. It really depends on what works best for you.
Thanks for reading and hope you found this helpful!