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Scurry Your Worries

Why we worry and how to begin a stress-free life

Worrying has become a regular part of our daily lives. Excessive worrying and heightened levels of anxiety, however, are tendencies of individuals who have trouble dealing with the slightest unplanned changes life throws at them.

The moments right before the results of an entrance examination, facing rapid-fire questions during an interview, watching the stock markets tumultuously play with your bank account are events that happen to all of us. A common thread for concern is the ‘what if ’ plague. What if I get fired? What if they don’t like my speech? What if I lose all the money? What if she doesn’t love me back? These are inherently negative statements that people make which reflect uncertainty.

Imagined Wreckage

According to Rollo May’s work, The Meaning of Anxiety; worrying has its stem in two main factors. The first reason is that in order to lessen the blow of a small wound, a person will jump to the worst-case scenario. It’s a paradoxical situation – in order to avoid a small amount of stress, a person creates an imagined, but greater stress. This way, any minor discomfort will become bearable.

For example, a person who has just found out that a project they completed at work did not go so well with the CEO will imagine being reprimanded publically, pay cuts and unemployment. Instead of focusing on how they could improve upon a single mistake, they’d rather worry about how they’ll deal with being jobless.

Protecting the Mask

The second cause of uninvited stress, according to May, is portraying oneself in a certain way to society while being someone else in reality. An individual may want to be perceived as intelligent, caring and selfless while not possessing any of these traits. This would put a lot of stress and anxiety on a constant basis for him. This constant urge to ‘show’ rather than ‘be,’ is what May terms as anticipatory anxiety. The person is always afraid that someone will uncover the truth that he is not who he shows he is. Instead of being himself, he feels more comfort in putting on and protecting the mask. And so, in any situation, he is always creating burdens of caution upon himself.

Physical and Emotional Toll

No matter what the cause of worrying, the end result is significant harm to your body and mind. From a physical perspective, worriers tend to have frequent sinus headaches, stomach distress, are at a greater risk of heart attacks, insomnia and weakened immune systems.

Emotionally, a life of constant worrying leads to a highly negative approach in all activities. Instead of being positive, imaginative, and creative – destruction, misery and negativity will prevail. All the worrying induces feelings of insecurity, imbalance and frantic behaviour.

8 Ways to Being Worry-Free

Some successful ways to curb your worrying nature are here to save the day.

1) Embrace Them

Self-management author Jim Rohn says, “Worry is like an economic cancer. And if continued, it will haul you off into a financial desert where you will choke on the dust of your own regrets.”

Begin with confronting your worries, face to face. Understand and introspect why you are feeling something and what you fear. Then give yourself an embrace and say it’s going to be okay. Things are never as bad as imagined in a state of peaking worry.

2) Stop

Simply stop worrying. Remind yourself of a situation similar to the one you’re currently experiencing and remember how everything had turned out fine then. Breathe in that positive result and stop the fretting.

3) Exercise

A great stress reliever is exercise. If you’re at the office a walk or a stretch will do fine. If under even more stress, go for a physically tiring activity such as jogging, boxing or lap swimming.

4) Breathe Deeply

When we’re experiencing an imbalance, the first place it hits is usually our breathing. Slow down your breathing. Take deep, purposeful and relaxed breaths and experience the calm.

5) Share

Share your worries with someone you know and trust. Talking it out may help you realise how futile and frivolous it actually is. And even if it doesn’t, sharing will definitely help in reducing the worrying and make you feel light.

6) Take a Shower

In moments of anger or stress, it can probably be the best to take a shower. A long hot shower or bath will relax you to the point where you can imagine the anxiety leaving you.

7) Write a Journal

Write about your worries in a journal. This will help you unravel the depths of your subconscious and even reveal the root cause of your worrying. This is an extremely helpful exercise and a positive one that will see you grow out of worrying permanently.

8) Correct your Beliefs

We now know that worrying comes from either rejecting small doses of troubles in our lives, or with the urge to put on a facade in public. So the most important step to tackle worry is to correct your beliefs. Change the way you think habitually and see your transformed approach to situations.

Trying any of the above methods will help in reducing stress levels and worrying. So as Dale Carnegie says, “Stop worrying and start living.”

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