We’ve all heard the phrase “We are our own worst enemies.” The reality is that many of us worry and have developed thought patterns that allow us to perceive things as worse than they are. Or we worry too much about what’s to come instead of living in the moment.
Life is precious and our time is never guaranteed, so here are a few steps to help you worry less and live more.
1. Give Yourself a Limit
I am a strong believer in owning and processing our emotions. If we suppress the ways we feel about things, it will just fester and eventually lead to an emotional outburst.
With that being said, if something has happened that is causing us to worry or a situation has upset us, I find it useful to give myself a time limit on how long I will let it bother me. I often find myself saying, “Okay — I can be mad about this for 10 more minutes and then I will let it go.” It has proved very useful for me over the years.
2. Find Something Pretty
Getting outside in nature, feeling the sun on your face and hearing the birds chirp is therapeutic. No, seriously. An article from Premier Health said “Breathing fresh air can raise levels of oxygen in your brain, which in turn boosts the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that alters your mood.”
Even if it’s just for a quick stroll around your neighborhood, something is better than nothing.
3. Have an Intellectual Conversation
When we switch mental gears from being emotionally driven to concentrating on something a little more complex, we may be able to worry less and wind down. Reading a scholarly article or talking to someone about philosophy can help change your outlook away from worry.
4. Self-Soothing Temple Massage
Sure, we all like a professional massage for relaxation, but when the worrisome moment hits, we probably are unable to drop everything we are doing for some deep tissue work. An article from Real Simple states the benefits of self-soothing temple massage.
“Massage therapy is one of the most effectively, widely used integrative therapies for reducing pain and relieving stress,” according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).”
5. Call Someone Who Means a Lot to You
Sometimes connecting with someone we have a deeper connection with is all the healing we need. This can be a romantic partner, a friend, or a parent.
An article from Stress.org shows the benefits, saying“One study found that hearing your mom’s voice has stress-lowering benefits on par with seeing her in person. Research also suggests that feeling supported by loved ones of any kind might help reduce the effects of stress.”
6. Write it Down
This is a two part solution. Some have found journaling effective. Headspace mentioned the benefits:
“Examining worries written on paper — rather than mulling them over in your head — can help you gain a more balanced perspective.”
If you want to forget about the worries completely, the same article mentions the benefits of instead listing our gratitude:
“Research suggests that when we take note of and cultivate increased appreciation in our lives, we feel happier and more optimistic about our lives. Try listing three things that made you feel good each day, or at the end of every week — coffee counts.”
You deserve a worry-free life. Obviously, there will be some moments where we are so consumed with worry that it’s all we can focus on, but these techniques can help ease the moments you would like to pass through quickly. Do you have a favorite relaxation technique? Let us know in the comments.