I've been running around like a headless chicken. This last week of school has been agony. It has been sucking my soul. Today has been one of those days where nothing seems to click. I woke up worried. I woke up thinking about all the assignments I have due over the next few days. I even forgot to write an article for today. I feel like this article is rushed. These worries are taking over.
It happens to everyone, but this isn't a side of me that I like very much. It’s dramatic, but when you get caught up in the moment it can feel like you’re drowning. All you want is a breath of fresh air.
Today I want to focus on solutions rather than problems so let’s ignore the thousands of hours I could spend figuring out the why, and instead, focus on the how. How am I going to get rid of these worries? Here's what I came up with:
1) Write it down and throw it away.
I find it incredibly therapeutic to, first, be able to physically look at my worry, and then proceed to throw it out.
Throwing away your worries and stresses can have a profound effect. The physical act of writing down your negative thoughts and then throwing them away can be a mental cleanse.
2) Cancel rule.
I find this method extremely effective. The next time you worry and find yourself lost in your thoughts, start repeating ‘cancel’ to yourself.
Repeat the word ‘cancel’ over and over again, until the word itself means nothing. You will have derailed your negative train of thought and you can start to focus on something else other than your worries.
3) Confide in someone.
“A trouble shared is a trouble halved” - Chinese Proverb.
Sharing your worries with another person allows you tackle that stress with someone who may have encountered the same problem. Everyone is human and they have the same worries that you do.
You’re not alone in this. Their guidance and objective perspectives could lead you to a revelation that you would have never reached otherwise.
4) Write your grateful list.
You don’t have to be surrounded by family eating turkey to be grateful. You will beat up, tired, lonely and heartbroken throughout this life. During these times being grateful for whatever you do have can be the only thing that saves you.
I jump to this tip as soon as I feel even a slight funk coming on. Write down ten things you are grateful for, or twenty, or thirty. As many as you need to remember that there is always something in your life worth feeling good about.
The worse off you are, the deeper you will have to dig. But if you find something to be grateful for at rock bottom, you’ll never have to worry about falling again.
5) Go for a walk.
Being in nature is calming – but even looking at an image of nature can decrease worry levels and increase positivity.
I love walking outside. The sights and smells have a very calming effect on my brain. Sometimes, I take the beauty of nature for granted. When you stop everything and go for a walk, you really start to appreciate the beauty around you.
That energy is transferred to me and leaves me with a renewed sense of vigor.
6) Breathe deeply.
Few people breathe properly. They have breathing that is shallow and faint because it’s left to the unconscious mind. Pay close attention to your breathing. Focus on your breath and feel it deep within your stomach.
It allows your body and brain to get a burst of oxygen, relieving any worries. There are a lot of little problems that can be worried over. The key to managing worry comes from ignoring these little problems and just taking a couple deep breaths to calm down.
Take thirty seconds to stop what you are doing and breathe. This always helps me. No matter what you are doing, you always have thirty seconds to spare.
7) Ten-year trick.
I imagine myself ten years in the future, at a bar with friends. Everyone is laughing. We are talking about how funny it is that we used to think everything was such a big deal.
Then I break out my story about the current situation I am in and how trivial it really was. Of course everyone dies of laughter because the future me is hilarious.
Imagine what a funny story your current situation is going to be a couple years from now. This will help you keep things in perspective and move on from your worries in a more graceful fashion.
8) Reset tomorrow.
I lied. Sorry. But, I came up with one more.
Sometimes I am in a funk, I’ve tried everything, and there is no way out. At this point I remind myself that this is just a feeling, not who I am. Maybe today is a write off, but tomorrow is a new day.
Every morning begins anew. Focus on restarting tomorrow. Everything will be fine. Worries come and go, and no matter how big or small they are, there is always a resolve. The more you worry, the bigger it becomes and the longer it stays at the forefront of your mind.
They won't go away unless you stop thinking about them. The more you think about your problems, the more your problems will multiply. Think positive thoughts and put on a brave face. If all else fails, reset tomorrow.
Thank you readers for helping me figure out my worries. I'm glad you're on this journey with me.
Be bold, be free, and love on.