5 approaches to a worry-free lifestyle

January 29, 2015

5 approaches to a worry-free lifestyle

Worry is an instinctive human emotion that can prevent us from upholding a balanced perspective on life. It's intended to keep us alert and aware of our surroundings, with the potential to serve us well when kept in proportion.

  • Unhealthy worry begins when thinking goes beyond reasonable concern. Some people may have obsessive thoughts or experience physical discomfort.

When worry morphs into anxiety, it's time to change. Thankfully, there are many ways to learn to live a worry-free lifestyle.

1. Challenge your anxious thoughts

Healthy worriers question the validity of their worries and ask themselves whether the threats are real or perceived.

  • When you begin to worry, try to get more information about what's scaring you.
  • Put fear into perspective and ask yourself if it deserves the attention your brain is giving it.

2. Distract yourself from worry

Sometimes if you have too much free time, your thoughts can get out of control because your mind has extra time to wander.

  • Get busy with a hobby, spend time with a friend, or work on chores.
  • Taking your mind off the problem can be a great way to decrease worry.

3. Become a list-maker

Organizing your thoughts and prioritizing concerns can be an excellent way to put an end to unnecessary concerns.

  • List what you can do about the different situations, then think about how you can work to fix or change your list.
  • You may realize that some items on your list don't really need fixing.

4. Practise systematic relaxation

Breathe! If you slow the pace of your breathing and relax your muscles, your thinking will follow suit.

  • You can also try taking 15 minutes to read something inspiring, then clear your mind with some slow breathing.
  • Unable to do this on your own? Try a guided yoga or meditation class.

5. Decrease the negativity in your life

It's amazing how often we can "catch" the emotions of others.

  • Look around and see how much you may be adopting the worries or complaints of others.
  • Try limiting the time you spend with high-anxiety people, and see if it helps you stay more relaxed.

When worry spills over into anxiety, it can take a physical toll, causing increased heartbeat, a feeling of breathlessness or even dizziness.

  • These approaches can help reduce everyday worry, though if the problem is keeping you from living your life, there are professionals who specialize in anxiety treatment.
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