Feeling anxious these days? You are most certainly not alone.
Much of our anxiety is worrying about things that will never happen or things we have no control of whatsoever.
In fact, a study published last year showed that over 90% of the worries that folks with general anxiety have never come to fruition.
Constant worrying, negative thinking, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
Not to mention it robs you of the joy and happiness that is around you all the time.
Most of us are worried about one thing or another every day, and you can bet those numbers are higher right now.
Here are four ways to train your brain to worry less!
Give worry a limitation — Practice putting a cap on your negative thoughts. Limit the amount of mental energy you are willing to put towards worrying.
After some practice, your brain will begin to recognize when you’re getting caught in a loop and automatically stop. This is a great tool to become more mindful of your thoughts, allowing you to choose to focus on other things instead of digger deeper into worry.
Write it all down — Journaling your worries allows you to look at them logically and acknowledge what the root cause is. Some may have a solution, and that’s great!
But, you will realize that most of them are not in your control and you can work on limiting (or even eliminating) them. This method comes highly recommended by doctors and specialists worldwide.
Shift your focus from long-term to short-term — Once you’ve identified your worries, explore what actions you can take in the short-term. This practice focuses your energy on things you can control, allowing you to find solutions to your perceived problems.
Once your brain adapts this method of thinking, your emotional reactions shift towards finding a solution rather than just automatically worrying about worst case scenarios.
Interrupt the cycle — Often times worrying occurs in a loop. Be mindful of your thoughts and when you find yourself stuck, break free by engaging your brain in another activity. Redirect your attention to something positive.
If the time and place allow, you can exercise, draw, read, or write. If those activities aren’t possible, try a mindfulness exercise; what are 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear? After practice, this will become an automatic response.