How to control and manage a worrying mind
Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself always having something to worry about? And if you solve the worry, you find something else to worry about. It feels never ending and like there is no other way.
Thoughts lead to feelings lead to behaviours. Worrying can lead us to feel anxious, self critical, indecisive and more. Our behaviour aligns with these thoughts and feelings.
Worry is a habit of thought, the more we engage in the habit, the more it becomes automatic - we worry without realising, and unconscious. We question why we feel anxious or self critical but when we go to the root cause there lies the worry!
Because worry is a habit, we can break the habit and create new healthy habits of thought. But because it’s automatic and unconscious, it’s challenging and requires self awareness, practice and patience.
The job is the mind is to keep us alive. It does this by taking us away from pain and towards pleasure. Worry can become pleasurable. It can make us feel safe due to its familiarity and habitual nature.
When we realise this, we meet our worry with kindness, compassion, whilst recognising it's no longer helping us, rather holding us back! Then we can do the work to let it go.
How to manage your worries
1. Set aside worry time
Set aside 5-15 minutes to write down all your worries. Brainstorm areas of your life: career, love, family / friends, personal health and development, environment and finances. Big, small, rational or irrational - EVERYTHING! Once 10 minutes is up, your worry time is up! You can get on with your day.
2. Categorise the worries into ones you have control over and ones you don't have control over
Ones you have control over - you can do something about it. Ones you have no control over - we can let them go! Hypothetical worries are worries we can let go, this is easier said than done.
3. Practicing presence and mindfulness
Notice the worry arise, be aware of it. Be curious of the worry. Is it true? Necessary? Helpful? Is it taking you toward your goal of happiness and worry free?
Feel the sensations as a result of the worry, bringing attention to breath and feeling grounded and connected. Every exhale try to let go of any physical tension or tightness. Moving your awareness from out of your head and into the body!
Every time we choose to let go of unnecessary worries, we break the habit of thought and replace it with new, more healthy ones. In time, this will become very easy for you!
Creating mantras or affirmations to work with and repeating when worry arises, gives your mind something else to focus on. Examples; let go, I am calm, I am safe, there is nothing to worry about. You could also focus on breath and saying inhale every time you inhale and exhale every time you exhale.
5. Worries that you have control over
- write what the problem is
- journal on what you can do about it
- act on the things you feel are intuitively right to you!
- realising you've done everything you can