With everything that life bombards us with nowadays, worry can take over if we allow it. We have to think about bills, raising our children well, keeping the house clean, working each day, and other things that keep our minds running on overdrive. When we’re running on overdrive, it’s easy to worry too much.
A little stress won’t hurt because everyone deals with challenges at one point or another. However, it should raise some red flags when it becomes a daily habit or incessant nagging that won’t go away.
Worrying can help you plan for the future, but too but of it can cause issues. It is a tool that we can utilize to better our lives, but many people allow it to dictate their every waking moment, which is incredibly unhealthy.
“Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” – Van Wilder
5 Telling Signs That You Worry Too Much
1. You Can’t Ever Relax
We all will deal with stressful situations in our lives at some point. Stress can help us make tough decisions and allow us to transform into better people. However, when this stress creeps up and disrupts your daily life, this is a clear indicator of chronic unease or generalized anxiety disorder.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 3.1% of the adult population suffers from this disorder. If you have persistent anxious thoughts that disrupt your daily life, it’s a sign of excessive anxiety. If you worry too much, take deep breaths, ask yourself if this is worth losing your peace, and bring your awareness back to the present moment.
Anxiety creeps up on us when we allow our minds to wander too far into the future, so using our breath to anchor us in the present can do wonders to dispel anxious thoughts.
2. You Have Trouble Falling Asleep
Many people who worry too much also have trouble getting decent sleep. It can cause your thoughts to race uncontrollably, which makes it very difficult to relax into sleep. According to researchers at Duke University, “…insomnia may predispose people to anxiety and depression, just as anxiety and depression may predispose people to insomnia.”
Racing thoughts and anxiety can overtake your mind so much that it keeps you up at night, which can take a toll on your health in the long term. It might help if you learn about natural ways to fall asleep easier at night.
3. You Use Food, Alcohol, or Drugs to Suppress Your Worry
Another sign that you stress too much is using a substance to deal with your emotions. Suppressing your feelings with drugs, alcohol, or food might feel good in the short term, but it can do a lot of damage. It affects your mental and physical health in the long term.
Instead of reaching for that processed snack or bottle of beer when you feel anxious, find a way to gather your thoughts and center your awareness. Read, write, draw, or take a hot bath to calm your nerves healthily. Your mind and body will very much appreciate it!
4. You Always Think of the Worst-case Scenario
Naturally, humans scan our immediate environment for threats to our safety. We have an inborn ability and need to do this to survive. However, this can sometimes be a nuisance and hazard to our mental health.
For instance, if your mom or dad is driving on the highway, you might think of every bad thing that could happen to them while driving. Of course, we want our loved ones to remain safe, but obsessing over events that likely won’t occur only takes away our inner peace.
Any time you catch yourself having these types of thoughts, try to replace them with more uplifting ones, and if you want, send out positive wishes and thoughts to those who you feel might need them.
5. You Have Recurring Health Problems
Worry causes inflammation within the body, which leads to all sorts of ailments, including:
- High blood pressure
- Sore muscles
- Stiff joints
- Weakened immune system
- And much more
If you get sick quite frequently, first check in with your mind. Diseases begin in your mind, so a scattered, overwhelmed thought process causes this energy to travel into the body.
Always make sure to give yourself time for meditation, yoga, or some other practice you find relaxing to keep your mind centered, healthy, and performing at its best
8 Ways to Reduce Worry in Your Life
If your worries seem to take over your life, it’s time to learn a few new ways to cope. You can reduce troublesome thoughts by implementing a few anxiety-relieving techniques.
1. Practice Self-Care and Relaxation
Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety in your life. Eat nutritious foods, stay active, and do things you enjoy. Spend time expressing your creativity, getting in touch with your spiritual needs, and fostering healthy relationships.
It might help to prioritize your life, determining which activities you need more of. Self-care can help you live a healthier, happier life with less anxiety. Relaxation helps immensely, too.
Learning to relax helps you overcome the overwhelming thoughts that consume your mind. Relaxation allows you to improve your fight-or-flight response as you find ways to work through anxious thoughts.
2. Find Something to Laugh About.
Laughter is the perfect distraction from your worries, allowing you to focus on something else for a while. It eliminates distressing emotions while shifting your perspective. Plus, it helps you realistically see the situation rather than how your anxious thoughts want you to see it.
Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, feel-good chemicals that promote happiness. The feeling lasts even after you stop laughing, helping you maintain an optimistic outlook. It eases anxiety and stress, improves mood, and makes you more resilient to hardship.
Think about what makes you laugh and make it a point to participate. Watch funny videos, a stand-up comedy, or spend time with a friend who makes you laugh. Whatever it is, make sure you don’t hold back.
3. Focus on Something Else
Any positive or beneficial distraction will help you stop worrying so much about things you can’t control. Once you find your distraction, you’ll forget about your problems for a while. Some ideas include going for a walk, watching your favorite show, or reading an intriguing book.
Any activities you enjoy are good ones to focus on rather than thinking about your troublesome thoughts. Sometimes even making lists can distract you enough to forget for a while.
Make a list of all the things you want to do in the future, and focus on things you can easily do. If you want to break it down, you can even make separate lists of what you can do at home, in the car, or at work.
4. Write in a Journal
Studies show that writing in a journal is a beneficial way to handle stress and eliminate anxious thoughts. It helps you release negative and overwhelming thoughts as you write them out and process what’s going on. If it helps, write about your negative thoughts, and then write new positive ones to replace them.
You can also keep a gratitude journal that helps you focus on the good things in your life. When you think about positive aspects of your situation, it’ll help you let go of your worries.
Another positive journal you can keep is a success journal. In this one, you’ll write down all of your successes, no matter how small you think they are. It helps you stay positive no matter what threatens to disrupt your thoughts.
5. Go for a Walk Outside
Walking is an excellent way to relieve stress because it involves repetitive movements of large muscle groups. If you go for a walk regularly, you’ll experience stronger benefits, too, so don’t wait.
Start a walking routine right away, making it a point to go at the same time every day. You can go in the morning before work or in the evenings after dinner. Another option is to go for a walk on your lunch break, which will ease work stress, too.
Regular exercise decreases the number of stress hormones in your body. Plus, it releases endorphins, improving your mood and relieving pain. It also improves sleep quality, helping ease stress and anxiety during the day.
6. Turn to Your Support System
When you can’t stop worrying, turn to people you trust who support you. Anxiety might make you feel like being alone, but it won’t help you overcome the thoughts. When you talk to a friend or family member, you’ll feel more relaxed and optimistic.
Hearing the perspective of someone who wants what is best for you can help change your mindset. However, don’t let your worries consume the conversation, or you’ll continue to feel overwhelmed. Once you discuss the issue, move on to something positive.
If you aren’t comfortable going to a loved one, you can also turn to a support group or therapist for help. They can help you process what you’re going through, allowing you to work it out in a safe space.
7. Spend Time in Nature
Being outside is good for your mind and body, helping relieve anxiety and stress. Nature can distract you from your problems, and studies show that it reduces anger, fear, and stress. The same research indicates that it promotes positive feelings.