The main battle that commences in my mind everyday, is without a doubt, worrying. I recently found myself worrying about every single thing. What I was going to eat for breakfast, how my make up was gonna go, what I was going to wear, what I was going to do for the whole day, if I was going to sleep that night, what other people were doing with their day and the list goes on and on and on but I think you get the idea. The main problem with worrying about simple day-to-day tasks is that this then leads into BIGGER worries about BIGGER things. Worrying about where you fit in and if you fit in, the future, the past, worrying about your lifestyle compared to other peoples lifestyles, how you come across to people, how the next 10 years of your life are going to pan out, worry’s regarding relationships, commitment, motivation, generally just worrying.
This state of worry in your mindset inevitably will lead to panic and fear and quite frankly, this all combined, no matter the size of your head, is a LOT for anyone to deal with and also feelings that we don’t want to have to deal with.
You can’t just cut worrying out completely. It’s one of them feelings which will always stick around. There will always be times where you feel worried or a sense of anxiety and that is completely fine and normal behaviour expected of your average human being. But sending your brain into overdrive, where all you focus on is how you are worried, is not healthy.
Now, whilst worry can sometimes be seen as a good thing for some people as it kicks them into action to try and get rid of the worry, this doesn’t work for everyone. Too much worrying can lead to anxiety which is crippling not just for your mental health, but your physical health too. The main problem with feelings of worry is that it is part of the vicious cycle of negative outlooks, mindsets and thinking. If you are negative, attract negative vibes, seek out negative people, output negative comments, you are bound to create worries. The what-if’s, the but’s, the always seeing the worst case scenario and the regrets makes worrying a problem. This chronic worrying can just as easily be broken as it is created, you just need to break the cycle of negativity. Training your brain isn’t easy – but if you work at it, allow calmness and relaxation to flow back into your train of thought, approach life with a more balanced outlook and accept the truths of life then everything becomes a lil less fearful.
How to stop worrying and start living the best life we all deserve
Personally, I always looked at meditation of one of those wishy washy concepts that I could never really get my head around or understand how or why it works. I was unwilling to try it but I decided to look at it as a challenge and if it didn’t work for me I would stop. However, meditation works by focussing all your energy and thoughts on the very present moment, with full engagement on how you feel right now and self awareness, acting as an interruption to all the worries and negative thoughts you may be experiencing. Meditation doesn’t just happen – you have to practice and work at it. Meditation also comes in many different forms and the feeling of ‘zen’ doesn’t just appear to everybody straight away. But trust me, adding just 10 minutes of meditation into your daily routine really does help. I meditate each evening, after brushing my teeth, using the Headspace app (https://www.headspace.com). The diversity of courses available really attracted me and the different techniques it uses allows you to find the one that works for you. I particularly like ‘noting’. This is an exercise where you focus all that energy on the rising and falling of your breath and if you notice your mind wandering off and thinking of something else, you simply note it, mentally, as ‘I’m worrying’ or ‘I’m thinking’ and you soon notice that the amount of notes you create, get less and less the more you practice.
Write them worries down and throw them away
Every evening, I find it soooo soothing to write all my worries and all the negative feelings I’ve felt throughout the day down on a piece of paper. It’s much more difficult to actually write your worries down than it is to think them so over time, they generally lose their power over you. I never keep the paper, no one needs the constant reminder of how crappy they’ve felt. Instead, I find it so satisfying to tear it up, set it on fire, throw it in the bin. It’s sort of like showing your mind the worthlessness of these feelings to you. If they meant something, you’d treasure them but worrying achieve’s absolutely nothing so throw alll them negative feelings away.
Create a specific time to worry
Otherwise known as a worry period, set aside no more than 20 minutes of your day to specifically just worry. Let all them worries flood out your mind, take control, fill your head and then once the 20 minutes are over, get on with the rest of your day in a completely worry-free state.
Get rid of that social media addiction we all have
Comparing your lifestyle to other peoples lifestyles on social media platforms is so damaging for your outlook on life. It can create such a negative relationship with technology and lead to conflict and comparison which nobody needs in their life. SO simple but so difficult – don’t check instagram every morning when you wake up, don’t refuse to start your day until you’ve looked at everyones snapchat stories, don’t not get out of bed until you’ve updated your facebook status to let everyone know where you’re going for lunch today – just simply live out your day first hand, not through the means of a screen.
There is nothing more uplifting than smashing a gym session, going on a long run, walk, swim or cycle or doing a yoga class. It leaves you feeling revitalised and focussed. All that negative energy bundled up inside you can easily be translated into exercise. It only takes one workout for you to realise how great you feel, no matter how sweaty and red-faced you may be when you’ve completed it. The physical benefits and mental benefits are so predictable from just the first workout. Free weights leave you feeling accomplished, proud, decisive and in control – all positive feelings that override the worries you previously felt before strutting your stufff in the gym.
There are so many things we worry about which can’t even be justified. For example, say you’re planning a summer party on the weekend but the weather forecast predicts torrential rain. This leads to a chain of negative thoughts – worrying if the party can go ahead, worrying about having to tell everyone the event is postponed, worrying about the weather changing – you get the idea right? But, this is uncontrollable. No one can control the weather therefore this chain of worry and negativity is completely unjustified. You just simply cannot control how something or someone behaves, you can only control how you react, so cut out the instant idea of negativity.
Changing your mindset
Recognising that worrying is a complete and utter waste of time is a major step. It honestly achieves absolutely nothing and reassuring yourself of this from time-to-time is completely fine. For example, if you’re worrying about an upcoming exam or date or interview or whatever unnatural situation is coming in your direction, simply tell yourself “I can handle it”. Be firm, be strong, believe in yourself and your abilities and the worries will dissipate. We only worry because we live in fear. DON’T. If you aspire to live a strong, positive mindset where you can handle anything life throws at you, worrying will lose its power. The realisation that worry achieves nothing except fear and panic is such a strong step in the right direction.
Whatever you do – DO NOT PLAN THE FUTURE
Planning too far in advance only leads to worry. If you have a strict plan you always stick to no matter what because you have a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to do, in a time frame, you will undoubtedly be full of worry. Do not live your life through the future. Live in the here and now. If planning is one of the habits you have, just make it sooooo vague it nearly doesn’t exist. I used to plan everything out so far in advance and yes, it helps your organisation but no, it doesn’t help your mind when things don’t line up to your plan. So my plan now, for each and everyday, is just to achieve something. Whether that be getting 3 hours of focussed studying or walking my dog or cooking the food I wanted to eat for dinner, at least I have stuck to my vague plan and followed its rules. Its such a simple approach without being unrealistic and left feeling disappointed if things don’t line up to your future aspirations, once again eliminating them lil worry gremlins stuck in your mind.
Repeat after me: What if’s are b*llocks and worst case scenarios don’t even exist
When you get one of them ‘but what if’ thoughts and find yourself thinking the worst possible series of events, repeat that sentence. You are worrying about something that’s not even happened and the brutality of it, is that it most likely never even will. If there is nothing you can do about it and you have no control, just let it go. Why do you want to wind yourself up over something that you cannot change? But if you find you do have control and there is something you can do about it, set time aside to get it done and just DO IT. Then that is another worry ticked off the list, freeing space up in that pretty lil head of yours.
Treat yo’self and live your best life
If you wanna eat the cake, eat the cake. Don’t worry about the calories or how that one little slice of cake is gonna effect your temple. If you wanna quit your job and travel the world, quit your job and travel the world. Don’t worry about the money or what your friends and family will say about you putting your career on hold – take everyday as it comes. If you wanna get a fresh new look, get a fresh new look. There is no point worrying about what other people will think if you come out the hairdressers with bright blue hair if it’s something YOU want. Spend your well earned money on pricey cocktails, nice food, designer clothing, lush holidays, revamping your interior decor, a new car. Live your best life. You deserve it, one hunnid. Do not let worries hold you back and limit you from being your best self.
The main message – STOP WORRYING. It is a useless feeling, achieves nothing and encourages negativity. Just live, don’t plan and take each day as it comes. If things don’t go quite how you want them to – at least you did something. If you’ve got a big deadline coming up which you know is going to hassle you with worry in the future – start now to eliminate that worry. There are so many simple steps you can take to stop worrying and start living but the revolution all starts with YOU and you wanting to see a change in your outlook, mindset and day-to-day life.
So, why should you stop worrying and start living?
Worrying won’t stop the bad from happening, it will just stop you from enjoying the good.
All my love,
The Wellbeing Revolution – written for those who wish to live a life full of happiness, mindfulness, self-love, confidence, fulfilment, meaning and the courage to accept yourself.