Why am I always scared? I always think something bad is about to happen. If I face any mild discomfort, I automatically assume the WORST outcome, like I have a heart attack, or kidney failure or something. If my loved ones are a little late at coming home, I, again, think of the worst scenario. I feel trapped in my own imagination. Do you feel this way? How do I quiet my mind?
Dear Always Scared,
I do know this feeling and how draining it can be. The first thing you should know is that if these thoughts are interrupting your daily life in any way, it’s totally okay to reach out for extra help! Your doctor and any mental health pro can help you figure out exactly what’s going on and guide you to the next steps to feeling better!
In the meantime, here are some things that help me to stop worrying when I’m feeling more anxious than usual.
Talk to someone you trust.
Can we talk about how happy I am that you feel comfortable talking about this here?! Opening up in any way always takes some weight off of my shoulders, and I hope it does for you too!
It might also help to talk to someone in person who you trust. For me, sometimes it takes hearing myself say my thoughts out loud to realize that my worries aren’t reality.
If you’re not ready to unload your worries on a friend or loved one yet, that’s totally okay! Start with journaling!
We live in a world where headlines and information are in our face, 24/7. It’s honestly a blessing and a curse because while it’s great to be educated and have the world literally at your fingertips, it gets overwhelming really fast.
When I start feeling my spirits dip or like I’m feeling anxious over things I can normally handle, the first thing I do is check my screen time. Why?
- Because the media just naturally tends to show us more bad news than good.
- Because social media is naturally a breeding ground for comparison.
Even if what you’re seeing on the news or posted on social media isn’t the subject you’re actually worried about, I think the constant content heightens our sense of awareness. Awareness that bad things happen, and awareness that maybe we could be doing better.
All of it is overwhelming and it makes it hard for me to sort through what I actually need to put my energy into. Taking a break or simply reevaluating my screen time is a nice way to reset.
Accept that you can’t predict the future.
Nobody wants to be blindsided by bad news or any kind of tragedy. It’s totally okay (and natural) to worry about SOME things. But no matter how much we worry and plan, we can’t predict the future.
It’s so easy for that worry to take control of our mindset. When I start worrying about something out of my control, or something I have zero reason to believe is actually happening (random illness, car wreck, etc.), I try to pause and breathe as soon as I realize what’s going on. Because otherwise… I’ll totally spiral.
This takes serious practice, but it’s so worth it. Start with deep breaths. Once you get that to come more naturally, start asking yourself how worrying is productive in this situation.
If your mind is too loud, write it down. Everything. Sometimes it just helps to physically unpack your brain and see it all laid out so you can work through each thing that is weighing on you. Sort out the things you can actually do something about, and accept the things that are out of your control.
Being productive for what I CAN control always helps me feel better and let go of the things I can’t control.
Do something that makes you happy!
When you feel a wave of worry coming on, interrupt it. Find a way to distract yourself, and hopefully stop worrying before it’s out of control. Try…
- Going on a walk
- Going outside
- Working out
- Listening to music
- Calling a friend
Anything that can distract you, lighten your mood, and help you stop worrying. For me, it’s usually something active so I can distract myself mentally while also physically shaking it off. Plus, having a hobby as a distraction builds your confidence, which naturally makes you feel more secure!
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful!
I have a feeling you are NOT the only person here dealing with this. To anyone else struggling to stop worrying, especially after the stressful times we’ve been through this past year, please know you’re not alone. <3
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!