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In an uncertain world, we all search for ways to stay grounded. But when the mind gets fixated on worry — a natural response to uncertainty — it can feel hard to find your footing. Learn how to move forward with less stress in the first part of this day meditation course full course available only to Hepace subscribers.
Most thoughts, emotions, and anxiousness caused by worry are negative, imagining worst-case scenarios, anticipated threats, or scenarios that reflect our own lack of self-worth. Occasional anxiety over the future is a normal part of life. In fact, our brains are evolutionarily wired to worry: our cave-dwelling ancestors, who imagined the worst when they heard leaves rustle, had better odds of surviving a predator by being in this state of constant alert.
So worrying, to some extent, is a natural part of life — we worry about paying a bill, or how a first date might turn out, or if the weather might ruin a planned BBQ. Our fear of consequences is always worse than the consequences themselves. If you notice you're caught How can you stop worrying in a worrying storyline, know that you have the power to break the cycle.
When it comes to short-circuiting the anxiety loop that worry puts us in, meditation can be a great ally. With practice, we learn to step away from the thoughts and emotions that entertain worst-case scenarios; instead, we develop an awareness that allows us to not only see what our mind is inventing, but to also be less triggered by worry. We are essentially training the mind to be calmer, more at ease, and less reactive. One such tactic is to acknowledge the presence of such thoughts in the mind, as uncomfortable as that may be.
A trick to accomplish this is to think of your worry as a movie playing in your mind. As a viewer, you are there to sit and watch the film — not change the film in any way, even though you might naturally want to rewrite the script or silence the film altogether. By simply watching the mind, we can start to feel more at ease with our feelings and begin to ease the emotions and physical sensations that may arise when we worry.
In time, we discover that we are unfazed by things that would usually set off a bombardment of negative thinking. Meditation is a tool that, if used consistently, will help us rewire our thinking, aiding us to break the worry cycle. Worry might keep our minds busy, but not in a constructive way.
So we owe it ourselves to How can you stop worrying the worry habit and start living. It sounds counterintuitive, even a little silly, but setting aside 20 or 30 minutes each day to focus on your worries is a first step toward containing them.
Studies, including one at Penn State Universityfound that those who scheduled time to worry showed a ificant decrease in anxiety in 2 to 4 weeks — plus they slept better. Your worry period should be the same time every day — first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. During this deated but limited worry time, you can worry as much as you like, going down the mental rabbit holes your mind loves to create. But the discipline here — and the test of willpower — is that the worries are not only indulged in this time, but left there.
They are not allowed to spill into the rest of the day. Busy yourselves at such times with a task, a conversation, or some entertainment. Learning to limit anxious thoughts shows that you actually have more control over them than you think.
Practice meditation. Another skill for learning how to stop worrying about the future — or obsessing about the past — is a regular meditation practice.
General meditation research shows that mindfulness training can reduce anxiety for those with anxiety disorders. But over time, we can train the mind to observe our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. We gently note themrather than reacting to them, and then let them go. Productive, solvable worries are those you can act on right away.
If a worry is solvable, chart a plan of action that starts small. Focusing on things within our reach takes us away from creating a disaster scenario in the mind. Uncertainty is one of the hardest things to How can you stop worrying comfortable with, especially for those with anxiety. But life is unpredictable, and learning to accept, and even lean in to our fear of the unknown, can make a difference on our emotional well-being.
Resisting it or trying to control it.
Meditation can help us become more at ease with uncertainty, and less stressed when things are not in your control. Life can flow with a little more ease this way. Write down your worries. One powerful way to help us break the cycle of worry is to log each and every worrying thought that pops into our mind. Examining worries written on paper — rather than mulling them over in your head — can help you gain a more balanced perspective. Committing your emotions to paper seems like it would fuel anxiety, but according to a University of Chicago study published in the journal Science, it actually has the opposite effect: students who were prone to pre-test anxiety and journaled about their fears before an exam improved their test scores by nearly one grade point.
Go gently with yourself at first. At the end of that week, or whatever period of time you How can you stop worrying, the list will serve as a reflection of where your mind has gone in terms of imagined outcomes. Go through the list and challenge your anxious thoughts:. Take a few moments to consider some things in your life that you How can you stop worrying. Who, what, and where fills you with a sense of gratitude? Research suggests that when we take note of and cultivate increased appreciation in our lives, we feel happier and more optimistic about our lives.
Try listing three things that made you feel good each day, or at the end of every week — coffee counts. There are many science-backed relaxation techniques deep breathing, meditationprogressive muscle relaxation, yoga, tai chi, massage, getting outdoorsor just doing things you enjoy! Incorporating them into your daily life can promote a calmer frame of mind, and help ward off worry.
We just might find that we spend a lot less time feeling uncertain and concerned about what lies ahead. Start your day free trial now. Prev article. How to stop worrying In an uncertain world, we all search for ways to stay grounded. Next article. Meditation for worrying about the future.
Listen to Fear of Future: Pt 1 - 12 minutes Related articles Calming meditation How to be more grateful How to be happy Meditation for anxiety. Feeling anxious? Try this meditation. Listen to Managing Anxiety - 12 minutes These 5 ways to stop worrying about everything, or at least how to worry less, can help: 1.
Learn to distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries. Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation? Try relaxation techniques including Hepace to interrupt the worry cycle There are many science-backed relaxation techniques deep breathing, meditationprogressive muscle relaxation, yoga, tai chi, massage, getting outdoorsor just doing things you enjoy! Try Hepace for free. Similar articles. Meditation Calming meditation. Mindfulness How to be more grateful. Mindfulness How to be happy. Stress Meditation for anxiety.How can you stop worrying
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How to stop worrying