Anxiety and worry can be a very debilitating experience. Whether the worry is about something situational (i.e. work) or on a general and chronic level, our mind, body and spirit are challenged and drained of energy.
Common questions and feelings:
"How do I stop worrying?
"Why am I so tense?"
"I am so tired of this."
"Will I ever stop worrying?"
A common factor with the above quotes/questions is the emphasis on "I," or in other words, thepressure we place on ourselves in order to overcome adversity. Often this internal sense of pressure becomes more of our battle. We lose sight as to what is influencing/causing our distress, what is the meaning behind our worry, and/or remembering how we have successfully addressed hardships before. In addition, and maybe more importantly, we feel powerless.
A common way we interpret worry is that someone or something is currently or could be a threat to us. Feeling threatened is like having control being ripped away. Lack of control = powerlessness. Powerlessness exacerbates our worry because we do not know what the outcome will be and if we will be ok.
So how do we stop worrying? How do we gain back power when we feel powerless? As shown above, asking questions is a common response we have when feeling stuck and unsure with what to do. However, these questions reinforce or maintain our distress.
Certain questions that we can ask ourselves can help us gain awareness and become more present with the situation instead of battling the internal fight. Some effective questions could be:
- "What exactly is the issue that is making me worry? Is it the stressor itself or the trouble with managing the symptoms?"
- "How am I giving away my power?"
- "Will I allow my distress to control me?"
- "Do I need to be worried?"
By becoming more mindful, we more effectively recognize our own power. Embracing our power will allow us to become "unstuck" with the situation and put action into place instead of being worried about stressors.
Do not forget, we all have overcome difficulty at some point in our lives. We possess strengths and skills that help us address or rise above hardships. Individual strengths and skills develop and grow on a constant basis. We do not lose our strengths or skills, we just have a tendency to minimize or dismiss them. We need to make the decision as to whether or not we will use our power.
"How do I stop worrying?" Maybe you already have the answers.