When worried, how to stay calm - 5 points + Journal prompts
As humans we are good at worrying. Even when things are great and going really well in our lives, we find something that could possibly worry us. It’s not because we don’t like happiness, it’s because we’re used to worrying more than feeling happy and content.
Think about it, imagine a life were everything was perfect and happy? Initially it would be a dream come true, honestly. But as time progressed, we probably would feel uneasy and for a lack of a better word, bored!
We worry because we tend to anticipate the worst. We worry because we don’t have any control over what is going to happen. We like some amount of control in our lives or at the very least we want to be aware of what may happen. Therefore, we worry, thinking about the worst that may happen.
I haven’t found an easy antidote to worry. It’s normal, natural and sometimes its also helpful. We all worry not because we want to but because it helps us have some control over the problem/situation.
In this post, I’m not asking you to stop worrying but I want to help you relax and unwind despite the worry.
Understand your Physical reactions – Worry is both mental and physical. Our physical reactions to worry range from crying to getting angry. It usually depends people to people and the intensity of the situation. Every situation has different response to worry. Sometimes when people are worried, they tend to shut off and spend most of their time either sleeping or eating or distracting themselves. Again, it depends if the worry is long term or short term. Knowing how you react physically can help you stay balanced if your reaction is very intense. For e.g., Excessive worry may lead to a headache. If you are aware of the reaction it’ll help you prevent the headache, probably you’ll focus on sleeping better or doing some meditation.
Recognize your emotions and thought patterns – Naturally when we’re worried, we tend to think and feel of the worst case-scenario. Sometimes we’re aware of the pattern of these thoughts which help us shift our mindset from unhealthy to healthy and optimistic or pragmatic. It’s automatically triggered regardless of the reason for worry. We all have a pattern and the trick is to recognize that pattern so you can then change the way you think and perhaps even find a way to be hopeful. For e.g., Your thought and emotional pattern could be something on the lines of – “I don’t deserve it. I’m unworthy so naturally things won’t happen the way I want. I’m not cut out for this so it won’t happen the way I desire.” – You get the idea. It’s a pattern and not the fact. Watch out for these patterns.
Analyse before you react – Take a minute to go over the situation. Is this situation in your control? Can you do something about it? Is it helpful to do nothing and let things play the way they should? Pausing to analyse the situation can prevent in your reaction. Which in turn will help in your worry and will further help you relax. Our reactions whether physical or mental are based on emotions. Analyzing will help you think in a pragmatic manner.
Express your emotions and feelings in a healthy manner – Yes, your worry is 100% valid. You also have the right to worry the way you are, therefore it only makes sense that you express your worry in a manner that will not only help you calm down but may also give a partial solution to the situation. Anytime you’re worried let it out. Talk to a friend, partner, write it all down if you don’t feel like talking to anyone. Expressing your feelings and emotions of worry will help you analyse the situation further. You’ll get answers to all the questions you have.
Breathe and relax your nerves – I don’t only mean meditation. But also, other methods you can apply to calm yourself. Go out in nature, sit by the ocean, go for a spa day, listen to music that calms you or motivates you, read a good fiction book, try breath-work and visualization, colour or sketch, dance, cook…. There are many ways to calm your mind and relax your nerves.
To help you further understand your worry, you can also work on these journal prompts -
What situations/events or people make you more anxious and panicky?
What memories from your past situations influence your anxiety?
What is the best- and worst-case scenarios of this anxious state?
Affirmation - Even in chaos and anxiety I feel balanced, relaxed and stay Calm
Hope this article gives you a different perspective on your worry and helps you to relax and unwind.