How to Stop Worrying: 6 Techniques That Really Worke good care of your mental health. One of the most important aspects of this is learning how to stop worrying.

How to Stop Worrying: 6 Techniques That Really Work

How to Stop Worrying: 6 Techniques That Really Work

To live a healthy life, you need to take good care of your mental health. This goes without saying. Yet one of the most insidious aspects of poor mental health is often overlooked: worry. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn how to stop worrying.

Worry is an all-too-common phenomenon, and one of the chief signs of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). If you don’t learn how to stop worrying (particularly if it’s excessive) it can have very real short-term and long-term consequences.

As just one example, worry has been proven to increase heart rate, thereby resulting in a rapid increase in blood pressure, which can lead to everything from panic attacks to strokes, if not resolved quickly. Other consequences include premature aging, depression, dementia and heart disease.

Yet research has shown that almost 90% of the things people worry about never happen. Hence, it is recommended to concentrate on other important things in your life instead of spending time obsessively thinking about things that probably won’t even happen

One of the best ways to do this, of course, is to learn the art of mindfulness. Though it can be tough in the beginning, if you can develop a consistent practice, you’ll likely be blown away by how many moments of your day are consumed by automatic, negative, worrisome thoughts you weren’t priorly even aware of.

Beyond mindfulness, however, there are a number of more direct techniques you can use in learning how to stop worrying. Featured here are six of the most dependable methods I’ve found, personally, to be of benefit.

6 Specific Techniques To Help You Stop Worrying

1) Change your Sleeping Patterns

Lack of sleep is one of the top-rated causes of worry. According to a study that was conducted by researchers at Binghamton University, people who stay up late at night and overwork tend to dwell on past events and worry about the future.

This, in turn, increases their susceptibility to various conditions such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Setting some consistent rules for yourself in regards to your sleep/wake habits can make a big difference here.

While it differs from person to person (taking into account age, living arrangements, etc.), and sleep scientists just cannot seem to come to an agreement on this, the old standby of 8hrs of sleep in a 24hr period remains your best bet, whether in one chunk or two (if you are able to work nap into your schedule), with anything below five hours or over ten generally accepted as moving into the realm of detriment.

Though this may seem somewhat paradoxical (in that you’re reading up on sleeping advice right now), the main idea is to take any outside advice in this regard with a grain of salt, and to find a way to consistently experience those deeper levels of truly refreshing sleep in a manner that works best for you. Only you truly know what your body needs, so listen to it!

And if you need to, supplement with melatonin, and/or do some further reading on the topic by searching our database (we’ve featured a number of articles on the topic of quality sleep, written by everyone from students to psychologists to Toltec Nagual practitioners).

2) Practice This Deep Breathing Technique

According to an experiment conducted by Andrew Weil and the results published in his book, “Spontaneous Happiness: A new Path to Emotional Well-Being”, taking deep breaths whenever thoughts begin to brood can help dissolve them in seconds.

Here is the specific technique:

  1. exhale completely through your mouth
  2. inhale through the nose for five seconds
  3. then, hold your breath for 7 seconds
  4. then exhale through your mouth

According to Weil, practicing this simple technique not only when we start to spiral with worrisome thoughts, but reminding ourselves to do it even when we’re not, at least two or three times per day, is enough to revitalize the mind in a certain manner and serve as somewhat of a preventative for those pesky worrisome thoughts from gaining too much momentum in the first place.

3) Eat (Dark) Chocolate

Yes, you read that right! While we all know how much research has shown what a demon sugar generally is (particularly refined white sugar), and the seemingly endless plethora of unhealthy physical, mental and emotional conditions too much of it can result in, this isn’t the case for dark chocolate per se.

While I won’t dive into all the data here (there are many meta-analyses and well-designed human trials available for you to look into on your own, if you’re so inclined), I will reference one particular study published in the Journal of Proteome Research that found that dark chocolate has measurable effects in calming the nerves.

The results revealed that participants who ate 1 ½ ounces of dark chocolate once per week showed a reduction in the level of stress hormones in their body that was significantly lower than those who did not eat any chocolate at all. So who said learning how to stop worrying was all hard work!?

4) Enroll in a Physical Training Program

While the overall consensus of this blog is to always work with your thoughts and emotions (and thus your resultant beliefs) first, there of course remain exceptions to every rule. Sometimes it really may be best to bite the bullet and take stack after the fact.

If you find your worrisome thoughts are just too powerful, or there’s still too much momentum to them as you set about working on that level, augmenting with a physical training program may be your best bet. You’ll no doubt find that physically exhausting yourself will also exhaust your ability to worry, without fail.

Plus, exercise has long been proven to induce a whole, glorious mix of those much-coveted ‘feel good’ chemicals in your body — endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, the list goes on — which then go on to have a highly positive effect on everything from your sleep patterns to your general outlook on life.

As I mentioned in the point on sleep, however, it is important to choose a program that resonates with your fitness level and will therefore be one that you’re likely to stick with. It’s also a good idea to consult with professional health personnel at the get-go in order to ensure proper form, avoid injuries, etc.

5) Aromatherapy (or Smelling an Actual Grapefruit!)

Yes, I’m serious. Just as certain colors have very real effects on both our mind and emotions, certain aromas have the ability to recondition the brain and reduce stress. This is according to a study that was conducted at James Cancer Hospital.

The researchers found that diffusing essential oil in oncology nurse’s stations reduced their level of tension, stress, and worry significantly. All the nurses who took part in this study frequently suffered from burnout, compassion fatigue, and work-related stress.

One of the essential oils that was found to have an immensely positive impact on the nurses was sourced from grapefruit. Its revitalizing and refreshing characteristics have the ability to boost your body’s feelings of happiness and vitality.

On top of this, there are other well-known nerve tonics such as Gotu Kola and Bach Flower Remedies that are worth giving a shot. While the ‘evidence’ may be more anecdotal here than not (and it may ultimately be detrimental to look into the science regarding them at this point, as it is apt to cause unnecessary doubt as to their efficacy; until the research evolves and the inherent biases relax a little, your best bet is to simply ‘test the mettle’) there’s a long and enduring history of success in relaxing nervous tension for these items in many different folk traditions.

6) Begin a Journalling Practice

Life is often so fast that we find ourselves propelled from one scenario to another without the time to properly process how we’re really feeling about things, leaving us to fend with all manner of mental and emotional reactions in the moment that we can barely make sense of. It’s no wonder so many of us have such a hard time learning how to stop worrying!

Allowing things to go on too long in this manner unchecked — that is, without time where we naturally slow down and reflect, allowing the wheels of our inborn intellect and emotion to turn at the pace most natural and comfortable to them — worry, and all of the corollary causes and effects therein, only tend to gain momentum.

Therefore making time for a regular journaling practice can be quite an effective ally in learning how to stop worrying. This is another area where looking to science for evidence (and there is likely quite a lot) remains somewhat of a moot point, as the effects are so quickly and directly felt in the self. Just start. Just try it out and see how you feel about it.

It’s the same reason poetry remains one of the most potent and powerful mediums known to literature through all its different histories across the planet — producing a direct, physical manifestation of our thoughts and emotions that we can reflect on, re-process and regard five seconds later (or five minutes, or five years) often allows us a perspective we couldn’t gain any other way.

If you do this in an honest manner (i.e. not forcing thoughts out, or even ‘thinking before you write’) you’ll find that consistent practice tends to crystallize certain underlying, motivating beliefs you were entirely unaware of, and that, yes, have quite a lot to do with the things you worry about ‘uncontrollably’.

And now that you’re more aware of them, you may just be able to do something about them…

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To live a healthy life, you need to take good care of your mental health. This goes without saying. Yet one of the most insidious aspects of poor mental health is often overlooked: worry. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn how to stop worrying.

Worry is an all-too-common phenomenon, and one of the chief signs of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). If you don’t learn how to stop worrying (particularly if it’s excessive) it can have very real short-term and long-term consequences.

As just one example, worry has been proven to increase heart rate, thereby resulting in a rapid increase in blood pressure, which can lead to everything from panic attacks to strokes, if not resolved quickly. Other consequences include premature aging, depression, dementia and heart disease.

Yet research has shown that almost 90% of the things people worry about never happen. Hence, it is recommended to concentrate on other important things in your life instead of spending time obsessively thinking about things that probably won’t even happen

One of the best ways to do this, of course, is to learn the art of mindfulness. Though it can be tough in the beginning, if you can develop a consistent practice, you’ll likely be blown away by how many moments of your day are consumed by automatic, negative, worrisome thoughts you weren’t priorly even aware of.

Beyond mindfulness, however, there are a number of more direct techniques you can use in learning how to stop worrying. Featured here are six of the most dependable methods I’ve found, personally, to be of benefit.

6 Specific Techniques To Help You Stop Worrying

1) Change your Sleeping Patterns

Lack of sleep is one of the top-rated causes of worry. According to a study that was conducted by researchers at Binghamton University, people who stay up late at night and overwork tend to dwell on past events and worry about the future.

This, in turn, increases their susceptibility to various conditions such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Setting some consistent rules for yourself in regards to your sleep/wake habits can make a big difference here.

While it differs from person to person (taking into account age, living arrangements, etc.), and sleep scientists just cannot seem to come to an agreement on this, the old standby of 8hrs of sleep in a 24hr period remains your best bet, whether in one chunk or two (if you are able to work nap into your schedule), with anything below five hours or over ten generally accepted as moving into the realm of detriment.

Though this may seem somewhat paradoxical (in that you’re reading up on sleeping advice right now), the main idea is to take any outside advice in this regard with a grain of salt, and to find a way to consistently experience those deeper levels of truly refreshing sleep in a manner that works best for you. Only you truly know what your body needs, so listen to it!

And if you need to, supplement with melatonin, and/or do some further reading on the topic by searching our database (we’ve featured a number of articles on the topic of quality sleep, written by everyone from students to psychologists to Toltec Nagual practitioners).

2) Practice This Deep Breathing Technique

According to an experiment conducted by Andrew Weil and the results published in his book, “Spontaneous Happiness: A new Path to Emotional Well-Being”, taking deep breaths whenever thoughts begin to brood can help dissolve them in seconds.

Here is the specific technique:

  1. exhale completely through your mouth
  2. inhale through the nose for five seconds
  3. then, hold your breath for 7 seconds
  4. then exhale through your mouth

According to Weil, practicing this simple technique not only when we start to spiral with worrisome thoughts, but reminding ourselves to do it even when we’re not, at least two or three times per day, is enough to revitalize the mind in a certain manner and serve as somewhat of a preventative for those pesky worrisome thoughts from gaining too much momentum in the first place.

3) Eat (Dark) Chocolate

Yes, you read that right! While we all know how much research has shown what a demon sugar generally is (particularly refined white sugar), and the seemingly endless plethora of unhealthy physical, mental and emotional conditions too much of it can result in, this isn’t the case for dark chocolate per se.

While I won’t dive into all the data here (there are many meta-analyses and well-designed human trials available for you to look into on your own, if you’re so inclined), I will reference one particular study published in the Journal of Proteome Research that found that dark chocolate has measurable effects in calming the nerves.

The results revealed that participants who ate 1 ½ ounces of dark chocolate once per week showed a reduction in the level of stress hormones in their body that was significantly lower than those who did not eat any chocolate at all. So who said learning how to stop worrying was all hard work!?

4) Enroll in a Physical Training Program

While the overall consensus of this blog is to always work with your thoughts and emotions (and thus your resultant beliefs) first, there of course remain exceptions to every rule. Sometimes it really may be best to bite the bullet and take stack after the fact.

If you find your worrisome thoughts are just too powerful, or there’s still too much momentum to them as you set about working on that level, augmenting with a physical training program may be your best bet. You’ll no doubt find that physically exhausting yourself will also exhaust your ability to worry, without fail.

Plus, exercise has long been proven to induce a whole, glorious mix of those much-coveted ‘feel good’ chemicals in your body — endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, the list goes on — which then go on to have a highly positive effect on everything from your sleep patterns to your general outlook on life.

As I mentioned in the point on sleep, however, it is important to choose a program that resonates with your fitness level and will therefore be one that you’re likely to stick with. It’s also a good idea to consult with professional health personnel at the get-go in order to ensure proper form, avoid injuries, etc.

5) Aromatherapy (or Smelling an Actual Grapefruit!)

Yes, I’m serious. Just as certain colors have very real effects on both our mind and emotions, certain aromas have the ability to recondition the brain and reduce stress. This is according to a study that was conducted at James Cancer Hospital.

The researchers found that diffusing essential oil in oncology nurse’s stations reduced their level of tension, stress, and worry significantly. All the nurses who took part in this study frequently suffered from burnout, compassion fatigue, and work-related stress.

One of the essential oils that was found to have an immensely positive impact on the nurses was sourced from grapefruit. Its revitalizing and refreshing characteristics have the ability to boost your body’s feelings of happiness and vitality.

On top of this, there are other well-known nerve tonics such as Gotu Kola and Bach Flower Remedies that are worth giving a shot. While the ‘evidence’ may be more anecdotal here than not (and it may ultimately be detrimental to look into the science regarding them at this point, as it is apt to cause unnecessary doubt as to their efficacy; until the research evolves and the inherent biases relax a little, your best bet is to simply ‘test the mettle’) there’s a long and enduring history of success in relaxing nervous tension for these items in many different folk traditions.

6) Begin a Journalling Practice

Life is often so fast that we find ourselves propelled from one scenario to another without the time to properly process how we’re really feeling about things, leaving us to fend with all manner of mental and emotional reactions in the moment that we can barely make sense of. It’s no wonder so many of us have such a hard time learning how to stop worrying!

Allowing things to go on too long in this manner unchecked — that is, without time where we naturally slow down and reflect, allowing the wheels of our inborn intellect and emotion to turn at the pace most natural and comfortable to them — worry, and all of the corollary causes and effects therein, only tend to gain momentum.

Therefore making time for a regular journaling practice can be quite an effective ally in learning how to stop worrying. This is another area where looking to science for evidence (and there is likely quite a lot) remains somewhat of a moot point, as the effects are so quickly and directly felt in the self. Just start. Just try it out and see how you feel about it.

It’s the same reason poetry remains one of the most potent and powerful mediums known to literature through all its different histories across the planet — producing a direct, physical manifestation of our thoughts and emotions that we can reflect on, re-process and regard five seconds later (or five minutes, or five years) often allows us a perspective we couldn’t gain any other way.

If you do this in an honest manner (i.e. not forcing thoughts out, or even ‘thinking before you write’) you’ll find that consistent practice tends to crystallize certain underlying, motivating beliefs you were entirely unaware of, and that, yes, have quite a lot to do with the things you worry about ‘uncontrollably’.

And now that you’re more aware of them, you may just be able to do something about them…

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You have numerous options: daily, bi-weekly (twice a week) or weekly, and you are free to unsubscribe at anytime. All of our user’s data is 100% safe-guarded, and you’ll only, ever, hear from us.