As Baz Luhrmann said in his song about Sunscreen: worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
But we are all guilty of doing it – it is human nature to worry.
The worst part of worrying is that the majority of the time what we are worrying about never actually happens, or the thing we are worrying about is out of our control, thus making worrying a complete waste of time. That’s why worrying is ineffective.
Worrying can be a form of self-harm – a way to torture ourselves if we let it take control.
Why do we worry?
Worrying is a reaction to a threat, real or imaginary.
We humans, like animals, react in the same way to fear: fight or flight. If the danger is imminent, there is no time to worry, we choose which way to turn almost immediately.
The problems start when we have time to ruminate, to dwell on our decisions, to overthink the ‘what ifs’.
When we don’t have to stand and fight or flee, we get caught in the middle, pondering about our options and mulling them over. We allow ourselves to feel hopeless about the situation, to fret and be powerless.
This is when worry and its dastardly sidekick, anger, create trouble for us – they feed our need for stress and adrenaline and together they work to undermine our ability to function in our everyday lives.
Signs you’re worrying too much.
A key manifestation of worrying is when you find yourself with repetitive thoughts – the swirling eddy of doom is like a vortex going around and around in your head, providing no helpful recourse, serving only to drag you down further into misery.
1. You look for the danger in every situation.
2. You spend your nights worrying instead of sleeping.
3. You find it hard to move past conflict.
4. You are resentful of those around you.
5. You feel guilty all the time.
Worry not (sorry), help is at hand and you can build an arsenal of resilience to arm you against stressful situations and the resulting negative emotions they can elicit.
Worrying is ineffective, So How do you stop worrying?
● Firstly, you have to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Don’t confuse feeling anxious with actually having something worthy of worrying about.
● Go to bed earlier. Ban electronics from your bedroom. Indulge in a warm bath before bed and allow yourself to relax physically and mentally. Remember sleep is when we heal, give your mind and body rest, so you’re ready to fight tomorrow’s battles.
● Don’t sit and dwell on conflict. Get up and move around. Give the adrenalin an outlet other than to replay over the event in your mind.
● Understand that the only person who controls your emotions is you. People aren’t mind-readers, so if you need help, ask for it.
● Speak to a professional who can help you break down and understand your negative thoughts and feelings. Chances are it’s nothing worth worrying about in the first place.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.