If you have ever wondered how to stop worrying, then you wonder no more. Worrying is one of the most common ways that people keep their anxiety and anxious feelings alive. Worry is constant negative thinking perpetuated by fear. Many times, those negative thoughts are not even true. They are complete speculation. Fear of things that might happen in the future are the most common types of worry. Forget the future for a minute. Now is the time for you to stop worrying so you can reach your full potential and avoid all those things that you are worrying about.
What Worry Does to your Brain
Worry breeds more worry. It is true. In your brain the act of worrying will increase your High Beta, extra fast, brain speed. Once it increases, it looks for something to feed it. That is the nature of High Beta. It is “problem seeking” mode. It looks for problems. You know what makes problems? You guessed it, worry. Most of the problems are not even true, yet. They will come true if you keep focusing on them. High Beta draws problems to it. So, use the three tips below to stop worrying now and at the end of the blog post are a few more tips to seal the deal n you riding off into the sunset, worry free.
3 Tips on How to Stop Worrying
1. Write Your Worries Down
Want to stop worrying, then you need to get your worries out of your head where they are constantly swirling around creating more High Beta anxiety mode in your brain. Dump your worries into a journal. Science proves when you write things down you can process the information better. So, write them. Now, look at them. Are they real?
What to do with “Fake” Worries.
Any fake ones, the ones that may never come true and truly do not deserve your attention, strike through them with a pen. Make them go away. Here is an example, a few years ago my friend was all upset about the property owners’ association in our neighborhood. I had never given one care about the board in my existence and all of a sudden (that is how worry works sometimes) I was thinking of running for board vice president (like I have time for that) and we were making all the fear-based plans. “What will happen to the neighborhood if we don’t step in?”, was the worry. Guess, what? I put that worry right out of my mind and focused back on the life I am trying to create with intention. The neighborhood is just fine and dandy. Me? I am back to not thinking about it at all. Amen.
What to Do About the “Real” Worries?
Ok, some of what you are worried about may be real. Nothing beats negative thoughts like action toward the solution. Here’s another example. I was constantly worried about money a few years ago. With so many kids, money flies out. We work hard and thankfully make enough, but we were not actively saving what we needed to for the future. I made a plan and created action steps. I worked with a financial advisor, I automated college savings, retirement, everything. Now it all runs smoothly without me having to think about it. My worries are gone through action.
Look back at your list and create action steps for your real worries. It will start to assuage them.
2. Make Positive Plans Using Intentional Thoughts
Be intentional with your life. Put good thoughts into your brain. Make plans and action steps to accomplish the things you want to happen in your life. This is hugely powerful for avoiding what you don’t want to happen. When you are uber focused on what you want to happen, there is no room for what you don’t want to occur. What you focus on expands. Give your mind good things to think about and there will be no room for the bad thoughts to keep popping in.
3. Learn to Go with the Flow.
Ok, I know this sounds silly. It’s not it is science. Flow is a state of consciousness identified by scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I love this concept. Flow is when you are at your best, striving but content, living on purpose. Who doesn’t want that? As Csikszentmihalyi puts it in his book Flow, “The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen. (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p.3)
Flow is when you are at your best. Flow is when your brain is using perfect processing speed, Low Beta. Low Beta puts you in a state of calm focus. That is where it is at.
Also, using Low Beta makes it so that you can literally “go with the flow”. When you are not anxious or strung out, you can take your days in stride. You don’t have to be rigid in your thinking. You can be flexible. It makes a big difference.
Be Flexible in Thinking and Practice.
For me, it is my schedule. I am a super busy person, so I have really had to learn how to go with the flow if something comes up that I need to deal with even though I have a schedule. By the way, something always comes up. Literally every day. With five kids and two businesses, seldom does a day pass where I can just stick to the schedule I had planned. That used to bother me and throw me for a loop (read stress me out). Now, it does not bother me. I can just roll with it and know that is how my day is unfolding. It is a framework shift.
You can watch his outstanding TEDtalk for inspiration.
Why You Should Learn How to Stop Worrying
Hence, when you shift your framework and can be more flexible and go with the flow, your brain continues to make more and more of Low Beta, not High Beta. Thus, you continue to be able to be flexible and happy. If you continue to worry and be stressed out, your brain makes High Beta instead. This will keep you worried and stressed out. So, choose flow. It is a choice. You can choose it right now. You can choose it every minute for the rest of your life. Like Mihaly says, it is the secret to happiness.
Does Social Media Increase Worrying?
Yes. Yes, it does. Seeing the posts that people put out into the world about the very best aspects of their lives (and not the arguments with loved ones or the fact that they haven’t shaved their legs in month) can be debilitating. If you know me, you know I do not go on social media. I have been trying to, for the sake of my business, but just can’t seem to force myself to do it. Every time I go on Facebook, I feel bad. I feel like I should have taken my family apple picking or to the Bahamas. Meh!
What, I have done is fill my Instagram feed with motivational people with inspiring messages. I also follow P!nk just because she rocks. Guilty pleasure I guess, but she is super motivating too. P!nk is just being herself on Instagram, whether people like it or not. That is why she rocks.
So, step away from social media. Give yourself a few minutes a day to check in on it if you must, but do not let it own your brain minute by minute throughout your day.
Most Common Things You Need to Stop Worrying About (you are not alone)
- The Future
- Job Security
More Tips on How to Stop Worrying
- Set aside a designated “worry time.”
- Be mindful and stay present in your day.
- Accept the worry — and then move on.
- Cut yourself some slack.
- Keep your body and mind busy.
- Make time for meditation.
Go use the above tips and techniques and stop worrying today. This will help you create and live the life you want to.
If you are not able to use the tips then you might need some help to shift your brain in the right direction. Read my blog post on how Neurofeedback Helps to Reduce Anxiety. It will help you understand that if your brain is stuck in anxiety mode, it may need the help of state-of-the-art technology to un-stick it for you. That is what my awesome team at Leigh Brain & Spine does all day long. If you want to know more about how Neurofeedback works and how we help people get their lives back on track. Check out the site for a ton of information on Brain Training. You can even train your brain to work better from home with our Brain Shift Program.
FOR NEUROFEEDBACK EXPERTS
The below graphic is taken from a scientific study that looked at the impact of worry of people with anxiety disorder before and after therapy vs. a control group with no reported anxiety. As you can see gamma, extra fast speed was used with excessive amounts in the parietal and temporal lobes during a worry inducing activity. This is a significant difference.
What the findings of the study mean is that people with anxiety disorder have higher levels of fast electrical energy in their brain while they are worrying and, consequently, they feel worry more powerfully than others while they are experiencing it.
What does that mean for us as Neurofeedback Experts? It means that we need to decrease High Beta, extra fast speed, baseline use in the person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder so as to effect positive change for the person’s subjective experience while worrying. This will create a positive feedback loop for change and help the person get the worried behaviors under control, perhaps through talk therapy as suggested in the article to be effective. Together both can help people with anxiety feel and perform better.