Worrying is an unnecessary evil when it comes to your mental health. Some consider it simply a bad habit that can be unlearned with practice. Some think worrying serves a purpose for the brain, such as helping us to learn from past experiences and prepare for new ones. Whether good or bad, worrying occupies our brain as we focus on a future we can’t control.
It is said that depression is focusing on past events you wish you could change, and worrying is focusing on future events you have no control over. Importantly, instead of worrying you can choose to take action by preparing for whatever it is that has you worried.
Here is how to train your brain to stop worrying:
Worry is how your brain learns to survive by deciding whether or not to activate the fight-or-flight system. If a cougar jumps out at you, you instantly feel a rush of adrenaline. This fear response is the same thing happening to your body when you worry. Just at a much lower level over a longer period of time.
The same study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that exercise, on the other hand, is good for you. Especially when your body feels symptoms of anxiety. If your body feels fewer physical symptoms of stress, your mind will interpret that there must be less to worry about because the body is not in a state of heightened arousal.
Exercise gives the body a secondary reason for the rapid heart rate and perspiration that we may feel when we worry. Exercise can help lower blood pressure, which is another physical symptom of stress in the body. If you identify that you are worrying, go for a 5-10 minute walk, outside if possible. Appreciate the sights and sounds of nature while focusing on the motion of your limbs and the breaths that you take.
Write your worries down
Writing your thoughts and worries is also a great way to relieve, especially mentally. With this method, there is no need to remember your worries and problems anymore.
Writing your worries on the paper tells your brain that it is actually something important and that the brain should focus on solving the problems and not being worried about remembering them.
Meditation can help train your brain to stop worrying. Researchers in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine studied the effects of meditation and found that meditation is particularly good for reducing cognitive anxiety. Although some people believe they do not have time to meditate, meditation is as easy as choosing to close your eyes right now for 30 seconds or longer. The act of tuning out other sources of stress actively trains your brain to stop worrying.
When you take a few moments to consciously avoid any non-natural noise in your life, you center around what is most important to you. Worrisome thoughts may come to you while you meditate, yet this is normal. Those who have mastered the art of brain-training recommend observing worrisome thoughts as they enter the mind and simply watching them pass like clouds on a breezy day.
Worrying is unhealthy and depressive, preventing your brain to focus on the most important things that are happening right now in your life.
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