Worrying, albeit a natural part of life, is in some cases, purposeless. Unless the physical act of stressing actually helps you come up with solutions to problems and challenges, it can have a very negative impact on your mind, body, and your valuable time. Worrying and stressing about things such as work, or life challenges that are completely out of your control can make you even more unproductive and doesn’t necessarily help with building a successful or better life for you and your family – it may just end up doing more harm than it is worth.
How Does Worrying Affect Your Quality Of Life?
It is impossible to be completely worry-free, but the degree of how much you worry or stress is something you can control. For some, worrying can be debilitating to the point where getting out of bed is a challenge, and for others, worrying means creating an endless list of ‘to do’s’ that leaves you frantically racing around all day just to feel that you are not lazy. For others, it may be worrying about what is going to happen in 20 years, or perhaps it may be worrying about a disease or other medical concern that may or may not arise in the next few weeks or years. Whatever the reason is behind your worries, the bottom line is that putting unrealistic pressure on yourself hardly ever has a positive outcome.
If you don’t allow yourself the time to break away from all the worrying and anxiety, it starts to consume your thoughts and can affect your quality of life in many ways:
- Excessive worrying leads to procrastination
- Excessive worrying can lead to digestive issues like IBS or IBD.
- Excessive worrying can lead to depression or more severe forms of anxiety such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, phobias, or panic disorders.
- Excessive worrying can put a strain on existing relationships with partners, friends, and family members.
- Excessive worrying can lead to neurological problems, which can send the sympathetic nervous system spiraling out of control. This leads to insomnia, muscle, and joint pain from the tension, and can also affect how your body heals after illness or injury.
- Excessive worrying can lead to cardiovascular problems by increasing blood pressure and putting you at higher risk for strokes and heart attacks.
- Excessive worrying can lead to addictions such as alcohol addiction, substance abuse, or dependence on sedatives or over the counter pain medications, which can all exacerbate the problem.
- Excessive worrying can affect your weight by stress eating or not eating at all.
How To Get Stress And Worry Under Control
There is no one size fits all solution to getting stress or panic levels under control, but there are some helpful things you can practice to stave off the after-effects of chronic worrying and reduce the level of anxiety when you are feeling under pressure.
Set Your Limits
As we have said, it is only human to worry about things, especially those things that are in reality, out of our control. However, there needs to be a limit. So what’s the limit? The idea behind this is to put a value on the things you are worrying about. For example, evaluate each problem you are worrying about and try to determine how much turmoil or sleepless nights you are willing to sacrifice to solve that problem. You also need to determine if the problem is worth sacrificing anything at all. By putting a ‘price’ on your problems, it will help highlight which ones are worth the trouble or which ones are a complete waste of time.
Create A Worry Journal
Most times we feel nobody really understands the situations we are facing. In some cases, it can also feel a bit embarrassing to open up about the things that we are worrying about in fear of being judged. These feelings are completely normal and when you do feel like there is no one to talk to, journaling can be a saving grace. Writing down all your thoughts, feelings, and worries is an effective tool to help unload all the baggage you hold inside.
Using a worry journal can also help with the point above. This way, you can vent it out and address the more pressing problems first. You may also find once you have jotted down a few problems that they seem more insignificant when you read through them again a few days later. With journaling, it’s just you, your thoughts, and a piece of paper that holds no judgment whatsoever. You are free to express everything you feel without holding anything back.
Turn Worry Into Action
Think about how much time is wasted on negative thoughts or bringing yourself down? Lying on the couch stressing until you feel light-headed and out of breath rarely helps you find any solutions to your problems. Instead, use the time to be proactive.
There are some things that are out of your control, but you can spend all that energy wasted by focusing on all the things that are in your control. For example, if money is tight, instead of worrying about worst-case scenarios like losing your apartment, use the time to come up with meaningful solutions like creating a monthly budget or comparing prices to get the best household bargains for the coming weeks. If you are worried about your health, don’t fill your head with gloom and doom thoughts, instead focus on ways to get healthy like planning nutritious meals or creating an exercise routine to follow every day.
Let Go Of Control
As humans, we all feel the need to try and control every aspect of our lives. But some things are simply out of our hands, which is why we could all learn a thing or two about embracing the unknown. It is what makes life such a beautiful and majestic gift. We just never know what is in store for us.
Accept that you can’t control every outcome, and that worrying about it just prevents you from enjoying the small things that matter. Worrying about a disease that you may or may not get prevents you from living your life to the fullest. Don’t let the little important moments pass you by because you were worried about something that may or may not happen 10 years down the line.
The Bottom Line
Everyone worries, it’s just a part of human nature. Unfortunately, there are just some things we can’t control, and yes, sometimes that does lead us to think about the worst-case scenarios. However, there are a lot more things we can control. We can control our mindset and the way we approach difficult challenges. We are also in control of our own happiness. All it takes is focusing more time on proactively coming up with solutions rather than dwelling on the negative.
If you find that the stress is too overwhelming or that it is negatively affecting your health or sleeping patterns, you may want to consider investing in a high-quality supplement like Anxietex™ by Approved Science® to help manage your anxiety and calm those racing thoughts.
If you are experiencing any thoughts or feelings about harming yourself, seek help from a medical professional.
Remember that you are not alone and that when situations become too much or unmanageable, you can always reach out to a loved one or support network to get the advice and help you need.