When you worry too much about everything going on, you may want to know how to stop worrying, calm down, and reduce anxiety without stressing out about it.
Don’t you hate it when you’re trying hard to stay calm and someone says, “You look nervous. What’s wrong?” It probably makes you even more anxious!
My immediate reaction might be something like, “Yeah, whatever. Doing fine. Go about your business and stop looking at me!”
When we try to stuff it down, tough it out and ignore it, our anxiety and worries get even louder and more stressful.
Worrying feels like a pressure cooker. And this pressure cooker effect leads to physical and emotional illnesses like high blood pressure, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and more.
And “fake it ’til you make it” is fine, but it won’t work consistently until you’ve created a healthy relationship with your worries.
We’ve all had times — maybe as a child — when fear and worry “took over” as we became more engaged in it. So it’s natural to believe that if you steel yourself against worry it will somehow stay away but if you notice it, you’ll dissolve into a big quaking pile of fears.
Notice the words “in it” at the end of the sentence above? These two tiny words make all the difference.
Each reason to acknowledge worry helps you gain a greater sense of your self in relation to your worry.
As you practice, you shift from feeling all or mostly worried to all or mostly you! That way, you can be more relaxed.
So, if you want to calm down when your worry makes you anxious, here are 5 reasons why you should acknowledge it.
1. It’s less daunting
When you acknowledge your worry, it’s no longer all of you because you (the bigger whole) can acknowledge it.
Voila! You made the worry a little smaller and less daunting.
2. You can acknowledge your other feelings
Acknowledging your worried feelings out loud to yourself or someone you trust helps you separate from it.
Affirming the worried feeling grants you the freedom to acknowledge any non-worried feelings as well.
3. It’s healthy
Naming your worry enables you to meet the part of you that worries and begin a healthy relationship with this part.
You not only learn how to relax but also how to calm anxiety before it completely takes over.
4. Your body can take care of you
Finding the sensation of worry in your body and sending your breath and care toward it is naturally, physically calming.
The nervous system provides tools to help you calm in breath, vision, touch, and so much more.
5. You’ll feel safe
Sharing your worried thoughts with a loved one (or yourself) provides a natural physical sense of safety.
If you consider yourself a worrier, you might have many questions and cynical thoughts popping up for you like, “If it was that easy, I would do it!” Or, “This is woo-woo and I don’t really believe it will help.”
But, never fear!
Everything mentioned above are all backed by proven science. And when you do them correctly, they will work, be reassured!
To help you in your quest for calm and relaxation, here is a blessing from poet, John O’Donahue:
“May all that is unforgiven in you be released,
May your fears yield their deepest tranquilities,
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.”