You might need to calm down…


We all worry about things sometimes - whether about our finances or our kids, and that can be useful if it helps to remind you to put safeguards in place or check on things. But when worry gets out of hand, it can seriously impact your ability to relax and enjoy life. Maybe you’ve always been a worrier or perhaps difficult experiences have given you reason to feel fearful or apprehensive. Wherever it stems from, your overactive mind works hard imagining all the things that might go wrong and has tricked you into believing this keeps you safe. 


Perhaps you tell yourself...


That it’s good to ‘prepare yourself’ in case something goes wrong so you won’t be so upset when it does. The problem is that most of those things will never happen so all you’re really doing is denying yourself the opportunity to relax and enjoy the moment. And if something does go wrong, no amount of mental ‘preparation’ is going to make that any easier so you’re better off to wait and see how things unfold. 

You might also be someone who worries so much about what others think about you that you find it hard to say no, and you go out of your way to take care of the needs of others even if it’s at your own expense. Self-doubt and fear of rejection can manifest as people-pleasing. You might also apologise unnecessarily or be excessively polite even in situations where you’re not being treated respectfully.

When you worry excessively...

And your over-active mind never gives you a break, it can cause tension in your body, impact your sleep and cause headaches and stomach upsets. If you worry as a parent, it can mean you limit your child’s freedom to explore because you find it hard to tolerate your own anxiety. You also may be sending a message to your child, whether you mean to or not, that the world is scary. Being overprotective can also send a subtle message to your child that you don’t believe in their ability to handle challenges and deal with difficulties. 


Getting a handle

On your fears and self-doubts is essential if you want to fully enjoy all that life has to offer.

paragraph divider

Since worry is mostly future focused, it helps to start by doing all you can to keep your attention here in the present moment. This is the basis of mindfulness meditation. Bringing your attention to your breath is a useful way to unhook from those distracting thoughts and calm down the...

fear response

in your body.

Even if you believe that worry or anxiety is a part of you, it’s more likely that it’s an unhelpful habit that now gets triggered automatically, and with a little conscious awareness, you can begin to break that habit and adopt new ways of thinking that are more grounded in reality.

Note: If you worry about a lot of things for most of the time, and you feel your worry is irrational or out of control, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing generalised anxiety. If that’s the case you might want to see a GP or psychologist for more individualised support, but meanwhile there are certainly lots of strategies you can learn that will be immediately helpful.