Distractions from Worrying
I read somewhere that Worry keeps you busy doing nothing. Nothing could be less true. In my experience, I have found that worry is one of the most unproductive emotions we have. Any other emotion even some perceived as negative emotions, when exercised to a certain degree helps us. For example, Anxiety or Fear in the right dozes pushes us to study more for that exam or stops us from breaking our limbs by doing something stupid. But not worry, no good ever comes out of it. Our blessed sex! While I state that women and men are equal, I also agree that they are different. Men and women are genetically engineered differently from one another. It is a fact that women are more prone to worrying than men. Both sexes are given to worry nonetheless; it is a most basic human nature. Just that, scientifically as our (women) brains are predisposed to multitasking; so it is also predisposed to multi -worrying. We do not worry just over traumatic or life changing events. We worry all the time. While some may worry about the same thing others worry, about ten. Both are destructive. Almost all professionals are stressed out. The higher the responsibility more the worry. Excess worry we know leads to depression, which is a poison that kills us slowly. Depression is not cool, it does not make you a dark twisted soul, it does not make you artsy, and it certainly does not show that you live more. Depression is a black hole and those prone it will tell you to avoid it like the plague. We need to nip worry off at the bud. It starts with minor symptoms, like lack of concentration and progresses slowly to more dire physical symptoms. Our body after all is run by our minds. The most important step though is to identify, how much worry is too much. If you ask me, I think any worry is too much worry. Mostly our worry or worries are based on irrational fears. What if he is cheating on me? What if she lied? I will die without that promotion. Worry are lies we tell ourselves to feel sad. And yet, worry forms a small part of our lives, we are subjected to it one time or the other like all other emotions. But when it slowly starts affecting your ability to stop after a certain point or when it begins to recur at frequent intervals, then it’s a yellow card. When it starts affecting your ability to push your positive thought over your negative thoughts then it is a dangerous pink and when it finally says your positive thoughts are wrong or improbable – it is a blazing red light. Worrying needs to stop, the moment you start. But several factors influence it. Including hormones, work load, certain isolated events such as a friend moving away etc. If you find yourself in too deep, then start changing. I must warn you though, breaking the cycle is hard, but trust me it is worse if you stay and chose to dwell in it. There are some methods I have used during the course of my career and to tackle worry. As with everything these methods need to be customized to help individuals deal with worry. There are some techniques though which are as simple as they get. With minimal investment of effort and time, these steps can be incorporated to somewhat reach the threshold. There are definitely certain things we can do to move from the worry side of the spectrum to the positive bright side. So here goes. #STOP worrying about worrying – If you keep telling yourself, “O God I worry too much, I need to stop” and then get upset that you can’t stop worrying. Then that is just one more worry. Instead understand that it is not easy to stop worrying but that is something that has to be done. It will happen, it is a gradual process and as with life, you fail a couple of times before getting the formula just right.
# SLEEP – I envy people who can sleep on cue. The more you sleep the better it is. If you are like me, then sleep is a luxury. Grab it whenever you can. Sleeping eight hours a night definitely helps you recharge. But how? Your brain won’t shut up! And the most irritating worries pop up right at the moment when you close your eyes. Yes sleep can be hard. But there are plenty of sleep exercises that one can do (easily available on the internet), one exercise that always helps me is reading fiction that stimulates my brain to a point and then relaxes it slowly. If you are not a reader, then find a similar activity that relaxes your brain. And keep the room dark and slightly cooler. A cooling lotion also helps# RELEASE ENDORPHIN – Endorphins are hormones that help you relax. We need to cultivate this in plenty throughout the day. Walking the mornings is a great way, Regular Exercise is better. But since I am lazy and fall out of routines, I prefer dancing in my room. Great music helps me dance. We know binging is wrong, but chocolates do help release endorphin. That actually works best. #SENSE OF SMELL – Speaking of endorphins, your tongue and ears are not the only senses, always make sure your room smells nice, you smell nice. Use bath salts, eat foods that are healthy and smell nice. Herb salads, teas and essential oils all help improve your mood. It is all about your pampering your olfactory senses. Smell nice things, feel nice things #AVOID CAFFEINE – You have your cigarettes and I have my caffeine and I have my caffeine and my Sugar high to get me through a terrible day. But it is bad for you when you are prone to worry. Caffeine for once helps you sleep less and becomes a dependent substance. My first instinct when I worry is to “get a cup of coffee”. I now substitute it with Hot water. There is definitely an urge to have something soothing go down my throat. Rather than ice teas or carbonated drinks, we need to try hot water or some warm skimmed milk and/or herbal teas.
#SUNLIGHT – Yes we have to use sun protection. But it is very important that we have some amount of exposure to sunlight. It urges us to have a brighter disposition and gives us warm fuzzies. In cases where there is not much sunlight. Stay for a few minutes at least in a room with lighting that you enjoy. This will push your worry meter towards the lower points. # SUPPORT SYSTEMS – Needless to say people depend on people. Talk to friends or make family visits. Yes your friends are not going to be there all the time and any time you worry and trust me, you will worry a lot of times. So get a support system that may not be human, but is sustainable. Having a pet is great. But if you don’t then, make music your support system. I still remember Irene Cara’s “what a feeling” gave hope to many a women in my days.
# FORCE FIFTEEN MINUTES – Devote at least fifteen minutes of every day to a hobby you like. Painting, writing, singing, dancing and then slowly increase it to half an hour a day. Devote your time to things you love, most. You will find your worries fading, the more you do things you enjoy. #NOVELTY CHASES THE BLUES – when was the last time you did something out of your routine? Break it, when you start worrying. Never eaten alone? Go out to a restaurant and sit there with a book. Never bunjee jumped…Hello??? Try. Never spoken to the girl over there at the Human Resource Department, well here is your chance. Distractions are extremely useful tools in chasing worries. Positive distractions are better.
#CULTIVATE SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT – Lastly, nothing ever beats worry like the sense of accomplishment. Undertake a project and see it through completion. Start a puzzle or help with your nephew’s homework. Or start cleaning – you know in your heart that the garage will not clean itself. Start doing chores. Don’t eat out, cook something. Make a craft project or just simply help someone else through a problem. Helping others and accomplishing something your self will surely lead to feeling better, which will begin diminishing your worries. These are the smallest actions or positive “distractions’ you can take or have to minimize worrying.
Although these solutions do not take into account different kinds of worries they still help. You must have noticed that I have stayed away from techniques such as meditation and eating right. This was deliberate. Mediation can be as simple a process as it is difficult. I have mentioned tools to help you distract yourself from worry long enough to find a way to deal with it. It is very difficult to quiet your mind or a make commitment to live healthy even when you are happy, so when worrying those are the last things on your mind. So ultimately, even though healthy living of mind body and soul is what completely relives you of worry, it is also one of the most difficult things to do while you worry. – These tips, just to help you get started. There are different ways to cope with different types of worrying. Understanding the nature of your worry is the first step to tackling it. Every worry has an impact on every other positive emotion. We need to get to a state where, it is positive thinking and not worry which becomes our primary emotion.