How Can I Just Stop Worrying?!

There are so many things I worry about on a daily basis that it’s starting to affect things I do, places I go and I just can’t seem to stop and not worry!”

Does this sound familiar in any way? From time to time we may all feel worried or concerned about a stressful situation and this is a perfectly normal reaction to have. Periodic worries will come and go and when we are feeling sufficiently resourced, we can tackle any worries as they arise. At these times we are working within our own window of tolerance and we can react appropriately to triggers and we can process and reflect without feeling overwhelmed. We are able to deal with worries and resolve them.

If however, your worries and anxieties are starting to feel uncontrollable, you may be left feeling vulnerable and powerless. At these times we may be outside of our window of tolerance and worrying triggers can send us to a place of overwhelm. We imagine it is difficult or even impossible to overcome what we are feeling and we are unable to make decisions calmly or appropriately.

Feeling anxious, panicky or tense can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as muscle tension, irritability, sleep disturbances, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. Your home and work life may be impacted and your mood may also be affected. You might also find it difficult to control the worry.

Know this though – You are not alone. Anxiety is probably one of the most common reasons people seek therapy.

Here are a few top tips for easing your worries.

Find Some You Time

Factoring in some “time out” on a daily basis will be very important for coping on an ongoing basis. If you put aside some time each day to explore what is going on for you and to list your worries, you might start to notice patterns. You may begin to see the sorts of things things that may worry you and how you feel about each. Understanding more about our worries, how they occur, when they are triggered and how we react to them is all useful ammunition for us to start to take back control.

Do Something Relaxing

It’s pretty difficult to be anxious when we are doing something relaxing. While it may take time for us to learn a new art of relaxation if we are not used to it, being able to focus on relaxation each day will rejuvenate us and give us strength to deal with every day worries in a healthier way. You may find yoga or meditation useful or it may be a mindful activity such as painting or drawing. Deep breathing on a regular basis as well as muscle relaxation techniques are also restorative. Whatever you find works for you, put regular time aside to relax.

Talk To Someone

Having the chance to talk to someone and to say your worries out loud can be very therapeutic. Worries can reduce in intensity when they are shared with someone and talking can help. A therapist trained in supporting people with anxiety issues will help you explore the causes and triggers behind your worries. Together we can look at current worries as well as historic issues which together may be working to fuel certain reactive behaviours. We can work on putting together a plan that will take into account your current needs to manage daily worries. We can also work on broader patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving towards worries that no longer work for you.

Get in touch

If you are thinking about psychotherapy for anxiety, please get in touch. There is a no-obligation chance to meet and to talk. Meeting someone for the first time may also be an anxiety provoking situation and will be an important issue factored in our meeting. This is to ensure our meeting is both reassuring and empowering for you. You can also ask any questions you may have about me, therapy or how I work. Read more about anxiety here.

I currently have availability at the Bluecoats location in Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and limited availability at the Washington location.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Simple Tool To Reduce Anxiety and Stress

5…4…3…2…1  –  5 Simple Steps

When anxiety takes over and threatens our peace of mind, we can feel overwhelmed and it can be difficult to stay in the moment.

The following “5-4-3-2-1” tool is a simple yet effective method for regaining control of your mind and aims to ground you again in the moment when anxiety threatens to take over.

This exercise helps bring us back to our senses by inviting us to focus on our senses and encourages us to focus on our breathing. As with any type of trigger, remembering to take deep breaths in and out will control hyperventilation and slow your heart rate.

This technique can be used in a panic attack as it promotes the calming response in our body to combat the emergency panic response in our body.

 

 

Look around and name five things you can see. Wherever you are, take the time to look up and around and focus on naming 5 items you can see around you. No matter how big or how small, state 5 things.

 

Look around and name four things you can touch. Whether it is the back of your own hand, your toes or the chair you may be sitting on. State 4 things you can feel.

 

 

Look around and name three things you can hear. These things need to be external sounds rather than any internal bodily sounds you can hear.

 

 

Look around and name two things you can smell. This may be tricky but you could focus on your breathing and smell the air going in and out of your lungs or you may be able to smell a cushion on the sofa or the palms of your hands.

 

Name one thing you can taste. You don’t have to actively look to put something in your mouth for this one. It may be the taste inside your mouth. Maybe you had a sandwich and coffee for lunch and you can still taste those flavours.

 

 

When intense emotions threaten to overwhelm us, focusing on the above exercise will help to ground you and bring your thinking part of your brain back online. You will regain a sense of control and calm in being able to help yourself combat anxiety triggers.

For more support with anxiety, get in touch with Alana to book an assessment session and to find out more about how psychotherapy can help with anxiety. You can also download a copy of the Southdowns Psychotherapy 54321 Grounding Exercise here.