How to Self-Correct Your Worries - by Savannah Slone

We all worry. Life can be stressful and, even when it’s not, our minds still ponder the possibilities. When you catch yourself doing this, ask yourself if you can control the situation. If you don’t have the power to change the outcome, do your best to let it go. As Newt Scamander said in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, “Worrying means you suffer twice.” Thank you for that one, J.K. Rowling.

Your worrying is not benefitting you in any way. It’s only causing you stress and making your life harder than it would be if you accepted that you can’t control what will happen and live in the present. Be more aware of your thoughts, notice when you’re slipping up, and give yourself permission to stop worrying. The universe has a way of working itself out, so just trust that whatever comes of any given situation is meant to happen and you will adapt and get through it.

When you’re worrying, think back on other times that you have felt this way in the past. As you reflect, can you see how overthinking was a waste of your valuable time, in most instances? Not everything that we manifest in our heads, as possible outcomes for situations, will happen. As a matter of fact, most of what I worry about has never happened and probably will never happen. If you’ve read The Secret, then you are familiar with the idea of putting out into the world what you desire. So, instead of thinking, “I really don’t want to fail this quiz,” self-correct yourself by saying, “I’m so glad that I’m going to do well on this quiz.” Be sure and study, too, in this scenario, but this just goes to say that a positive outlook makes a difference in how your life goes. What you think, you attract.

Spend time outside, read, get a new hobby, exercise—keep up with the news and gain new perspective for some of your smaller scale worries. Keeping yourself busy when you’re starting to worry about things makes all the difference. Reflect on what you’re grateful for and focus on that instead.

With all of this being said, sometimes our worrying needs go beyond these helpful tips. Anxiety disorders are common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States. Below are a handful of symptoms that are often present in those diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

Excessive worry

Irrational fears

Panic attacks

Difficulty making decisions

Muscle tension


Trouble sleeping

Headaches

Restlessness

This is not to encourage a self-diagnosis, but rather to educate on what signs might be relevant to your life. Reach out to your doctor for a referral, if you think that you need to receive treatment with the aid of a mental health professional. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so take time to learn more about anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions.

For those whose aren’t concerned that their worrying is a sign of an anxiety disorder, know that with self-awareness and intention, you can lead a calmer, more present life. Share your experience with trying to cut ties with your worrying with your friends and loved ones and it just might inspire them to follow suit.