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Thread: I worry too much

  1. #11
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    Thank you boltnrun, I like these four steps, especially #2, that's exactly what I need to learn, like it's not the end of the world. I've always been super responsible, as a child I would have nightmares about unfinished homework, and I was always a serious student. For me it's about having control over things, and I don't like the feeling when I lose control I guess. I'll definitely work on this.

    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    I have anxiety and used to worry about all kinds of things.

    I've been able to manage it by telling myself:
    1. I can't possibly control everything and that's OK
    2. I imagine the worst possible outcome and then tell myself what the result would be. Amazon loses my shipment? They send another one! I forget to turn off the stove burner? Then the smoke alarm goes off, the neighbor calls 911, the firefighters arrive and put out the fire and my insurance covers the damage. I forget to clock in at work? I contact HR and they fix it. I forget to pay my rent? I pay the $50 late fee. None of those things are horrible, unrecoverable disasters.
    3. Remind myself that my worry is usually an intrusive thought and I can dismiss it whenever I want to.
    4. Laugh at myself. I can be ridiculous sometimes and that's OK too.

    If you have crippling anxiety see a therapist. I bet if you research you'd find a way to attend therapy. Work insurance benefits? Local college or university offers discounted counseling by therapists in training? Government programs?

  2. #12
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    Originally Posted by kim42
    Thank you guys, I think I definitely need to let go of this vision of me being always perfect, I hate making mistakes and this does not help me to worry less. I can't afford a therapist at the moment, but I'll research some techniques and try to change my mindset.



    This is exactly what I am going through, I always believed that if I don't worry enough, it means I am not 'ready' for the outcome, or not responsible to handle the consequences. This has really opened my eyes and I now realize that I should not worry this much.
    I feel like you're in a similar place to where I was last year (and most of my life previous). Desiring to be in control of life events, catastrophising due to lack of confidence in my ability to handle unexpected or troublesome events and judging myself for making mistakes. I'm in a lot better place now, I still get the physical sensations of anxiety but I carry on as normal and my headspace no longer gets consumed by the what ifs. Here's what helped me that you could try.

    Moderate self talk, be your own cheerleader, I turned my internal monologue from things like "I can't cope" "They're so much better" "I don't know what to do" "This is too hard" "I don't have time" to "Come on girl" "You've got this" "Focus focus focus" "babysteps" "I'll figure it out".

    Working on my confidence and self esteem by taking up activities that are challenging to prove to myself I can do things I find hard. Having a little jog each morning and managing to get a little further each day gave me a physical and mental boost. I am scared of heights, confined spaces and water. I have done bouldering, climbing, wild swimming and caving (all 3 fears at once!) I know now I can do anything no matter how terrifying because I faced my fears! I will spend time focusing on my achievements which was hard at first because I set such a high bar for myself I felt I failed at everything. Lower that bar for yourself, recognise the positive things you have done and the good values you hold. We are human, no need to crucify yourself everytime you make a mistake, just accept it's a fact of life that you will often make mistakes, acknowledge your mistake, forgive yourself and see it as a positive, something to learn from and move on.

    If something in particular worries me and I can't shake it I write down a list of options. All of the various ways I could respond to the worst case scenario and then the worry reduces because I know I can deal with it in whichever manner produces the most positive outcome.

    Finding the positives, I try and see any obstacles in life now, not as something to be feared but a way to become better, learn, grow, improve. I almost feel glad for some problems as I see them as a route to personal growth and making me a better more successful person.

    I spend time doing mindful activities and engaging with the present moment, to get out of that worrying headspace. I pay attention to my physical and mental state. I practice recognising the switch from presence to being stuck in my head and use a variety of techniques to bring myself back to the real world. You can focus on physical sensations in your body, tastes, smells, look around and count things, observe the weather, colours, other peoples behaviour, join in conversations, take deep breaths and enjoy the sensation of breathing. Then when you have engaged with the present go back to what you need to do, chores etc.

    I try and be sociable as good relationships are a massive factor in your overall health. If you feel down or are overwhelmed make it known, seek support from your friends, tell your boss you need help to meet that deadline. You will be amazed at the feedback you get if you're willing to be vulnerable around the right people. Joining social activity groups is a great way to meet new people too.

    Self care. Make time to soothe and relax yourself, particularly during periods of high stress. Hot showers, guided meditation, relaxing or upbeat music, yoga and badminton have all worked well for me to feel a better overall sense of wellbeing.

    I recommend the audiobook feel the fear and do it anyway. A good option if you can't afford therapy. There is also a Dialectical Behavioural Therapy handbook which has lots of worksheets to help with anxiety and troublesome thinking. You should be able to find a free PDF download. Both of these helped me a lot. Good luck!

  3. #13
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    I'm a worrier too. But one trick I use is to ask if worrying actually makes a difference. If it does, then worry away and use that anxiety to take proactive steps to reduce the chances of something bad happening in that context.

    If it doesn't make a difference, stop worrying about that particular thing.

    Baz Luhrmann is correct: the vast majority of things that really deserve worrying are the kind of things that blindside you on an idle Tuesday afternoon.

  4. #14
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    Thank you so much for sharing what helped you, I'l glad you are doing better.

    Originally Posted by thornz
    I feel like you're in a similar place to where I was last year (and most of my life previous). Desiring to be in control of life events, catastrophising due to lack of confidence in my ability to handle unexpected or troublesome events and judging myself for making mistakes.
    It's true I lack confidence in myself, like I'm afraid something bad will happen and completely overwhelm me. It's a little ironic as I moved to a different country 5 years ago, started from scratch, and I now have a pretty successful live. I think I'm too hard on myself most of the time, I'm such a perfectionist.

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  8. #15
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    Sorry that you going through that , i no exactly how you feel, i to struggle with the same things, its called severe anxiety , and it 's no good feelings, i would reach out to a phychiatric and or a Counselor, so they can help you feel, better, i sided with medication and i feel better than i ever felt in years, but do no theres nothing worng with you, please get help it can lead to depression. Take care good luck

  9. #16
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    I've found it most helpful to train myself to recognize the difference between which situations worry can actually help me to create a backup plan, versus the situations where worry can offer no value toward an outcome that I want.

    Worry is self torture before the fact: if an outcome turns out fine, you've put yourself through the experience for zero payoff, and if an outcome turns out bad, you've tortured yourself twice.

    So in cases where I can create a backup plan for bad outcomes, I do that, then I let go of worry because I have a plan in place. In cases where my worry adds NO VALUE, I let go and allow the things I cannot control to run their course while I focus, instead, on something productive.

    If you need tools or techniques to practice letting go, see a therapist or research some methods on your own. Then try out those techniques by first walking through the question of whether worry can help you create a backup plan, or not. When not, employ the techniques to let go.

    Like anything else, worry is a habit that can be changed. It's a decision.
    I work on my tendency to worry constantly and have two big motivators -well maybe three- first I don't want my son to be like me -he already does worry so I work with him on that (he is 10), second I had a stroke from which I recovered quickly, about 10 years ago and I am motivated to reduce stress in my life -worrying causes physical stress for me. Third my husband is type B very laid back and he inspires me and I want to be a good partner. And we travel pretty often which is a source of anxiety/worry for me -can trigger it -and I want to be a good travel companion.

    I do 4-7-8 breathing -Weill method -as a way to recenter myself, I exercise daily, I hydrate a lot these days -all of these practices recenter me and give me a healthier mindset.

    Here is an example. Today I took my son to camp. I was distracted and we got off at the wrong stop. I knew it was 2-4 blocks in one or the other direction but wasn't sure which. I felt myself getting anxious about being lost/getting him there late when in reality it did NOT matter much at all - it was just camp, we were fine. I saw my son seeing me start to worry and I stopped it in its tracks - I made myself speak calmly and act calmly and realized that i should listen to him because he actually knew which way to walk. If I'd indulged in my worry/stress I would have kept ignoring him most likely. And yes I used google maps - because that also is centering - and shows you how silly it is to "worry" because one way or the other you'll find your way. One way or the other the amazon package will get there and if it doesn't the worst case scenario is you'll have to convince them to resend or refund which is a pain but.... no biggie.

    I relate to you and I think it's worth it to start on cognitive and lifestyle approaches that will help decrease your go-to indulgence which worrying really is.

    I do not think you need to see medical or professional help from what you described and I'm not a professional! Just a worrier!
    Good luck!!

  10. #17
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    Thank you for sharing your story, I've been practicing mindfulness and I am reminding myself that most of the things I worry about do not matter that much. For the first time in a while, I didn't stress about paying my rent. I'm looking forward to ordering something from Amazon, it will be a challenge not to worry about my package, but I'll do my best!

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Here is an example. Today I took my son to camp. I was distracted and we got off at the wrong stop. I knew it was 2-4 blocks in one or the other direction but wasn't sure which. I felt myself getting anxious about being lost/getting him there late when in reality it did NOT matter much at all - it was just camp, we were fine. I saw my son seeing me start to worry and I stopped it in its tracks - I made myself speak calmly and act calmly and realized that i should listen to him because he actually knew which way to walk. If I'd indulged in my worry/stress I would have kept ignoring him most likely. And yes I used google maps - because that also is centering - and shows you how silly it is to "worry" because one way or the other you'll find your way. One way or the other the amazon package will get there and if it doesn't the worst case scenario is you'll have to convince them to resend or refund which is a pain but.... no biggie.

    I relate to you and I think it's worth it to start on cognitive and lifestyle approaches that will help decrease your go-to indulgence which worrying really is.

    I do not think you need to see medical or professional help from what you described and I'm not a professional! Just a worrier!
    Good luck!!

  11. #18
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    Originally Posted by kim42
    ... it will be a challenge not to worry about my package, but I'll do my best!
    Great job! Consider catching the words you use that mentally set you up to make things more difficult rather than less difficult. For instance, instead of telling yourself that something will be challenging or hard, suggest to yourself that you just may surprise yourself with your resilience as new habits become effortless.

    You may also want to consider some self hypnosis YouTube videos for meditation during mornings or the daytime, or to use before sleep. Skip the ones that are subliminal, and stay with ones that are clearly vocal and understandable. Note some of the encouraging words you hear and consider adopting them into the mental voice you run in your head.

    Head high, you're making terrific progress!

  12. #19
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    Hi catfeeder, thank you for your kind message! I'll check the meditation videos, sometimes I have trouble falling asleep as there's too much information in my head. I have ordered a package (it's a birthday gift for my dad) last week, and it should be delivered in the next few days. It is the first time I'm not stressing about it, and I have told myself I will start to worry and contact the vendor only if my package does not arrive on time. I actually don't even think about t, which is pretty unusual for me, but I've been practicing mindfulness, and every time I begin to worry too much, I just think about all the advice I got here.

    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Great job! Consider catching the words you use that mentally set you up to make things more difficult rather than less difficult. For instance, instead of telling yourself that something will be challenging or hard, suggest to yourself that you just may surprise yourself with your resilience as new habits become effortless.

    You may also want to consider some self hypnosis YouTube videos for meditation during mornings or the daytime, or to use before sleep. Skip the ones that are subliminal, and stay with ones that are clearly vocal and understandable. Note some of the encouraging words you hear and consider adopting them into the mental voice you run in your head.

    Head high, you're making terrific progress!

  13. #20
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    Hi guys, so my package arrived today, and for the first time in a while, I didnít contact the vendor, I wasnít stressed at all, and actually I didnít even think about it. There are still things that stress me out more than Iíd like to, but Iíve made some progress and Iím happy about it. Thanks again for all advice!

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