If worrying consumes a large part of your every day life, you’re not alone. Life is full of situations and events that can make you worry and stress, sometimes to an overwhelming extent. Some stress can be good, in a way that it pushes you out of your comfort zone, it pushes you to achieve great things and you become more in tune with how you react to situations and how you can better yourself. Most of the time though, stressing yourself out doesn’t help at all.
Overthinking and trying to maintain control over every aspect of your life can be detrimental to your health, so I wanted to share the little things I think about which help me through difficult times and worrying thoughts.
You can’t control what happens
One of the best things I’ve ever been told is to expect the unexpected. Usually, when something happens in my day that isn’t part of my routine, my anxiety goes into overdrive and I feel very stressed and uncomfortable. When I focus on the phrase above with the attitude that I’m willing and ready to face anything that comes my way, whether it’s good or bad, I feel stronger and more at ease that I’ll be able to handle it.
You can’t control what happens in life, however you can control the way you react to a situation. Be aware that obstacles are bound to appear in your path at the most unexpected times. Whatever is thrown your way, you’re never given more than you can handle.
Focus on the now
No matter what whirlwind of thoughts are going around in your head at this very moment, think about what you’re doing right this second, then think about the simplicity of it. You may be simply sitting at your desk, standing at the bus stop or spending a moment to yourself. You may even be running around the house in a panic for no good reason. When you feel a sense of overwhelm and need to calm down, just stop exactly where you are and put yourself in the present moment. Think about what is actually happening around you, realistically. Realise that the craziness in your head is exactly that – just in your head. What’s actually happening in reality is so much more simple – people going about their daily life, the clouds moving by, a simple Thursday. Bring yourself into the space around you and focus on the now.
It’s easy to get caught up in worrying thoughts. You need to find a way to twist your mind into thinking about something else, something positive. What are you looking forward to? What is something good going on in your life? What are you grateful for this week? Don’t let your mind control you. Feed it with love and as much positivity as you can.
Embrace your imperfect self
One thing I worry about most is what other people think of me. From my appearance to how I speak, I worry about every single tiny little detail needing to be perfect and if it’s not, I stress. Brows looking messy? Someone will notice. A tiny spot on my top? Someone will see it. A hair out of place? Someone will mention it.
Something I’ve tried to force into my mind (and I think it’s finally working) is that NOBODY CARES. Nobody cares if you don’t look perfect, nobody cares if you mess up a sentence. Do you think they go home after seeing you and discuss all the little things you stressed about? No way. It’s all in your head, and worrying about it is so useless.
Nobody is perfect. The more you embrace your imperfect self and learn to love yourself for the little things that (you think) aren’t right, or the random annoying things you do that aren’t what (you think) a normal person would do, nobody can hurt you. If you’re already aware of things others may dislike about you and you’ve embraced them as part of who you are, nothing anyone says should bother you. Self awareness is everything.
Let it roll off your back
Through worrying about how people think of me, sometimes words can hurt me more than they should. When you’re constantly living with stress and worry, you can take what someone says to heart when it wasn’t intended to cut that deep.
A while ago, someone I was speaking to called me “the most paranoid person ever” and it’s something I could have easily been hurt by. I let it sink in for a while afterwards, then I thought “you know what, I am the most paranoid person ever” and I just laughed to myself. I am paranoid about a lot of things, and that’s just me.
I’m not saying that you should accept every insult thrown your way. You definitely shouldn’t believe everything that people say to you, as most of the time, what that person is throwing on you is coming from their own insecurities. For anything thrown your way that could be hurtful, let it roll off your back. Don’t stew on it, don’t overthink it. Words can’t hurt unless you allow them to.
You can do anything, but not everything
This is one of my favourite quotes and I like to think of it every time I start worrying about not getting everything done that I think I should be. Nobody is putting pressure on you to do everything swirling around your mind except for yourself. We can only stretch ourselves so far, so it’s important to prioritise and think about what’s truly important. Can something wait? Is there something you’d prefer to do that holds more importance in your life? Don’t always make decisions based on everyone else’s expectations… think about what’s best for you, as your own health and happiness is important.
Is it really worth it?
A lot of the time, worrying can be reduced by thinking, “what is the worst possible thing that could happen?” Because when you think about it, the “worst possible thing” usually isn’t that bad at all.
A lot of the time I ask myself, “does it really matter?” Is it really worth a second of my time worrying about something that really won’t even matter in a few year’s time? It really does put things into perspective. The more time you spend worrying, the more you’ll be hurting your mind and health and the less you’ll be moving forwards.