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Breaking the Worry Cycle

Dr Henriette Smith September 2017

· Mind,Life Skills

Worrying is actually a habit – and one that’s sometimes very difficult to break. Chronic worriers are so busy projecting themselves into a future filled with disastrous consequences that they miss the present moment. The “what ifs” that worriers obsess about rarely come true, but can wreak havoc on the physical and mental health of the person worrying.

Breaking the worry cycle takes a lot of practice. You’ve got to pull yourself back from anxious thoughts about the future and plant yourself firmly in the present moment so you can observe and identify the problems and then do something about them.

Here are some tips to break the worry cycle and live a mindful life so you can finally get in touch with your emotions:

  • Acknowledge your anxiety. It won’t do you any good to fight the feelings, so just acknowledge them and observe why you’ve having them. Is it from a past experience? If so, you can begin to analyze those feelings for what they are – unfounded fear -- and then let them go.
  • Don’t engage the worries. When you acknowledge your worries rather than fighting them, you can treat them like passing cloudy weather. But, when you focus on the worries, it’s difficult to let them go and get on with your present life.
  • Use meditation to focus on the present moment. Unless you’ve tried meditation before, you may become frustrated about staying focused – especially if you’re in the throes of anxiety. But keep practicing when you’re stuck on a worrisome thought and your attention will soon be trained to remain in your control.
  • Practice other worry-busting techniques. There are many relaxation techniques which can help you set the worries free so that you can get back to making the most out of your life. Tai Chi, Yoga and techniques that practice deep breathing.

It’s especially difficult to break the worry cycle if you’re stressed by deadline or other imminent problem. During these times, try and focus on things to get done in order of how important they are.

Clear out the clutter on your desk so you’ll have a clean slate. And, don’t forget about the clutter in your mind. Exercise, get into the fresh air, listen to music or do something to clear your mind. Begin a task with enthusiasm. That’s an important element in getting your mind on the task at hand.

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.

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blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.