Keep a journal
Oftentimes, your best confidante is yourself. You know what worries you better than anyone else. You know what you’ve overcome and conquered in the past. You know your heart, your thoughts and your worries like the back of your hand.
So, when times become overwhelming and worry rules your mind, take a few moments to reflect in your journal. Write down the one thing weighing you down, two ways it could go well or be resolved, and one positive thing you would say to someone in your situation.
Lean on your support system
Support systems make facing tough days and worrying thoughts a bit easier. Find family members, close friends or faith leaders to sit down and hear you out. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, and receive their encouragement and advice with an open heart.
Moving your body releases the physical and mental tension you build up from worrying. Whether it’s a walk around the block or your favorite exercise class, getting your blood pumping will make you feel better and may help you better address or overcome what you’re worried about.
Take time to meditate
Meditation can ground you to reality when your heart is full of worry. If you’re feeling extra stressed or find your mind constantly wandering back to that one “what if,” take a moment to sit in a comfortable place. Take stock of what’s around you. What are five things you see around you? What are four things you can touch? What are three things you can hear? What are two things you can smell? What is one thing you can taste? By grounding yourself and letting your find refocus on the present, you’ll find that worry fades away, even if just for a moment.
Focus on your breathing
When worry turns into full-blown anxiety, it can leave you feeling tight-chested and breathless. Box breathing is a popular method for relaxing your body and reminding your brain everything is okay.
Begin by expelling all the air in your lungs. For four seconds, breathe in through your nose. Hold the breath for four more seconds. Begin to exhale through your mouth for four seconds, then relax for another four seconds. Repeat this pattern three to five times until your heartbeat slows.
Worry doesn’t have to rule your life. Let feelings and thoughts pop up, but remember these five ways of taking the narrative back and focusing on what you can control.