Calm your mind and banish those worry lines with these tips from author and entrepreneur Beth Kempton
These seven powerful steps will help you diffuse the potency of your thoughts, and help you channel your anxious energy into empathy and action.
The faster you are running, the more momentum there is in your worries. Slow down, breathe deeply and take a moment for yourself. It can help to write out what you are worried about, because this slows you to the speed of your pen, and helps you get clarity on what the issue really is.
Most worries live in the past or the future. By bringing yourself into the present, you take yourself away from where your anxiety lives. Concentrate on the here and now. Use your senses – watch the weather, smell the flowers, eat something delicious, meditate, listen to some music and lose yourself in it. These simple actions will help you release the worry, and relax.
When you feel a familiar worry bubbling up at a time when you are already feeling run down, exhausted, ill or stressed, try saying to it: “I see you there and I know you want attention, but I’m not able to think about you right now. I’ll spend time with you when I have more headspace, and am well rested, fed and thinking straight.” Try it. It really works.
When you feel ready to challenge your worries, ask yourself these three questions: “Is it real?” “Is it really as bad as I think?” and “Does it really matter?” These three questions can help you shrink or banish your worries, and focus your attention on what really matters.
By sharing what you are worried about with someone you trust, you can shine a light on the problem. Often this helps you realise it really isn’t as awful as it seems, or there is an alternative way of tackling it.
If your worry is associated with someone else’s response to something you have said or done, don’t presume to know what they are thinking. Often our worries come from a place of anticipated judgement or presumed reactions, when actually we have no idea what they really think. If someone’s response really matters, talk it out with them.
Take action towards tackling the problem you are worried about. Even the tiniest step is a nudge in the right direction. Action is the enemy of fear, and gives you your power back. At the very least, move your body – stretch, do a workout, turn some music up loud and dance. It can release tension you are holding in the body, distract your mind and help keep you physically strong and healthy.
When we are worried about someone else, and see them in pain, our automatic reaction is to want to fix their problems for them. But often that is neither the right thing to do, nor the most helpful. Instead look at it from a different perspective and ask “How can I love them?”
The same goes when you are worried about yourself. Instead of going to that place of fear and regret, beating yourself up for whatever you did or didn’t do, ask: “How can I love myself better, right now?”
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