Worry has been my theme for days, it feels like weeks. I worry about taking good enough care of myself, I worry that I’m making the right business decisions, I worry that I worry too much to be a fun partner in my marriage.
Lately it has felt like worry would not leave me alone or I would not stop dwelling in it. It burrows into my conscience and eats at my stomach. How do you cope with all the worries of the world? How do you overcome anxiety?
The first thing that helped me was to remember my Bible verse. This is the theme for my life. I just forgot about it while I was busy worrying:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? – Matt 6:25-26
If you don’t care for biblical references there are plenty of other worry quotes out there:
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”– John Newton
My other favorite reminders is. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong work on building something that works. If we can focus on building up the positive things we won’t have time to think about all the little scary things and we can overcome anxiety. Or:
Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. – Jack Cain
It has been a slow crawl for me. “Stomping out worry” is an ambitious endeavor for the way that I’ve been feeling. Here are things that are helping me overcome my anxiety. Maybe this can help you.
- Read inspiring quotes. Check.
- Remember that other time you spent so much time worrying and then remember how everything worked out in the end. Was the worrying really necessary or beneficial?
- Organize something. Sort some paper work, put away a mess, empty the dishwasher. See the power you have over your own reality. Even if it’s in the smallest way.
- Exercise. Just go for a walk, sweat a little. Escape a little while and just take care of yourself. You’ll be too tired to be worrying about the little things.
- Voice your worries to a friend. A good friend will listen and then help you come up with solutions. Also, giving voice to worries allows them out and then you can study how ludicrous they are.
- Drink Water. This is a habit I am trying to be better at. When I am worrying about something I distract myself by finding my water and taking a drink. As you drink think about your place in this world. You are vessel for this water. What else do you want to be a vessel for?
- Be grateful. When you think about all the things that could go wrong interrupt and take a minute to thank all the things that are going well.
- Get a massage. Here is my confession. I have not gotten a massage for myself YET. But I have one scheduled. When someone else puts their hands on the muscles that have tensed up due to your anxiety you can focus on letting go. It also helps that someone else is manually releasing those worry muscles. Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which gets shut down when we are anxious.
- Share. Gather round your friends and family, see a therapist, and build that cheerlead team that will remind you you are awesome and that you can handle whatever comes your way. You can do this!