I know it’s been a while, just over here starting my online counseling practice but I know the title of this post probably has you a bit intrigued on what I’m planning to talk about. Well, when we worry, what is usually going on?
What Happens When You Worry
- You can’t stay present
- You’re having ruminating thoughts
- You’re piling on those anxiety symptoms that can do some damage internally, if you do this activity quite often.
Helping Yourself When Worrying
One of the things that I’ve mentioned before that is helpful is figuring out a way to be present. Incorporate a grounding exercise to get you back to a state where you can control what you’re doing. Next, it’s about figuring out a plan, especially if this is something within your control. What is the first step you can take to get this problem solved? If it’s out of your control, then maybe it’s getting out how you feel in some way (journaling, talking to someone) or figuring out a coping technique that can help. We don’t want to just keep thinking and worrying, without an exit plan.
So, in using your senses, I thought it would be good to share a little tip. Find an item that you think can serve as a good distraction for you, something small that you can put in your hand and make it serve a purpose. That purpose is being able to tell yourself to not worry about things out of your control, calm down, breathe a bit and anything else you feel you want this item to tell you in moments where you just start to worry. Carry this item with you, rub it, squeeze it, hold it, but start to make a connection for yourself that this item is supposed to help you limit your worrying, calm you down and help you stay present and out of your head.
The reason this topic was so important for me to share today was bc I recently was given this item called a “worry rock” and I never knew such things existed. I am aware of stress balls and other items to put in your hand when stressed but never this and I’ve been using it quite often. I think being able to turn your attention to something in your hand, helps keep you distracted for a bit to ponder the following.
Questions to Ask Yourself When You Finally Distract Yourself From Worrying
- Why am I worrying about this right now?
- Is this going to matter tomorrow or days from now?
- Is this taking me away from something that I do need to focus on?
- Can I come up with another way to look at this thing that I keep worrying about?
Additionally, try other sources of touch that can help you in certain moments to balance or calm you down. There are studies out there on the benefits of touch and so it’s doing what works for you. At one point I started to just try to be still in moments where I felt like my heart was racing and I would just rest my hands on my chest and just let it stay there for a while, and I found that was very helpful in bringing my heart rate down. I believe this is something similar to Reiki, which I have been going to a massage therapist for and after my sessions lately, I feel much more relaxed than when I walked in.
Worrying shouldn’t be where you just stop and allow your mind to just keep going about the what-ifs, what you should have done, or things you feel you can’t do. Make this a moment where you take some control and don’t allow your worries to take you away from dealing with what you need to so you can move on to feeling like you should.