How to train your brain to stop worrying
Did you know that excessive worrying not only affects your mental state but has a negative impact on your physical health, too? While a little worry can be even helpful as it helps you prepare for the upcoming situation, worrying too much affects your health to the extent of making you stressed, tired, extremely prone to depression, and even physically ill.
When you worry, the heart rate increases, you sweat more, and the breathing becomes much more difficult. You may also become pale, given that the blood withdraws from the skin and moves towards the muscles in order to prepare them for the ‘fight or flight’ situation.
As the body has prepared to respond to the threat, the tension may turn into pains causing weak legs, trembling, headaches, and back pain. The same tension can even affect the digestive system, causing diarrhea or constipation.
In addition to this, chronic worry may make you susceptible to infections, too. Stress and anxiety are known to lower the immune system, making you prone to colds or even more serious illnesses. Not to mention that they also make you even more fatigued and lethargic.
The good news is that the brain is highly adaptable organ, and making a few behavioral changes can notably reduce worry and help you go back to your regular day-to-day activities and high-functioning self. Below you have three simple practices that can be incorporated into your life to reduce worry and calm your anxiety. Check them out!
1. Write down your worries
Translating your worries into concrete words helps transform the doubt and pity into a problem with a potential solution. Whether you don’t know what to wear to a party or a friend is pissing you off, write it down! Putting your worries into words prepares you to conceptualize the problems and look for a way to resolve the problem.
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Chicago, anxious test takers who wrote their feelings before doing the test actually performed much better compared to those who didn’t. Researchers believe that the key to writing about your worries is to emphasize the worst possible outcome for the cause of your anxiety.
2. Practice mindfulness meditation
At this point, it`s no wonder that meditation has a wide array of healing properties. Many different studies on the topic have confirmed that the act of closing the eyes and listening to your breath helps improve mental stability and cognitive function.
So, whenever you feel anxious or overwhelmed by your tight schedule, find the time to mediate. All you needs is an open mind and a quiet space! Sitting for as little as two minutes helps feel more centered, optimistic, and clear-headed.
3. Channel your stress into exercise
Exercise offers both physical and mental benefits. While it is quite challenging and difficult in the beginning, exercising on a regular basis helps regain the control of your life. This sense of control and self-worth then allows you to reduce overall worry and stress.
Doctors often advise depressed patients to practice aerobic exercise, as it has been shown to lower the levels of body`s stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Additionally, it also helps boost the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that kill pain and lift your spirits.