How To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control

How to Stop Worrying About Things You Can't Control - Prairie Health

If you find yourself unable to sleep or concentrate on daily tasks due to thought patterns about things that are out of your control, we have some helpful advice that can help you find relief from anxiety.

This article will cover several methods to reduce anxiety and help you to stop worrying about things you can’t control. If you can’t seem to reduce stress on your own, you can always use the online help offered by Prairie Health

Read on to learn about relaxation techniques, journaling, and understanding what is within your control so that you can ease your mental burden.

Techniques To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control

Help is within your grasp, and there are many steps you can take to end the worry cycle and practice mindfulness in moments of anxiety.

Research shows that 50% of people with anxiety have insomnia, and the link between anxiety and insomnia is rooted in rumination.

Self-help is a great way to take control of your anxiety and get yourself on the right track, but if you would prefer to get outside help, try getting your depression and anxiety care online.

Let’s go through some techniques that can reduce the amount of time you spend on endless rumination and control your worries.

Understand and Form a Realistic Sense of Control

Worrying is a valuable survival technique, and it links to fight-or-flight responses designed to protect us from danger. Because the anxiety-inducing situations we face in modern life are usually not life-threatening, worrying is less valuable.

If we can understand what is in our control and what is out of our control, we can determine whether our worry is problem-solving and valuable or whether we need to manage our negative thoughts.

We cannot control the actions of others or the occurrence of natural disasters. We can only control how we plan for and respond to worst-case scenarios. Evaluate what you are ruminating about, use problem-solving skills to prepare for the elements in your control, and stop worrying.

It is important to practice mindfulness and develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with these worries that are out of your control.

Face Your Fears

It is essential to identify what you are worried about. For instance, if you are afraid you might fail a test, it might be useful to develop a plan for how you would cope with failing the test.

We often worry about avoiding worst-case scenarios without considering what would actually happen if the worst-case scenario occurred. By placing yourself in this position and coming up with a strategy for the worst-case scenario, you can gain more control and reduce your anxiety.

If you identify what is triggering your anxiety and what would happen if the source of the trigger developed into your worst-case scenario, you can exert enough control over your thoughts to manage your anxiety.

Journal Your Worries and Anxiety

If you are striving to improve your mental health and find practices that soothe your anxiety, you may benefit from the use of journaling.

Journaling is not just a recounting of the day’s events; it is a dynamic tool that can help us reach our internal thoughts and feelings.

When we write, we use the left side of our brain associated with rational thought in conjunction with the right side of the brain, allowing for us to access creative and productive ideas.

Writing for just a few minutes can increase our awareness of our thoughts. It provides relief and grounding for those who have panic disorders, and it can reduce feelings of loneliness for those with agoraphobia by allowing them to communicate their thoughts.

You can write about what is currently bothering you, the outcomes you are afraid of, and how you can cope with these outcomes. You can also lay out some goals for managing your anxiety.

For more information, check out the benefits of mental health journaling.

Learn and Use Relaxation Techniques

Nothing provides relief from anxiety more than the ability to construct an environment for relaxation.

Anxiety sufferers often lean on unhealthy coping skills like smoking, drinking, and substance abuse to temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms. But, in the long run, these unhealthy coping mechanisms can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, making them worse over time.

Instead, it’s best to construct your toolkit of techniques to relax your mind and body so you can eliminate unhealthy coping skills and find healthy stress relievers. This toolkit might include:

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an excellent relaxation technique that can draw your attention away from your anxious thoughts and towards your breath. Deep breathing stops you from feeling worried by grounding your thoughts to the breath and preventing sharp breath patterns that can unconsciously improve your mental health.

You can demonstrate control over your breath by using deep breathing techniques like:

  • Long exhale – by lengthening your exhale, you can slow down your breath.
  • Abdomen breathing – by focusing on breathing with your abdomen, you can make breathing feel easier and focus on the rise and fall of your stomach to soothe anxiety.
  • Alternate nostril breathing – this is a breathing technique where you cover one nostril at a time to inhale and exhale from alternating nostrils. This technique requires a focus that can draw our attention away from consuming thoughts.

There are many other breathing techniques you can add to your relaxation toolkit for when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you can use these anywhere! You can develop healthy affirmations to pair with these breathing techniques and boost your self-esteem.

Guided Meditation

There are many guided meditations available on the internet that can provide you with stories to focus on and talk you through breathing techniques or muscle relaxation. There are guided meditations tailored specifically for addressing panic attacks, rumination, and insomnia.

The best thing about guided meditation resources? There are many free options available! Try apps like Headspace and websites like Mindful that provide helpful resources that can teach you how to meditate effectively on your own and offer free guided meditations.

Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic way to create awareness of the body and breath, so you can notice and unwind different muscles holding on to tension caused by anxiety. And, it’s great for your physical health!

If your body is relaxed, this is bound to affect your mental state and facilitate relaxation in the mind. There are many yoga positions that you can try to decrease anxiety. The child’s pose can help to relieve any tension in the lower back and thighs.

Find videos on youtube specifically designed to reduce anxiety and soothe stress. This is a free resource and a great alternative to attending a yoga class if you have social anxiety or agoraphobia that prevents you from attending in-person sessions.

Pair yoga with eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water. The better your body feels, the more you reduce negative feelings.

How to Stop Worrying About Things You Can't Control - Prairie Health

Social Media Detox

Social media can trigger those with anxiety, as it stimulates thought patterns of comparison, fear of judgment, and feelings of loneliness.

Suppose you spend your evening looking at Instagram stories of groups of people going out for drinks wearing expensive clothes and having a good time while you are in your pajamas curled up on the sofa. When you do this, it’s difficult not to feel the fear of missing out and start comparing yourself to others.

We need to take steps to protect ourselves from negative interactions with social media. Set aside a couple of hours per day to detox from social media. You won’t regret it, and you might find that picking up a book or baking instead makes you feel much better!

Schedule a Worry Time

Scheduled worry time is a cognitive-behavioral therapy technique where you set aside time during the day to address your worries.

You can implement scheduled worry time by first recognizing that you’re worrying, then delaying the worrying and setting aside a specific time to worry, and then doing your worrying at this time.

By pushing our worrying thoughts off till later in the day, we allow ourselves to come back to our thoughts with a different perspective and prioritize our worries. It also prevents your worries from burdening you during the day and interfering with tasks, allowing you to live in the present moment.

Learn to Let Go

It is hard to stop worrying due to the positive and negative beliefs we hold about our worries. Some negative beliefs about our fears include worrying that our worries negatively affect us (worrying about worrying). The positive beliefs include that our worrying serves a purpose.

These beliefs about worry continue the cycle of anxiety and make it hard to let go and conquer our negative thoughts.

You can let go of negative thoughts by acknowledging them and refusing to engage with thoughts of control. Try instead to focus on the present moment.

If you want to learn more about dismissing your worrying thoughts, check out Prairie Health’s helpful guide that provides you with 4 questions to stop you from worrying.

Talk to a Friend Or Loved One

When struggling with rumination caused by anxiety, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

When you talk to a friend or loved one about your struggles, they will offer you compassionate advice to soothe your concerns, which can be cathartic. If your thoughts seem irrational, vocalizing them will help you put them into perspective and see them for what they really are.

It is essential to discuss your anxiety with only friends and loved ones that will empathize and understand, rather than judge or criticize.

If people are judged when they discuss their anxious thoughts and get told they are control freaks, they are more likely to spiral into self-doubt, which fuels the fire of excessive worry.

This is why it’s essential to know who to talk to and who to avoid and set healthy boundaries with when you are in a cycle of rumination so that you don’t exacerbate your anxious thought patterns.

Summary

Anxiety can feel like you are trapped in cycles of endless worrying about things, imagining worst-case scenarios and catastrophic outcomes. Managing your anxious thought patterns can help you engage more with daily life and be present in the moment.

By ditching any beliefs you have about your excessive worrying, you can start to manage your stress level by pushing off worrying thoughts and engaging in relaxing healthy coping skills and healthy stress relievers.

If you manage your worry and spend time worrying in constructive ways by journalling, processing your thoughts, or vocalizing your concerns to a loved one, you can start your journey of personal growth.

Actively solving rumination patterns can help you to stop worrying about things and enjoy life. If you found the information in this post useful, you might want to check out more solutions for anxiety on the Prairie Health blog.

Author

  • Prairie Health is an online psychiatry service focused on reducing all barriers to mental healthcare and modernizing treatment. Prairie specializes in helping adults with depression or anxiety get better through online psychiatry appointments, genetics-informed medication plans and ongoing support, all from the comfort of home.

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Categorized as Anxiety

By The Prairie Team

Prairie Health is an online psychiatry service focused on reducing all barriers to mental healthcare and modernizing treatment. Prairie specializes in helping adults with depression or anxiety get better through online psychiatry appointments, genetics-informed medication plans and ongoing support, all from the comfort of home.