Did you know humans are the only animals who experience chronic stress and anxiety?
Most animals live in what is called an immediate return environment. If they are hungry, they search for food. If they are thirsty, they find water. The actions they take deliver clear and immediate results.
We, however, exist in a delayed return environment. Most of the actions we take do not benefit us immediately. This also applies to the things we worry about! Most of our worries involve the future. We worry about what may or may not happen and stew in this self-created fear.
Oftentimes, this worry stems from when we feel as if we are lacking control. When there are no immediate actions you can take to act upon what worries you, feelings of anxiety tend to arise. Your worry is designed to protect you, so when you feel powerless over the outcome, those feelings can intensify.
However, worrying isn’t always worth the tradeoff! Worrying can be accompanied by fatigue, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and general unhappiness. Since many of the things we worry about never happen, the side effects often times are not worth it.
So, why do we do it?! Well, even though we can’t control the future, we want to prevent unpleasant outcomes. Therefore, we tend to pour over the “what if’s” and decide how we might handle them should they occur. After all, we are trying to control an uncontrollable situation! So every time we worry and nothing bad happens, our minds believe that our worrying prevents harm from occurring. But our worrying isn’t actually keeping us safer, so this ends up not benefiting us.
Clearly, worrying isn’t helping anything! But, how can we do less of it?
- Measure something! Since so much of what we worry about is obscure, find a tangible way to calm your anxiety. If you have a super busy week coming up, create a schedule that will outline when you will tackle all your tasks. If you know you have a big bill in the future, create a savings plan that will ensure you have what you need when the time comes.
- Notice when you are worrying! Identifying when you are worrying and deciding if those worries are causing undue anxiety can help you with awareness about how to respond to the situation.
- Live in the moment! Instead of worrying about long-term events, think about how to break it down into smaller chunks.
- Practice mindfulness! Worrying is an abstract action. Make practices such as yoga or meditation priorities in your life.
The amount of worrying you do is under your control! Actively deciding to address your worries is a work in progress, and it’s important to seek out help. Sometimes, a listening ear can make all the difference.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or life coach.
If you are a chronic worrier and want to learn more about how life coaching can help you, schedule your FREE Breakthrough Coaching Call with Lori HERE .