How many times has someone said to you ‘Don’t worry’, ‘Stop worrying’ or ‘That’s nothing to worry about’? As a passing comment, this may be great for the person saying it but to be on the receiving end can be unhelpful and make you feel like they are just brushing your feelings aside.
It can be hard not to worry or stew on something that is bothering you. I am a natural born worrier so something I am very use to; the overthinking, the overwhelm and the racing heart. We all know sitting worrying about something won’t change the outcome or make the situation any better but it is such a hard cycle to break. We make up scenarios in our heads, often the worst outcomes possible from the situation and they become so believable that the worry is unbearable.
Everyone’s worries will be different and individual to them. What I worry about, someone else would not give a second thought to and visa versa, so it’s important not to judge or project on to someone who may be worrying about something we wouldn’t. Having someone listen or listening to someone can offer a helping hand when they or you are stuck in a cycle of worry and having a different perspective on things can be beneficial to ease the worry.
When worry strikes it can often be during the night, laying awake staring at the ceiling, getting more and more frustrated as sleep disappears into the distance. One thing that can be helpful is to have a notebook next to your bed and before you go to sleep, write down the things that are on your mind, it’s a way to release the worry and hopefully get a restful night’s sleep.
Sometimes talking about what is on your mind with a loved one can be a good way to get things off your chest. It can make you realise they have similar worries to you and put your mind at ease, a problem shared is a problem halved. Recognising if something like social media, the news or spending too much time on a screen heightens your anxiety and taking much needed breaks or limiting time spent online can be helpful.
Focusing on your breathing can help slow your heart rate, distract your attention away from the worry briefly and be a good way of coping with worry.
Worrying can take up a lot of headspace so if there is anything that can be done or tried to reduce some of that time it can be a positive. It won’t be easy to retrain your brain and break the cycle but definitely worth a shot.
Sophie Collumbell is a regular writer for the Counsellors Café Magazine. In Sophie's words: "I don’t take life too seriously, always joking and making people laugh! Family and friends mean the world to me, and my little cat tiggs! Music is my life, I spend most time with my headphones on listening to anything and everything, I believe ‘When words fail music speaks’! I am more creative than anything, I love writing and knowing that hopefully, writing my struggles can help other people is just the best feeling ever! I cannot wait for the future so I can train to be a counsellor and hopefully help someone the way my counsellor has helped me!'