Chronic worrying has been linked to heart attacks and Parkinson’s disease. But don’t fret—we’re going to tell you how to stop.
- TIP: Yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety by boosting levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric.
- Step 1: Find a meditation technique that works for you, whether it’s visualizing yourself on a Caribbean beach or chanting “Om” in a quiet room.
- Step 2: Confide in a friend. An outsider often can help put things in perspective, or offer solutions we hadn’t thought of.
- Step 3: Keep busy! People with full lives have less time to fret.
- FACT: The average person spends about 48 minutes a day worrying.
- Step 4: Buy a rocking chair. Just as it lulls babies to sleep, it’s proven to be a self-soothing way for adults to relieve anxiety.
- Step 5: Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Picturing the worst-case scenario often cuts the worry down to size.
- TIP: The worry period is more effective if you do it at the same time and place every day.
- Step 6: Divide your worries into two categories: those you can do nothing about and those you might be able to influence. Let go of the stuff that’s beyond your control.
- Step 7: Take the worries that are not out of your hands and figure out what you can do to avert the outcome you fear. Then do it. Being proactive puts you back in control, which reduces anxiety.
- TIP: Remind yourself that most of what we worry about never happens.
- Step 8: Keep a journal of your worries, then set aside at least 30 minutes a day to focus on them. Research shows you’ll soon be so bored by your problems that you’ll stop fixating on them.