8 Strategies for Worriers

c8ba8b1490988a48By Aubrey Murtha — Lately, I have had a major case of the worries.

I’m not sure if it is because I have a ridiculous amount of stuff that I have to get done before the end of the semester, or if it is due to the harsh reality that I am turning into a big kid now with big kid responsibilities.  But, either way, my anxiousness has got me down.

Not to fear, though, friends.  I have been experimenting, and I have found a few really solid strategies that help me to calm my nerves when I am struggling to live in the present.  I’d like to share them with you in case you are — like me — a worry wart.

  1. Take deep breaths.
    Count to five as you breathe in, and count to ten as you breathe out.  Two of these and I can physically feel the nerves leaving me.
  2. Talk to someone.
    Even though I can’t ever really articulate what exactly it is that worries me, it is nice to know that I have family that listens to me when I am nervous or worried about something.  They always help to remind me that I am loved and that worrying is not necessary.
  3. Take control of your own emotions.
    If you have the power to make yourself nervous, you also have the power to make those feelings go away.  Sometimes, this is harder than it sounds, but usually, it isn’t!  Think positively, and you’ll feel better soon.
  4. Count your blessings. 
    When you’re anxious, remember all in your life for which you are thankful.  Saying thank you can help to quell your nerves because it reminds you that you have so much in life to enjoy and even more to look forward to.  When I get nervous, I remember the exciting things that I have to look forward to like summer break, my sister’s college graduation, my brother’s wedding, the return of my best friend from her semester abroad, weekends at the lake, and the awesome fact that I get to spend summer with two of my amazing roommates here at MU in our new apartment.
  5. Get good sleep and eat well.
    Sometimes it is hard to sleep or eat if you are perpetually nervous, but try.  If you can restore your body’s normal sleeping and eating patterns, I bet that you can restore your serenity.  Normal eating and sleeping can also prevent you from getting sick which, trust me, can heighten your anxiety.
  6. Recite a personal mantra.
    This one is a little bit dorky, but it nearly always works.  When you are feeling nervous or alone, repeat over and over a short phrase of your choosing.  Pick something motivational (if your phrase is “I am ugly” or “This day sucks,” this exercise won’t get you far).  My go-to mantra is, “I’ve got this!”  Although it may seem dumb, it reminds me that yeah, I actually do “got this.”
  7. Keep your priorities in check.
    Remember what is truly important.  Lately when I’ve been nervous, I’ve reminded myself of my personal duties—family, friends, school, church, personal well-being.  If I worry about things beyond those five tenants, I am wasting my time.
  8. This last one is the hardest. Live in the present. 
    Remember this quote from a wise anonymous person: “Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.”  So why waste your time with fruitless worrying?

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