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Letting Go of Worry and Anxiety

June 7, 2012

Did you know that worry and anxiety take a huge toll on your physical health?  People that spend a lot of time worrying experience unhealthy levels of anxiety which can over time, create heart conditions, migraine headaches, and gastrointestinal problems (ulcers, acid reflux, stomach aches).

Worry and anxiety are forms of distress (negative stress) and tear down your immune system.  Distress can affect your motivation level, appetite, sleep, job performance and relationships. It can also trigger an increase in self-defeating compulsive behaviors such as smoking, over/under eating, drinking alcohol or using other drugs.

Here are some helpful tools to help you difuse your  negative stress;

  • Identify and acknowledge your worry and anxiety as soon as possible.  Do not let your stress build up to catastrophe levels but rather, learn to manage it before it manages you.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.  Stop what you are doing and take a time out.  Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you are in charge of your thoughts and feelings.  Make a conscious effort to change the worry channel in your head to something positive and recognize and affirm that you are only responsible for doing the next indicated thing.  Do what you can today, and tomorrow will take care of itself.
  • Use positive self-talk.  Acknowledge that you are feeling worry and anxiety and tell yourself the same things you would tell a close friend.
  • Visualize peace of mind; See yourself moving past the worry and anxiety to peace of mind.  How would you look if you were at peace?  What would you be doing and saying?  Who would be with you?  Where would you be?  How would peace of mind feel?  Spend some time visualizing peacefulness, take a few deep breaths and move on with your day.
  • Exercise.  Take a brief walk around the block to clear your head.  Do some brief stretching.  Exercise creates positive stress (eustress) on the body and promotes wellness by releasing important “feel good” chemicals in the brain i.e. dopamine and serotonin, and who couldn’t use a little more healthy  “feel good” in their lives?

Everyone experiences worry and anxiety to some degree but you can acknowledge it for what it is, use some simple tools to intervene and redirect it, and then let it go.  Don’t waste one more minute worrying about things you can’t change today…….Optimists Rock!

Copyright 2012   Robin B. O’Grady

facebook: The Optimists Edge

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