If science didn’t suggest otherwise, I’d have enough reason to believe that there are a team of tiny minions inside my head that slam on the panic button any time anything is going okay.
If you, too, have unwittingly mastered the art of worrying about absolutely everything, you’ll probably be nodding your head already.
I’m a worrier. Everyone around me knows it and it’s become a source of humour over the years. But what’s really compelled me to write about my relentless ability to get worked up over the smallest things, is knowing deep down that it doesn’t have to be the case.
We all worry, stress and feel anxious at points, so when do we know it’s getting too much?
Personally, my worries become unrealistic and exaggerated. You begin to believe that the people closest to you are conspiring against you, plotting your downfall and stealthily waiting to make a laughing stock out of you. Why? Because someone used up all the soy milk and didn’t even bother to tell you, and that’s all the reason your brain needs right now.
Fighting your mind won’t help though, you have to adapt to your thought habits and know when they’re not to be acted upon. Don’t be too hard on yourself either; you’re not ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’ for thinking the way you do. Unfortunately it’s far more complicated than that and not something to punish yourself for.
I have a habit of saying what’s on my mind; despite how this completely contradicts everything we’ve come to believe about anxiety. Instead of bottling things up, I blurt them all out without thinking. Those closest to me have come to learn – in most instances – that I’m word-vomiting my anxieties so to give my mind some breathing space, but it’s important to be aware that other people have feelings (and, indeed, their own anxieties) to factor in too.
The balance of considering those around you and putting yourself first is another learning curve entirely but it’s better managed when we’re not forcing the weight of the world down on ourselves.
If you’re anything like me, much of your unnecessary worrying stems from the anxiety you’ve developed from putting things off.
Ignoring your emails, letting your text alerts build up, not responding to the rampant group messages and letting your phone ring off when your family call… this kind of worry isn’t simply stored away neatly and locked up until you’ve got more time on your hands, it’s channelled unexpectedly into unrelated spats of stress and exhaustion.
Unread emails and messages are a big one for me, so when they’ve built up (and believe me, they do), I turn off the wifi and skim through them in my own time. Blocking the wifi is one way to control the situation and allows you to pace yourself.