Seven Tips To Stop Worrying
Seven tips to stop worrying: While worry keeps you alert to problems, you can act to stop it, if it causes you needless distress. At the root of serious worry is a problem, which you cannot solve. If you could solve it, you would not worry. Worry uses your unconscious reasoning abilities and cannot be stopped through conscious intention. But, your prefrontal regions (PFR) can decide to accept the distress as a challenge and stop worrying. This article describes the inner mechanisms, which repeatedly cause you needless distress. This article provides seven tips to help you to stop serious worrying. A few physical exercises can relax your systems and help you to become calm. They present mental exercises which can make your PFR inhibit worry and change distress to energy.
- Understand the role of the amygdala in
triggering negative emotions.
- The organ affects your body and your
- The insula contributes pain.
- Your brain recalls millions of images
of the consequences of any action.
- Your prefrontal regions can shut down
- Pay attention to your visceral
reactions. Recognize the symptoms of worry.
- A simple exercise to reduce visceral
- Recognize the futility of worry.
- Accept the worst case scenario.
- When its symptoms are identified, the
emotion will reduce.
- With a calmer mind, focus on the
situation and turn the worry into a challenge.
To Stop Worrying –The Amygdala
worry is triggered by the amygdalae, two almond sized nuclei within
your brain. These organs assist in the memory formation of emotional
experiences and are the first to react to emotionally significant events.
Researchers subjected caged rats to painful foot shocks, accompanied
by the sound of a bell. Later, the sounds alone were observed to
induce stresses in the animal. The sound caused the amygdala to
triggers command signals to deal with the anticipated pain. These
signals set off precisely focused variations of the fight, flee, or
freeze patterns of thought and behavior. While it takes around 300
milliseconds for your PFR to recognize a disturbing event, the
amygdalae react to it within 20 milliseconds! Worry is caused by
the amygdala making the flee or freeze choice. If it made the fight
choice, your challenges would energize you.
To Stop Worrying –The Devastating Impact
it responds negatively, the amygdala sends fear signals to the
brainstem, triggering avoidance behaviors. Such signals raise blood
pressure and heart beats. They manipulate facial nerves to generate
expressions of fear. Negative emotions envelop you in feelings of
helplessness. You lose interest in your daily routines. There is
self criticism and a loss of energy. Your appetite and sleep get
affected. Your problems look bigger and you worry about problems that
may never happen. You feel scared with no specific or direct threat.
You become prone to anger and irritability. Your actions become less
well considered and more impulsive. Such an emotional roller coaster
can lead to heart disease, digestive disorders, and a depressed
Tips To Stop
Worrying –Self Inflicted Stress
the amygdala originally developed to respond to physical injury, it
responds also to self inflicted pain. Such pain is created by an
organ called the insula, a part of the limbic system. The organ
seeks to control your social behavior by dispatching pain signals.
Social humiliation, loss of material comforts, or of an abusive
encounter trigger pain from the insula. Those signals lead to the
distressing experiences of shame, regret, guilt, or loss of hope.
Those pain signals cause the amygdala to trigger visceral reactions
within your body to prepare you to run for your life, to face injury,
or death. Your suffering comes from your visceral reactions and by
the pain signals inflicted on you by the insula. These signals
reinforce each other and divert you from your ability to solve the
problems you face.
Tips To Stop
Worrying –Episodic Memories
you were not worried about a potential danger, you would do nothing
about it and would be in trouble. Worry originates from the awesome
capacity of the brain to perceive the world and detect signals of
danger. Your brain stores “episodic memories,” which can
remember and recall each one of millions of your experiences from its
beginning to its end, including its significant sounds, lights,
actions and emotions. Apart from your personal experiences, the
stories you hear in office are also added to those episodic memories.
The recall of a single episode includes millions of fine details.
Those memories enable you to visualize the varied implications of
most of the events in your life. A subtle hint of a loss of a job
recalls a multitude of episodes, which describe in fine detail its
many consequences. As you pass each day, thousands of such
reminiscences flash through your mind and trigger the related
feelings. Worry becomes a problem, when such signals repeatedly
trigger your anxiety.
Stop Worrying – The Prefrontal Regions
nature designed the amygdala as a threat warning system, the PFR
developed as an investigative brain. While it is slower to react, it
has the powerful capacity to see the whole picture and make a
considered judgment. While the amygdala could trigger alarm at
seeing a snake in the garden, the PFR could decide that it is only a
garden hose and inhibit the fear signals.
The PFR is reported to
have powerful inhibitive links to the amygdala. If your PFR has
evaluated the situation and has a clear view of it as a challenge
rather than a threat, it will inhibit the amygdala. Your worry will
vanish. To stop worrying, follow the seven tips given below to convince
your PFR to accept the situation as a challenge and stop the worrying
by the amygdala.
Tips To Stop
Worrying –Identify The Visceral Reactions
fist tip is make your PFR differentiate emotional pain from actual
pain. You will experience worry as an undifferentiated stress. It
will strike you at the first hint that you could lose your job. For
days afterwards, your mind will search through its episodic memories
calling up the dire consequences of the loss of your job. The
humiliation of facing the reactions of your friends. How will you
pay your bills? How will your landlord respond to a rent default?
If you cannot imagine what will happen, the unknown threat escalates
your anxiety. As your mind flashes the pain of each episode in your
unconscious imagination, visceral reactions are triggered. The
choking feeling in your throat, the racing heart beat or the burning
sensation in your chest are your main problems. You need to identify
these internal mechanisms and learn to recognize the physical
symptoms of your “worry” experience.
To Stop Worrying –Subdue The Visceral Reactions
second tip is to do a simple stomach pumping exercise to still your
visceral reactions. While the threats may be small, each visceral
reaction harms your system. Adrenalin increases to prepare your body
for a fight or flight response. Your heart beats increase to improve
blood supply. Blood pressure rises and breathing changes. Acidity
increases in the stomach. Your excretory system prepares to clear
toxin. Your endocrine system produces the adrenal hormone cortisol.
Excess production of cortisol leads to blood pressure, diabetes and
heart problems. Excess cortisol also causes damage to your immune
system, arteries, and brain cells, and cause premature aging. This
website suggests a simple stomach pumping exercise, which you can
learn to practice silently at the first sign of tension. It is
powerfully effective in dissipating it. The exercise quiets the
adrenalin drive and places you in a better frame of mind, where your
PFR can take over.
Tips To Stop
Worrying –Worry Does Not Solve The Problem
third tip is to convince your PFR that worry does not solve the
problem. Visceral reactions are not necessary for you to solve your
problems. Anxiety creates a powerful search for solutions. You do
need to actively search for solutions and do whatever you can to
solve your problems. Worry sets off a drive within your mind to find
a solution. But, nature makes you believe that worry should
The traditional belief is “How can I not be
worried, when I am not able to pay rent?” But, you can also be
energized with the need to pay rent. When you play a computer game,
your mind is searching rapidly for solutions, with energy. Your mind
is capable of calm and energetic searches without anxiety. You
produce your best without anxiety. In fact, you do your best, when
you are energetic and not anxious. The third tip is to be convinced
of the futility of worry.
To Stop Worrying –Acceptance Of The Worst Case
fourth tip is to narrow the implications of your problem from a
million dire consequences to a concrete imagined possibility – the
worst case. Worry about a coming disaster distresses you far more than the actual
experience of disaster. With access to a massive number of episodic memories,
your mind is attacked by links to most of the innumerable job loss
situations that you will ever encounter.
As these reminiscences
flash through your mind, those signals will trigger a high level of
anxiety. Worry makes you die a thousand deaths. With a worst case visualization, you replace a million episodic memories with just one. You can create
a new memory by imagining the situation. Let it become a concrete
episode in your memory. Your potential for distress
will reduce from many imagined horror stories to a single one. Your level of
distress will reduce.
Stop Worrying –Separate The Symptoms
The fifth tip is to isolate the cause of your worry from its
symptoms. The loss of your job will bring with it many associated
problems. As your mind flashes through its episodic memories, you
will encounter so many unpleasant side effects of your main problem.
Your mind will be able to focus on the cause, if it separates its
many symptoms. So many related problems will disappear, if you have
solved the main problem. Or, in the worst case, you will need to
accept the challenge of facing a fresh set of problems. Your main
objective is to prevent your amygdala from setting off search
routines in many directions and enveloping you in distress.
Separate the symptoms from the cause.
To Stop Worrying –Focus On The Emotion
sixth tip is to make your PFR realize that your challenge is not a
vague dreaded event, but the emotion you experience when you lose
your job. You need to overcome the emotion, not the event. Imagine
your feelings after you have got your pink slip and told your
friends. You will find that you will have bearable feelings.
Actually, when disaster strikes, people begin with a numb feeling.
They adjust slowly to failure, experiencing feelings of regret for
their mistakes, guilt about not meeting their responsibilities, or
feel saddened by lost opportunities. Often, they even feel relieved
that the worry is over. Evaluate the worst case and imagine your
feelings if it happens. When you imagine the worst case, your PFR
will realize that the persisting worry experience is far more
distressing than the actual disaster experience. Realization sets in
that the danger you face is not death or physical injury, but
emotional pain. It is a challenge that your PFR can accept.
To Stop Worrying –Convert Your Worry Into A Challenge
seventh tip is to shift your approach from flight to fight. Your
amygdala can make the choice between the fight or fear response. The
six exercises have convinced your PFR that the real challenge you
face is not a bewildering event, but just an emotion. You are in a
position to conquer that emotion with that realization. At this
stage, you can convert the situation into a challenge. You can train
yourself to bear the pain of the emotion. Focus your eyes with
energy on the situation rather than with fear. Gradually your
amygdala will develop new circuits, which face disasters as
challenges. You will begin to stop worrying.
This page was last updated on 10-Sep-2016.