Reducing Anxiety and Worrying - my top three tips
How a Meditation Teacher Combats Anxiety and Worrying
I remember the night I found out my life was changing. I had finished my workday in a career I loved with a supportive family of coworkers and was watching an episode of Longmire on Netflix. My husband received the phone call he had been waiting for and, after hanging up, walked downstairs to tell me the news:
"I got the job"
We would be moving, away from my friends and 15 year career in public service, away from snowy winters and trips to New York City and visiting family in Boston. We were moving to San Diego, and a new career for me as a massage therapist.
I absolutely love the beaches and warm winters, but for me they came with an almost daily anxiety about succeeding in my new career and life. Can I start over and make a difference in only a few decades?
I combat my tendency to worry in three ways: meditation, listmaking and relying on friends.
For me, worrying starts as soon as I wake up. I sometimes feel this jolt of adrenaline in my body shortly after opening my eyes. I used to immediately pick up my smartphone and check my emails and Facebook to see if I had to take care of any emergencies, which would fan the flames of my worrying. Now I reset myself before I look out into the world. I have found that lying or sitting for a few minutes and watching myself breathe helps to clear the adrenaline and helps me face the tasks in my day in a calmer mood.
I also have a master to-do list that helps calm my worries. If I need to do something, I immediately write it on the list next to my bed. If I am away from home, I text myself a note and jot the task down when I return home. Getting all my tasks on paper makes me more productive and I'm using less energy trying to remember everything on my schedule in my head. I also have a long term monthly task list so I can keep on track with long term projects.
The third trick I use to reduce worrying is to share my worries with my husband or a friend. I find that saying my worries out loud lets me recognize if they are overblown. I focus on sharing my emotions rather than brainstorming ways to solve my issues. Taking time to feel my emotions and receive compassion from others helps calm me down.
How do you reduce worrying?