Seasons Change for Stress Less with Lisa

Have you ever stopped in the middle of a hectic day just to think for a moment, as you feel your stress creeping up on you? We all day dream once in a while, of treating ourselves to a special indulgence. For some of us, all it would take to rid ourselves of the day to day stress is a nice hot bath or good book and a few spare moments to read a few chapters. Some dream of relaxing by a pool or having your back rubbed with oils, treating your thirsty skin to a good hydrating scrub.

We don’t always have the luxury of taking off for the day to a spa or a week-end get-away. But there are ways of enjoying the luxury of a relaxing spa treatment in your own home and at very low costs and that is what Stress Less with Lisa is all about. Get ready for some DIY Spa Products along with some great ways of relieving your financial stress by making your own Cleaning Products, Laundry Products so you will see a huge savings in the pocketbook along with some great relieving of stress by making your own products…..I find it very Stress Relieving to be making my own creations.

Along with the DIY Products, Stress Less with Lisa is also going to be getting into Essential Oils and Herbs. We will be getting into how to make some of are very own Herbal Remedies. Learning how the Oils can do for you what the pharmacy charges you for. I am very excited to be getting into a whole new Season of my Life , and I am more then looking forward to sharing with you all the great Healthy and Less Expensive ways of Living. I will be bringing my Life back to the Simple Way of Living and will be sharing with you my Journey as I go through my Blog and website.

So get yourself ready for whole new Stress Less with Lisa coming soon along with Stress Less Products, Herbs, Articles and Great and Fun Ways of Living a Life with Less Stress via Mediation , Mindfulness, Healthier Eating, Time-management, Learning to Balance your Life through your Mind, Body and Soul. Going back to the Simple ways of Living in this day and age. I am so looking forward to getting to know everyone better, Forming some new and strengthening some old relationships , I hope to give everyone some great tips on how to save money, learn new ways of making your own Healthy products. There is going to be alittle bit of everything from Stress Less with Lisa but of course the core foundation of everything I do is going to be to Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ for without him, I would not even have been able to do this. I am very excited for this new Venture in my Life and I do hope that you enjoy as much as I am going too…….

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” MARK 9:23

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Life Today is Stressful but with the Living Word in your Heart, You can Stress Less

Face it, in today’s time as I hear all the time, Today’s kids are just so….., In today’s World we have too much …….In today’s word there is to much technology…….etc!!!!  Really in today’s World it is virtually impossible to avoid STRESS!!!!  Everyone is carrying Stress to some degree or another, some are so over-stressed they can’t even survive in today’s World, that saddens me!!!  Today there are more remedies to reducing Stress, it has become a whole new Business in itself….Really, think about it, there is Self-Help Books, Massage Therapy geared and aimed for Stress, there is Stress Reduction through Meditation, there is e-courses, there are regular courses on how to deal with stress, and the list goes on and on!!!!!!  It is absolutely unbelievable how much is out there for people to try and reduce their STRESS and go back to what you would call the “Simple Life” What is the Simple Life?  Does anyone even know what the Simple Life is , what are you aiming for when you say “I just want to live the simple life with no stress?? but no one can seem to attain it. Many of us cry out like Job:…..” The Church inside me never stops ; days of suffering confront me. ( Job 30:27) The answer to is that you will never have a life that doesn’t come with trials and circumstances it it…….We have to go back to the Bible!!!  That is the Key to STRESS my friends.

I am one to say that I lived almost 20 years under huge amounts of stress, sometimes the stress got so bad I had actually thought about ending it all. That is sad , I had lost my Hope!!!  I had lived in what you would and my therapist called a Victim Mentality for almost 20 years , that is a long time, so my Changing of my mindset was not going to happen overnight. I stil feel I am a work in progress but I am very happy to say today , that I live a much happier, Stress Free life then I have ever lived before and it is only going to get better and do you know how and why……..How, because I am going to continue to read the word daily and impiment each of his words into my life, I am going to live for Jesus, be more Godly!!!! and Why, Simple …….because I love him and I want my relationship with God to grow more and more each day. There is a way to relieve, reduce and deal with your stress without having to spend tons of money with all this New Business of apparently helping people deal with their stress when all you have to do is open your Bible and start buidling that foundation with Christ now, read his Word, create your own personal relationship with him and see how much life becomes much easier to deal with, how much stress you will loose. If we only stressed and worried about the things that we have direct control over , we would reduce our stress and worrying by 90% ——that is Amazing, by going to the Lord , You can reduce the stress and maybe find that Simple Life you have been looking to attain.

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take the yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for you souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30   I know so many people have heard and listened to that scripture but so many do not know how they can receive rest for their souls……First and Foremost, You need to Come to the Lord, It is the first thing you must do to be free of your stress and worry , for without him, your life has no real purpose!!!  We simply run from one activity to another seeking to fill our lives with Purpose, Peace and Happiness , and it doesn’t work, We work ourselves into a tizzy of stress for the things we desire , only to crave more.

If we do not know our Purpose in Life , our true meaning of existence , Life is very meaningless, Yet God created each of us with a special purpose that only your one unique self can do. Much of the Stress comes from not knowing who we are or where we are going. We are all going to go through tribulations in Life, it is unavoidable, but how we react to our trials is the real issue here ….that is where Stress is born, The trials will either break us or make us stronger!!!  Which way would you like to go?

Are you building your relationship ( the foundation of your Life ) are you going to the Lord daily? Is your Salvation based on a prayer you prayed once or is it growing out of a committed relationship to Him?  You need to NOT conform to the World and its pattern, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind , then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -His good, pleasing and perfect Will.

Until you have fully committed yourself to the Lord, until your foundation is deep into the Lord , you will never be able to discern what his His Perfect will is for your Life. Who we are under pressure reveals who we really are, the Storms of life wash away the what is really around us and we present to the world and expose what lies in our Hearts. God allows the storms to hit us, so we will turn to him in our times of trouble and be cleansed of the sin that we never able to perceive in times of ease. Again, the times and trials in our Life will either soften our hearts and make us full of faith or make us angry and brittle , full of doubt and unbelief…..Causing Stress to come alive.

When it comes right down to the nitty-gritty …..there are two motivating factors in life;…Fear or Faith!!!  All Fear and Stress/Worry is a form of Fear which stems in a lack of Faith in God. Stress arises when we try to serve Fear and God at the same time, ( which is Impossible) “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain…..In vain you rise early and stay up late , toiling for food to eat. Psalm 27; 1-2

The only way to rid our anxieties (stress/worry) is to look them right in the eye and deal with them right at the root. We may not want to face some of those things that are in us, but we must if we are to ever be free of them. If we are not merciless with our sins it will be merciless on us. It will keep us from an intimate relationship with the Lord. It is extraordinary what tremendous power there is in even the littlest of things to distract us from God, We must stand our ground , and refuse to to let the thorns of this world ruin us and take the Word of the Lord from us. The devil know what distracts us with all the cares of this world and we will never be a threat to him or fulfill the call that is on each of our lives if we keep letting the devil distract us from God.  We will never bear any fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Isn’t it wonderful that the only thing that cannot ever be taken from us , is the only  thing we really need anyway?  Chose to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to his words and learn from him. “ You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed . Choose what is better and it will not be taken from you. Luke 10 41-42  Take the Lords word and put them into daily practice, spend everyday with the Lord putting a deposit of true riches into your heart.

God has blessed us with a most powerful tool; his living Word, the Bible. It can be your spiritual sword, separating our faith from our fear……Stress merely indicates an area of our life where our flesh is still on the throne. The Life that is totally submitted to God is marked by the trust born out of a thankful and grateful Heart.

Life Balance, What does it Take to Achieve?

Ever Wonder what it would take to Achieve Life Balance?  Well I know this might come as a shock to you and many others , but you are not perfect. I know, It’s  Mind Blowing isn’t it??  Perfection means you will always be able to go to your son’s soccer game and still make that Business meeting , You will always be able to work out faithfully , even when you house needs cleaning and laundry is piled up hig. You’ll always have to take your elderly mom shopping even though you have a list of things on your to-do list that just never seems to end.

balance is the key to lifeNo, You are not perfect. So you’re not always going to do everything you think you need to do. And that is OK, Keeping your life in balance isn’t you striving for a level of perfection you’ll never attain. Rather, living a Balanced Life is having a grasp on your deep down priorities and values and doing those things that are most important to you.

Here are my Top 10 Questions to use as your first Steps to Gaining Life Balance:

1.  Take time to Discover your True Values. Think about what you value the most. What are the things that drive you? What things in Your life are you most passionate about?

2.  What are the things you are currently doing that are not adding one bit of value to your life? What activities are you doing that have long ago run their course?   What would happen if you eliminated some of these useless things?

3.  Who are the people in your life who are energy drainers? Who are the life affirmers?  How would spending lesstime with the former and more time with the latter change things for you?

4.  When you wake up in the morning , what thoughts come into your mind? Are they positive or negative? What would happen if you refused any negative thoughts for an entire day? An entire Week?

5.  What is one positive thing you can say about yourself that you can repeat over and over? How do you think this might impact your day? Your Week? Your month?

6..What is one positive thing you can do for yourself that will make you feel good about yourself? What would happen if you did this thing over and over until it becomes a habit? How would it change how you feel about you?

7.  How is your body feeling? Is it physically fit or is it ready for a makeover? What would happen if you made the decision to take just a baby step and go for a walk? What would happen if you took this baby step every day?

8.  How is your current relationship with your spouse? Does it bring you joy or is it a source of stress? What is one thing you could do to make it just a little better? How would that tiny change make a difference?

9.  What is the status of your family relationships? If you were rating them, how would they fare? What is something you could do to give them a better rating?  How would that help you feel better and more in balance?

10.  What is the thing you like most about your Job? How does your current job fit into your true values? What changes can you make to make it fit better? How will those changes help you go forward?

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Yes, there are lots of things to consider, and Yes, there are lots of things you can do to help yourself find Life Balance. Now you have a place to start.

Finding Your Emotional Balance!!!!!!!!

We all seek emotional balance, but what exactly does that mean?

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There’s no 98.6° of the mind, no 130 over 85 for mood pressure. And, although the popularity of drugs like Prozac and Zoloft might lead us to believe that brain neurotransmitters can be mixed like a smart martini (one jigger of serotonin, two of dopamine…), so far no one has come up with a cocktail for happiness. Most of us know, however, what it feels like to be emotionally out of whack. Patience rubbed bald, making the slightest irritation unbearable. No energy to care about anyone else’s difficulties. A shuttered outlook, leaving you increasingly closed to both pleasure and possibility.
It doesn’t take decoding the genome to prove that when you’re feeling good about yourself, your body stays in better shape and your general condition is more resilient. “The people who age best are those who have positive things happening in their lives and positive feelings,” says Norman Rosenthal, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the author of The Emotional Revolution, which details the latest science of emotions and argues that they profoundly affect your health and survival.Forty to 55 percent of a happy disposition is genetic, studies suggest, but the rest can be learned. It may be helpful to think of emotional balance as mastering a surfboard—honing the ability to take life’s gnarliest waves without wiping out, while catching the good ones and riding them all the way to shore, enjoying every last splash. What it takes to stay on the board will vary for each of us. Outwardly, life delivers different ups and downs; inwardly, there are many styles of maintaining equilibrium.

To dive in, experts suggest first giving yourself an emotional checkup, then practicing a few basic mood-stabilizing techniques, and finally determining, if appropriate, when it’s time to get help. “Some days are tougher than others,” says surgeon Nancy Snyderman, MD, the author of Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s Guide to Good Health, “but if you generally love waking up in the morning, you’re in a good spot. If you’re not, challenge what’s amiss and see how you can fix it.”

Step 1: Emotional Checkup

Sit down with a calendar and ask yourself how you’ve been feeling over the past couple of weeks—depressed, anxious, joyful, angry? Do you seem uncharacteristically blue and lethargic? If yes, can you see a good reason for it? The questions may seem obvious, but if you don’t ask them, Rosenthal says, “it’s easy to shove the problem out of your mind.”

Next check your expectations. The big mistake people make is confusing emotional balance with happiness, says Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at Boston IVF and the author of Self-Nurture. “The huge number of people on Prozac in this country includes many, I think, who were experiencing life’s ups and downs normally but had an expectation of constant happiness,” she says. “A normal life means feeling pretty satisfied with the way things are, having some moments of joy and some moments of sadness and anxiety.”

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Step 2: The Keys to BalanceNo matter where you are on your emotional surfboard (even if you’re off it), these mood-steadying strategies make for easier riding.

1. Mind Rx: Taking a break—imaginary or real—can help settle emotions on a bumpy day.

2. Daydream: “When you think about pleasurable things like sex or food, PET scans show different patterns lighting up in your brain than when you think about work or something unpleasant,” says Mehmet Oz, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

3. Fake it: Research shows that when you put on a smile, even a forced one, your mood often follows. Hold your head high, walk confidently, pretend you’re Serena Williams after winning the Grand Slam.

4. Listen to music: Put on a pair of headphones and let yourself get carried away.

5. Go to a bookstore and just browse. “Look at travel books, photography books,” suggests Byllye Avery, founder of the National Black Women’s Health Project. “Dip into some fiction and let your mind go there.”

6. Run away: Spas are ideal, Snyderman says (when she books herself for a quick getaway, she tells her kids to “call only in an emergency—and homework doesn’t count”). But you can also escape to a friend’s house for the weekend, get in the car and just drive, or take a day to be a tourist in your own town.


Step 3: Do You Need Help?Depression and anxiety, which often occur together, may be pulling you off-kilter, and subtle symptoms can creep up on you without your realizing it.

With mild depression, you might get your work done and perform all your other duties but have trouble mustering enthusiasm for any of it. Getting ready to go to a party often requires a gargantuan effort (although if you can manage that hurdle, you’re capable of having a good time). And when little things go wrong—a train is late, a friend cancels—you can be totally knocked off course.

With mild anxiety, you worry about things that most people don’t: If there are rumors of a management change at the office, you’ll stay up all night thinking about it while everyone else waits for more information before getting worked up. You wish, perhaps, that you were more easygoing—sometimes your fears keep you from trying things.

In both cases, the experts recommend the following:

1. Meditation: A proven treatment for anxiety, and, to a lesser extent, depression, “it lowers blood pressure and heart rate and counteracts the secretion of stress hormones like cortisol,” Oz says. “We use it in the hospital for anxious heart surgery patients and for post-op depression.”

2. Yoga: The mental focus, breathing, and limbering postures combined into one activity work like a multivitamin for inner stability.

3. Reorganization: Look at your daily schedule and sort out what gives you pleasure and what stresses you out. Then think of every way possible to remove the latter from your life.

4. Saint-John’s-Wort: Although a large study funded by the National Institutes of Health recently suggested that this herb has no effect on severely depressed people, more than 20 studies, mostly in Europe, show that the herb helps alleviate mild depression. Christopher Hobbs, a clinical herbalist and consultant to the herb industry who has written 22 books, including Herbal Remedies for Dummies, says the optimal dosage is 300 milligrams three times a day (of a formula with 0.3 percent hypericin), although a small person might try twice a day. He also says it may take four to six weeks to notice any effects. Caution: If you’re on any medication, consult your doctor before trying Saint-John’s-Wort, because it has been shown to interfere with a number of drugs, including some types of chemotherapy and possibly birth control pills.

If none of these strategies make you feel better after six weeks, you may want to consult a mental health professional. Certainly, if you’re having trouble functioning—work is suffering, nothing excites you, you’ve stopped seeing friends, your mind is racing, you can’t even get out of bed—you should go straight for help.

 

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Getting Through Anxiety Attacks the Natural Way……

Have you ever experienced a Panic and or Anxiety Attack?  If you haven’t then you just do not understand what and how bad it feels. Fear sets in, Can’t think, Chest Pains, You start pacing the floor, Cant get one clear thought in your mind, sweating, You honestly feel as if your going to completely loose your mind. The attacks are extremely horrible to go through—Feels like your whole life is being destroyed.

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You Can’t Work, You Can’t talk to anyone , at least anyone who would understand, You Just can’t Function!!!!!!!

The first thing you have to understand is that emotions are like waves. They come and go, but they can’t get a long-term grip on you. Every emotion you have, even the awful and crippling fear of dying – Is only temporary. This is something you forget when you are having a panic attack.

Keeping this in mind when a panic attack starts rising its ugly head will help you relax and reduce the intensity of the panic attack.

As a former sufferer of this awful condition, it’s important to me to convince you that hope is out there. There are many ways to overcome anxiety and panic attacks and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I do have a list of Natural Ways of you to get rid of the Anxiety in your Life, You don’t want to start taking Pills for this……Doctors are to quick to just write out scrips for pills that will only hide the symptons and does nothing to actually cure the real Issue at hand and the Pills are Highly addictive. So here are some All-Natural Ways of helping with your Anxiety/Panic Attacks!!!!!

 

  • Supplements

    Researchers have found that Magnesium is necessary to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur from intense episodes of fear or anxiety. Magnesium also helps undo the bad programming from prior anxiety attacks by helping to create new brain response patterns not influenced by fear or anxiety. If you can, get a blood test and check to see if you have a magnesium deficiency. If you do, consider a Natural magnesium supplement. You might be surprised by the results.

    natural calm 10 Ways to Overcome Your Anxiety and Panic Attacks (That Drug Companies Dont Want You to Know About)

    Magnesium supplement

    Omega 3 fatty acids were found to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety by 20 percent. Make sure you get proper omega-3 status by having more fatty fish in your diet, or by taking an organic fish oil supplement. It can reduce anxiety and also systemic inflammation all over your body.

    GABA – GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, and its role in the body is to calm the firing nerves in our central nervous systems. Long term stress can interfere with production of this neurotransmitter, and you don’t have enough of it, you can experience manic behavior, alcoholism, anxiety and recklessness.  Other symptoms of GABA deficiency include headaches, palpitations and low libido. You may consider trying 500-1000 mg a day of a GABA supplement, or have more food that increases its production: Nuts, bananas, broccoli and spinach, green tea, citrus fruit and rice bran.

  • Limit your Time on the Computer

Of course being on the Computer is a must for some, its their Job, but you should still take time to unwind, stretch it out, take time to relax every hour on the hour. Limit Facebook,

It’s o.k to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends occasionally. But, when Facebook becomes “an addiction” (those of you who are addicted know who they are), it’s difficult to notice how it promotes feelings of loneliness, low self-image, jealousy, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy – All of them leading to anxiety.

  • Acknowledge the Work Related Issues

40 million Americans suffer from anxiety just because they resent their job, hate their job or just work too much (more than 48 hours a week). If you have no idea where your anxiety and panic attacks came from, it’s time to ask yourself if you work too much or just simply hate your job.

I know that some of you will say I’m crazy and these are hard times and work is sometimes hard to replace, but if it gives you anxiety which ruins your life, isn’t it time to look for something else?

Think about it before you dismiss it. It’s closing a door, which could be frightening, but opening a door to a new adventure, to a chance of a happier and a fulfilling life – A life without anxiety.

  • Exercise, Exercise and more and more Exercise

It reduces the stress hormones and elevates those “feel good” hormones mentioned above. At least try to walk (as fast as you can) for a half an hour every day. You won’t believe how amazing you will feel (not to mention how much healthier you will become). When You exercise you actually feel more Energized, You  have that Serotonin that is being released and it gives you a feeling of Happiness, one that keeps Anxiety away. Exercise is a Daily Anxiety Treatment!!!!!!!

  • Relaxation Methods

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Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Meditation – Are not only a lot of fun – They are very relaxing as well. If you can get a relaxing massage once a week or two – Good for you and very good for chronic anxiety. Yoga and Reiki are helpful as well and meditation, if you have time for it, is especially effective.

All of these therapies elevate the levels of your “feel good” hormones – Like Serotonin. They have other amazing benefits to your overall health, which help your body deal with stressful events thus preventing panic attacks.

  • Herbs

3 Herbs For Anxiety

Chamomile.

Chamomile serves as a mild remedy for anxiety. Commonly packaged as a calming agent in herbal tea products, it is also used to be a gentle resource for settling an upset stomach. Chamomile is most helpful after a long, stressful day that has led to particularly distracting but otherwise temporary feelings of anxiety. Chamomile, much like the packaged version suggests, is ideal to take as a tea.

Passionflower.

Discovered by Spanish explorers in South America in the sixteenth century, passionflower provides a slightly stronger remedy for anxiety than chamomile and as a result is often used for slightly more ambitious medicinal interventions like anxiety disorder. It is commonly believed to not only help anxiety but also to help with insomnia, nervous disorders, and blood-related maladies like hypertension. Like chamomile, passionflower can be taken as a tea and the two are sometimes combined along with other herbs for anxiety-related symptoms.

Kava Kava.

This herb, sometimes just referred to as “kava,” is known by many to be effective as a sedative. It can be used for not only anxiety but even to act as a natural anesthetic. Its preparation can be varied, for it can be consumed as a tea, in pill form, or even by chewing on the plant itself. Given its strength, it is advisable to consult an experienced herbalist or medical practitioner before taking it.

Feelings of anxiety can be distracting if not outright debilitating. Anxiety can compromise our sleep, our functionality, and our overall sense of wellbeing. But addressing this condition doesn’t have to be complicated to get results. With herbal remedies like these, finding greater calm is possible.

  • Special Diet

Anxiety and panic have always been considered to be mental conditions, right?

Wrong. New research has found Anxiety and depression may actually originate from the gut. That’s why so many people suffer from both Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Anxiety at the same time. A healthy diet will definitely, and I repeat definitely, dramatically help you overcome anxiety and panic attacks.

We all know what a healthy diet is, so no excuses please. Reduce sugar, fat, meat and dairy as much as you can, and eat much more vegetables and fruits. Get rid of the Toxins, Start eating more Greens , food that flush the Toxins out of your system will help keep your intestines and digestive system clean, reducing the more of the Anxiety that you are experiencing.

  • Learn to BREATH Properly

Breath very slowly through your nose and out of your mouth, bring them up from your stomach.  Doing this a few times during the day will help you in calming down, It is Amazing how just slowing down your system, and breathing slowing through your nose can calm your nerves and hence lessen the Anxiety your having.

  • Behavioral Techniques

The first thing you have to understand is that emotions are like waves. They come and go, but they can’t get a long-term grip on you. Every emotion you have, even the awful and crippling fear of dying – Is only temporary. This is something you forget when you are having a panic attack.

Keeping this in mind when a panic attack starts rising its ugly head will help you relax and reduce the intensity of the panic attack.

I hope these Tips are Helpful for you as you try to get yourself clear of Anxiety, I know how bad they are and how bad they can make you feel , for I went through them for years. I was one who was on medication, and I am so glad I learned how to relieve my Anxiety the natural Way, for my Anxiety is gone, and I feel much better now as well. Every once in a while I do feel some feelings creeping up my skin, I will just start breathing correctly and do all the above and Anxiety is Gone!!!  Try it, and see how it goes!!!!!

 

Help for the Worries, Anxiety Relief….

Self-Help Strategies for Anxiety Relief

Self-Help for Anxiety Relief

Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

 

Why is it so hard to stop worrying?

Constant worrying takes a heavy toll. It keeps you up at night and makes you tense and edgy during the day. You hate feeling like a nervous wreck. So why is it so difficult to stop worrying?

For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—they hold about worrying.

On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop.

On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions.

Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep worry going. But positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.

Why you keep worrying

You have mixed feelings about your worries. On one hand, your worries are bothering you—you can’t sleep, and you can’t get these pessimistic thoughts out of your head. But there is a way that these worries make sense to you. For example, you think:

  • Maybe I’ll find a solution.
  • I don’t want to overlook anything.
  • If I keep thinking a little longer, maybe I’ll figure it out.
  • I don’t want to be surprised.
  • I want to be responsible.

You have a hard time giving up on your worries because, in a sense, your worries have been working for you.

Source: The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.

Worry and anxiety self-help tip #1: Create a worry period

It’s tough to be productive in your daily life when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts. But what can you do? If you’re like many chronic worriers, your anxious thoughts feel uncontrollable. You’ve tried lots of things, from distracting yourself, reasoning with your worries, and trying to think positive, but nothing seems to work.

Why trying to stop anxious thoughts doesn’t work

Telling yourself to stop worrying doesn’t work—at least not for long. You can distract yourself or suppress anxious thoughts for a moment, but you can’t banish them for good. In fact, trying to do so often makes them stronger and more persistent.

You can test this out for yourself. Close your eyes and picture a pink elephant. Once you can see the pink elephant in your mind, stop thinking about it. Whatever you do, for the next five minutes, don’t think about pink elephants!

How did you do? Did thoughts of pink elephants keep popping in your brain?

“Thought stopping” backfires because it forces you to pay extra attention to the very thought you want to avoid. You always have to be watching for it, and this very emphasis makes it seem even more important.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to control your worry. You just need to try a different approach. This is where the strategy of postponing worrying comes in. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off thinking any more about it until later.

Learning to postpone worrying:

  1. Create a “worry period.” Choose a set time and place for worrying. It should be the same every day (e.g. in the living room from 5:00 to 5:20 p.m.) and early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. During your worry period, you’re allowed to worry about whatever’s on your mind. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.
  2. Postpone your worry. If an anxious thought or worry comes into your head during the day, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone it to your worry period. Remind yourself that you’ll have time to think about it later, so there’s no need to worry about it right now. Save it for later and continue to go about your day.
  3. Go over your “worry list” during the worry period. Reflect on the worries you wrote down during the day. If the thoughts are still bothering you, allow yourself to worry about them, but only for the amount of time you’ve specified for your worry period. If the worries don’t seem important any more, cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.

Postponing worrying is effective because it breaks the habit of dwelling on worries in the present moment. Yet there’s no struggle to suppress the thought or judge it. You simply save it for later. As you develop the ability to postpone your anxious thoughts, you’ll start to realize that you have more control over your worrying than you think.

Worry and anxiety self-help tip #2: Ask yourself if the problem is solvable

Research shows that while you’re worrying, you temporarily feel less anxious. Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel like you’re getting something accomplished. But worrying and problem solving are two very different things.

Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, you’re no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen.

Distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries

If a worry pops into your head, start by asking yourself whether the problem is something you can actually solve. The following questions can help:

  • Is the problem something you’re currently facing, rather than an imaginary what-if?
  • If the problem is an imaginary what-if, how likely is it to happen? Is your concern realistic?
  • Can you do something about the problem or prepare for it, or is it out of your control?

Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if you’re worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. “What if I get cancer someday?” or “What if my kid gets into an accident?”

If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After you’ve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, you’ll feel much less worried.

Dealing with unsolvable worries

But what if the worry isn’t something you can solve? If you’re a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. In such cases, it’s important to tune into your emotions.

As previously mentioned, worrying helps you avoid unpleasant emotions. Worrying keeps you in your head, thinking about how to solve problems rather than allowing yourself to feel the underlying emotions. But you can’t worry your emotions away. While you’re worrying, your feelings are temporarily suppressed, but as soon as you stop, the tension and anxiety bounces back. And then, you start worrying about your feelings, “What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t feel this way!”

Learn how emotional savvy reduces worry

 

The only way out of this vicious cycle is by learning to embrace your feelings. This may seem scary at first because of negative beliefs you have about emotions. For example, you may believe that you should always be rational and in control, that your feelings should always make sense, or that you shouldn’t feel certain emotions, such as fear or anger.

The truth is that emotions—like life—are messy. They don’t always make sense and they’re not always pleasant. But as long as you can accept your feelings as part of being human, you’ll be able to experience them without becoming overwhelmed and learn how to use them to your advantage. The following tips will help you find a better balance between your intellect and your emotions.

Worry and anxiety self-help tip #3: Accept uncertainty

The inability to tolerate uncertainty plays a huge role in anxiety and worry. Chronic worriers can’t stand doubt or unpredictability. They need to know with 100 percent certainty what’s going to happen. Worrying is seen as a way to predict what the future has in store—a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesn’t work.

Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t make life any more predictable. You may feel safer when you’re worrying, but it’s just an illusion. Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. So if you want to stop worrying, start by tackling your need for certainty and immediate answers.

Challenging intolerance of uncertainty: The key to anxiety relief

Ask yourself the following questions and write down your responses. See if you can come to an understanding of the disadvantages and problems of being intolerant of uncertainty.

  • Is it possible to be certain about everything in life?
  • What are the advantages of requiring certainty, versus the disadvantages? Or, how is needing certainty in life helpful and unhelpful?
  • Do you tend to predict bad things will happen just because they are uncertain? Is this a reasonable thing to do? What is the likelihood of positive or neutral outcomes?
  • Is it possible to live with the small chance that something negative may happen, given its likelihood is very low?

Adapted from: Accepting Uncertainty, Centre for Clinical Interventions

Worry and anxiety self-help tip #4: Challenge anxious thoughts

If you suffer from chronic anxiety and worries, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more dangerous than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every negative thought as if it were fact. You may also discredit your own ability to handle life’s problems, assuming you’ll fall apart at the first sign of trouble. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes are known as cognitive distortions.

Although cognitive distortions aren’t based on reality, they’re not easy to give up. Often, they’re part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it. In order to break these bad thinking habits and stop the worry and anxiety they bring, you must retrain your brain.

Start by identifying the frightening thought, being as detailed as possible about what scares or worries you. Then, instead of viewing your thoughts as facts, treat them as hypotheses you’re testing out. As you examine and challenge your worries and fears, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective.

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