Now the fact that I’m not a neuroscientist may shoot me in the foot with this one.
But I will do my very best to give you my well-being know-how to answer the question of “how to stop worrying about things you can’t control.”
Because surely, we all want to stop worrying so much?
Let’s dive in.
How to stop worrying about things you can’t control
Let’s start with those worrying thoughts we have.
The unfortunate truth is we can’t stop them completely. Thoughts are something that happens whether we like it or not.
Sadly, we’re always prone to worrying thoughts, because it’s human to worry.
It’s part of our nature to be on the lookout for dangers – and to avoid bad things happening.
Worrying thoughts are part of having the biological instinct to survive. Blame evolution!
But I’ve discovered through my own repeated practice that the frequency of worrying thoughts can reduce dramatically, and I’ll show you how in this post.
When I was diagnosed with postnatal anxiety after the birth of my first child a few years ago, I knew I had to get a grip on it quickly before it got worse.
When I found it nigh on impossible to stop worrying thoughts completely, I felt pretty deflated, but I went on to research how I could make those horrid thoughts less gripping.
Perhaps I could figure out how to reduce the sensations in my body at least? Or the emotions connected to the thoughts?
And this is where I got really into Mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness means simply sitting with what is, so observing thoughts, feelings and sesnations, not judging them or begging them to go away, but just being with them.
The day I decided to accept that I’ll always have worrying thoughts was the day the ball started rolling for me on my healing journey.
I no longer tried to force myself not to think those thoughts.
With mindfulness, I practised not paying judgement to them. Not making them mean anything. They were simply thoughts!
Put simply, I stopped believing in them. So, to try and explain how it feels nowadays.
I still have worrying thoughts. And I allow them in, I observe them, and they soon go away.
I accept that worrying thoughts will come, but I don’t need to listen to them.
I don’t need to attach to them. Nor react to them.
They are simply thoughts. They’re not my real life. I pause, take a deep breath or two, and allow the thoughts in and let them go.
With this approach, which I’ve been practising for over a year now, the frequency of worrying thoughts has reduced dramatically.
I believe the more we try and force worrying thoughts away, or ignore them and try and battle through, the more un-happier we’ll become.
We’ve all heard the analogy “What you resist, persists…”
This is the case when trying to push away worrying thoughts, or trying to act like everything is normal while your mind is in chaos.
Why not try mindfulness for a moment now?
Simply sit for a few minutes in a quiet space and focus on the thoughts in your head. Take some nice deep slow breaths and bring your shoulders down.
Undoubtedly, a few will thoughts may be worrying, scary, or anxious thoughts.
But just listen. That’s all you need to do. You’ll become the observer, not the one experiencing the thoughts.
Do this for 20 seconds only right now. You can do this!
Just notice what thoughts you have and that’s it. They’ll float out as quickly as they floated in.
Let me know how you get on with this exercise, and whether you manage to simply observe your thoughts, but not pay judgement to them or make them mean anything?
If you can do this, you can handle anything life throws at you.
The essence of mindfulness is simply being with what is happening right now, in any given situation.
You don’t try and ignore or push things away, instead, you lean in and you focus on it.
It’s a sharp focus on the now, and by that I mean you put all your attention on the experience you’re having.
You can be Mindful of anything! Your breath, washing the dishes, your child, your work desk, anything.
What I’ve found through practising mindfulness daily, is a real sense of peace and calm in general, despite the challenges of current times.
Mindfulness has made me more present and less reactive to my little children. I still get stressed and know that I will always do, but I now know I have control over how I react in many situations.
All thanks to practising mindfulness.
Have you tried Mindfulness yet? Or would you like to and need more tips?
Write me a comment below, I love hearing from you and am here to help.