Learning The Secret To Worrying Less [You Can Too!]

self-care

When I finally dragged myself to the therapist after a near-decade of feeling anxious and stressed with a few dips in depression, I was nervous.

I wasn’t nervous that she’d try to diagnose me with something—in fact, I welcomed a name for what I had been feeling, because at least then I’d be able to address it with the proper tools and knowledge.

No, I was nervous because I was scared that I would need to rely on someone, other than myself, to get through the difficult parts. I already knew my coping skills were shit, and I’d need someone to hold me by the hand and teach me how to breathe deep and go with the wave, instead of fighting against it.

But I didn’t want to that hand-holding to last forever. I wanted to become strong enough and resilient enough that the next time anxiety or depression came around, I would have options. I would understand what was happening. I could pull myself out of it.

Those three months I spent in therapy were life-changing. Because (so far) I’ve been able to do exactly what I hoped I would. I’m stronger.  And I’m resilient.

One of the greatest sessions we had revolved around the distinction between “worrying” and “having problems.”

When I’m in the midst of an anxiety attack, it becomes hard to focus. I can’t hear myself anymore. All I can hear is the sound of confusion and fear and overwhelmedness (is that a word? it should be).

But in one session, my therapist gave me tools to help me figure out “what’s next” when I feel like I can’t cope.

“Worrying,” she told me, “is inherently stressful. It’s thinking about all the whos and whats and hows that could go wrong and it robs you of energy.”

“Exactly,” I told her. “And I feel like I’m a worrier by nature. I’m the Queen of Worst Case Scenario.”

She chuckled a bit and nodded. “A lot of us are. But really, the best thing we can do is practice the difference between worry and problems.”

See, we think they are the same thing. That we are worried about our problems. But if we separate the two, we begin to get our power back. Worries are often irrational, but problems have solutions. Sometimes you don’t need to “destress.” Sometimes you just need to problem solve.

A simple example:

Worrying is drowning in two feet of water because you “can’t swim.”

Problem-solving is just standing up because, hello, you don’t need to swim. You can just stand.

Once I began to put that into practice, I began to feel lighter. But not only that, I felt more powerful. As it turns out, I’m the Queen of Worst Case Scenario but I am also a fantastic problem solver.

"Know the diff between worry + problems. Worries are often irrational, but problems have solutions." Read more at www.theyoungmommylife.com

This doesn’t mean that nothing stresses me out anymore or I don’t have anxiety attacks or everything is awesome. They still come and I still have to remember to put everything I’ve learned into practice. I’m still…learning.

But life is better on this side of the mountain. Even if there are more hills to climb, I made it over the biggest one.

 

Comments

  1. I am glad that you got the help you needed, as so many people don’t with sad outcomes. #BLMGirls

  2. Worry can sometimes let us know something is off in our life and needs to be rearranged.

    • I agree. When I’m worried about something, what really going on is that I usually feel out of control in some area of my life. Turning my worries into concrete problems has helped me figure out, “Okay, what is off here? What do I need to DO to feel calm about this?”

  3. I love this! Yes, worry less and seek more solutions. #blmgirl

  4. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been in a pretty bad funk these past couple of days but, I know worrying does nothing but make it worst. Your post helped a lot. #BLM

  5. Wow! I just learned something new. I’m going to have to practice this when my anxiety is creeping into the red zone. Thanks for sharing!! #BLMGirl

  6. nice blog

  7. great blog i really like that blog

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