Hi, I’m the Historian and I am a worrier. It could be a lazy day where I have nothing to do at all and I would have a care in the world. Probably five or six, if I’m being entirely honest. I worry about things that I have absolutely no control over and about things in the past that I couldn’t change anyways. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, but in recent years I’ve started to work on coping mechanisms. These don’t erase my anxiety and fears but they do help to slow them down and at least give me a little control.
1.Imagine the worst scenario possible.
I’ve now started imagining the worst possible outcome- maybe someone I know but don’t love sees me with the huge tea stain on my blouse at work and spreads a rumour that I’m sloppy and don’t take care of myself and people stop talking to me. WOW. Once I actually push that thought through to the conclusion, it seems more than a little ridiculous. And if that were to happen, would I still be alive and healthy? Yes, and that’s a lot more than some people can say. I keep reminding myself, if I could come out of that crazy “worst case”, I can certainly come out of a smaller problem okay.
2. Give Myself a Few Minutes
Sometimes I just have to give myself five minutes to worry. I try not to give it more than five minutes, but I concentrate all of my worrying into that short period. Everything that could go wrong, anyone I could affect, problems that could arise, I’ve got to think of it within those few minutes. If I can’t think of it then, it doesn’t get to pipe up. If someone was yelling something at you, you wouldn’t let them go on indefinitely- you would stop them. Henceforth, the worries don’t get to yell at me indefinitely, either. It’s actually surprisingly useful.
3. Write It Down
If something is nagging at me continuously, I write it down in the back pages of my bullet journal. It lets me put it aside while not completely ignoring my brain. When I’m feeling more “put together”, I can make an action plan of sorts to try and tackle it somehow when the heat of the moment passes. (If you are the next level worrier that I am, you will put something to the side in your head and then feel guilty for putting it to the side in your head…) It took quite some time for me to come around on this one, but I’ve come to realise that I can usually arrive at a better place if I can take more time to mull over it.
4. Accept That I Need Help
A lot of people struggle with this one, and I’m hit and miss. I find that I ask for help with something and it sometimes doesn’t come; it’s tough to hear when you are someone who doesn’t ask for help a lot in the first place. I forget that not everyone struggles with asking for help and that they also might not think anything of it. If I have committed to something but don’t get help, I will ensure it is completed at any cost to myself. I suffer physically and mentally, and that’s not good for anyone. I need to improve on not shutting down after having my request for help ignored and turned away, and keep reminding myself that there may be someone else who can help in a different way.
The biggest message that I can share now is that it’s okay to open up about your worries and anxieties. Most of us don’t share them, we keep them bottled up inside when there are friends and family willing to listen and professionals who can help. What works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa; keep an open mind, and remember that your worries don’t define you.
What do you find helps with your worries?