Many people (a group which once included me) believe worry can help and protect them. But I think these people are confusing fear with worry.
Healthy fear can help keep you safe by stopping you from doing dangerous stuff. But worrying is mostly fear about something happening on the future that often does not happen.
Exposure to worry can help you be mindful of your worry. Just try sitting with your worry. Sit quietly, close your eyes, and feel your worry. Let them flow. Just look at them one at a time. Do not get attached. Just look at them for 5 to 10 minutes.
Look at what is causing your concern. Is it a realistic fear or a not? Fear should trigger an action, not worry. We all worry. It can often trigger a stress response which, over time, is not good for your body. Your body becomes flooded with Cortisol, which too much is not good for your body.
Worry can often get in the way of living a meaningful life. Don’t let it go that to you. Do not wait until you overcome your worry. That would be a waste. Right now, look for your values and choose your top 5.
- Core Values List
- Inner Harmony
- Meaningful Work
Get a notebook or journal and choose your top values. Start by choosing 10, then narrow them down to 10. Values are what is most important to you. It’s is how you want to live your life.
Now explore what a meaningful life looks like to you. Write a paragraph about your future 80th birthday party. What will your life look like then? How have you live your life? What are your life’s highlights now until then? Have you lived using your current values or have you lived by another set of values?
I based the exercise above on ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). There are 3 helpful therapis : ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and MBCT (Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy). All are a form of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy). There are many useful books available on these different therapies.
I can help, but remember I am not a therapist, but a mental health consumer and blogger. If you do need therapy, please know there is no shame in that. You definitely need therapy if you feel you are at risk of hurting yourself or others. Self-help alone will not be able to help you with that.
Here are several books I recommend:
“The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anxiety: Breaking Free from Worry, Panic, PTSD, and Other Anxiety Symptoms”
“The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & … Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook”
“Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 Steps: A Workbook for Overcoming Self-Doubt and Embracing Life”
“The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT” by Russ Harris and Steven C. Hayes