Worrying thoughts can be challenging at times. Not only are they difficult to deal with, but at times they may look convincing, making it difficult to differentiate between something that could only be a possibility and something that is evident. They may also be falsely persuasive.
Consider the following examples of worrying thoughts:
“I never received a response from my employer on the report I emailed this morning. I can only assume that I did something wrong. Will there be consequences for me? Oh no, it can’t be!”
“I wasn’t included on the guest list for the concert that the group was going to. What if they don’t like me as much as I thought they did? It’s possible that they aren’t really my buddies after all.”
“Since he never responded to the text I sent him, I can only assume that he doesn’t like me. What if I never find someone? I’m convinced I’ll end up alone!”
Worrying thoughts such as these have the potential to convince the worrier that an imagined disaster will occur. A worrier will consider self-critical thinking accurate if he or she does not pay careful attention to the thoughts. Anxiety can present challenges in this way. It is possible for a troubling concept to be instantaneously accepted as true, almost as if it were automatic.
This idea can provoke unpleasant sensations and lead to changes in behavior, such as avoiding a situation, feeling tense in one’s body, or being distracted. It can also cause a person to feel physiological stress. Thankfully, there are strategies available that can help keep troublesome thoughts in check.
Steps to take to stop worrying.
The following procedures are a combination of techniques for mindful acceptance and strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and they are intended to outwit worrying thoughts and lessen the chance for experiencing suffering:
Take note and accept.
Acknowledge, without passing judgment, that you are currently experiencing a bad thought or emotion, and accept the fact that you do, on occasion, think about things that could be upsetting or hurtful. How recently have you been having this thought? What triggered the thinking in the first place? It would be best if you could refrain from criticizing the fact that the thought even occurred in the first place.
Examine the evidence.
Is there any evidence to back up the notion that you have a pessimistic outlook? Which parts of the thinking appear to be making assumptions, and why do you think that is? If there isn’t any evidence that can be easily verified, what kind of objective information can you acquire?
Based on the evidence you’ve gathered, is it possible that there are other options or outcomes that could result? Are you able to make the choice to believe that any one of a range of possibilities could be true?
Consider trusting your problem-solving abilities.
Have you ever been successful in solving a problem or coming up with a solution to a problem? Check out your available resources rather than wasting time trying to figure out how you would get out of a hypothetical situation that isn’t even a problem right now. If you find yourself in a situation where you require assistance, do you have the resources and the problem-solving skills necessary to come up with a solution?
Conquering unsettling or worrying thoughts and feelings.
Applying this to the first illustration gives us an idea of how it might seem. Imagine that this thought pops into your head: “My boss has not yet reacted to the report that I emailed to him this morning.” I can only assume that I did something wrong. Will there be consequences for me? Oh no, it can’t be!”
Accept the situation.
Recognize and accept that you are having an unsettling thought rather than allowing this worrisome thought to continue to grow into more troubling territory (such as imagining your boss discouragingly confronting you). This will help you avoid allowing this worrisome thought to continue to expand into more troubling territory.
Keep in mind that it’s normal to experience thoughts that make you feel uneasy. Take a moment to pause and bring your attention back to whatever that is happening right now. In this particular scenario, it could be the middle of the day, and you’re currently working on a project while seated at your desk.
Look for evidence.
The next step is to hunt for evidence that either backs up or contradicts the concept. In this particular illustration, there is no objective evidence to suggest that you committed a wrongdoing or that you are in fact receiving a reprimand. The only piece of evidence that is now available is that a report was submitted, but you have not yet received a response to it.
Consider various outcomes.
You are now able to consider the various possible outcomes. It’s possible that your manager hasn’t had the opportunity to look over the report or get back to you about it yet. It’s possible that your supervisor was blindsided by other unforeseen responsibilities and is focusing on something else instead. The issue is, you aren’t quite sure why you haven’t gotten an answer; all you know is that it has been longer than you expected.
You may not be entirely sure why you haven’t gotten a response. Putting up with the discomfort of waiting it out may increase the likelihood that you will finally receive a response. Remind yourself that this time (waiting without yet knowing) is just temporary, and that you are capable of handling it even though it may be difficult for you to wait to find out the conclusion.
Trust your ability to resolve the situation.
Even if an unfavorable outcome were to occur in the future, would you still be able to trust your ability to solve problems in the event that you were to react to the setback and recover from the situation?
Have you ever been in a situation when you had to address a problem with a cousin, friend, or coworker, and provide potential solutions? Bring to mind some situations in which you successfully resolved a dispute, sought assistance from others, or made conscious decisions to ameliorate a precarious circumstance.
Do you have resources available to you, such as a support network or a buddy you can trust to talk it out in the event that you require or desire to do so? Is there assistance available to you in the form of a problem-specific support system, such as a mentor at work? When you feel stressed out, what other things can you do to practice relaxation techniques, find healthy ways to deal, and take care of yourself?
How can mindfulness interventions help with worrying thoughts?
Even insignificant negative thoughts can build up and become unmanageable, which can put a person at risk for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideation.
However, mental health professionals have come to realize that mindfulness can be of great benefit, as it can help people become better able to become better able to separate themselves from negative thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations that may be present, often before they become too overwhelming.
Mindfulness can help people become better able to become better able to separate themselves from negative thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations that may be present. Engaging in regular mindfulness practice might aid advance psychological understanding and facilitate emotional healing over time. People can often find relief from stress, chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, depression, and other chronic conditions by participating in mindfulness-based stress reduction practices.
- MBCT is frequently used as a component of the treatment strategy for a wide variety of mental health conditions, including but not limited to recurrent depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating and food issues, bipolar, panic attacks, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
- The treatment of suicidal ideation, borderline personality, self-harm, substance dependence, eating and food disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression is the primary application of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
- Anxiety, depression, addiction to substances, chronic pain, psychosis, and even cancer are all commonly treated with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which is an approach.
Start the practice of accepting that negative thoughts can occur by putting all of the steps together, believing that alternative options could exist, noticing the feeling of discomfort while you wait through the uncertainty without passing judgment on it, and acknowledging your ability to solve problems or find resources (including therapy) to help you through it.
This method requires time, patience, effort, and practice, just like developing any other habit or ability. In the same way that an anxious disposition might have gradually formed over time, the transition to a new strategy will require some time for the process to advance. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Christian counselor for help in conquering worrying thoughts and feelings.
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