Why Worry
Samantha

June 3, 2024

Why Worry: Understanding and Overcoming the Habit

​Worrying is something we all experience, and it can often feel overwhelming. It’s that nagging feeling that keeps us up at night, fills us with dread, and makes us question everything. Understanding why we worry and learning how to manage it can make a significant difference in our quality of life. This article will delve into the reasons behind our worries, the science that drives them, and practical strategies to help you stop worrying and embrace a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

What Is the Reason We Worry?

Worrying often stems from our need to feel in control of uncertain situations. When faced with unpredictability, our minds race to predict and prepare for all possible outcomes, even the negative ones. This tendency can be heightened during significant life changes, such as a divorce, the death of a loved one, or even retirement. These events can trigger worries about the future, finances, health, and personal relationships.

The Science Behind Worrying

The science of worrying is deeply rooted in our brain’s natural functions. Worrying is part of our brain’s response to stress, primarily managed by the amygdala, which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. When we perceive a threat, whether real or imagined, our amygdala activates, causing a cascade of physiological reactions meant to prepare us for danger.

Research shows that chronic worrying can alter brain chemistry, reinforcing anxiety pathways and making it harder to break the cycle. Moreover, worrying can trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which, when sustained over time, can lead to various health issues such as insomnia, digestive problems, and even heart disease.

The Root Cause of Worry

The root cause of worry often lies in our fear of the unknown. When we don’t know what to expect, our brains fill in the gaps with worst-case scenarios. This tendency is compounded by past experiences and learned behaviors. For instance, if you’ve faced significant challenges in the past, your brain might default to worrying as a way to prepare for and possibly prevent similar events in the future.

As women, we tend to be the “nurturers” and the “fixers”. While we often feel a hormonal drive to be nurturing, we often become fixers for a variety of reasons. Mainly, we want to prevent loved ones from experiencing hurt or pain. In this instance, we are getting in their way of potentially powerful lessons that will aid in their own personal growth. We may also tend to fix because, if we don’t step in, there can be an even larger drain on our own personal emotional and financial resources. In either instance, we are internalizing that which is not ours to be deeply concerned about.

How Can I Stop Worrying?

Stopping the habit of worrying isn’t about eliminating all your concerns, but rather managing how you respond to them. Here are some strategies to help you break the cycle of worry:

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you stay grounded in the present moment. These practices teach you to observe your thoughts without judgment and let go of the ones that don’t serve you. Regular meditation can reduce the brain’s tendency to ruminate on negative thoughts, helping to alleviate worry.

  1. Challenge Your Thoughts

When you catch yourself worrying, challenge those thoughts. Ask yourself if the scenario you’re envisioning is realistic. Often, our worries are based on irrational fears. By questioning the validity of these thoughts, you can diffuse their power over you.

  1. Set Aside Worry Time

Designate a specific time each day to acknowledge and address your worries. By containing your worrying to a set period, you can prevent it from taking over your entire day. This technique also helps you to stay focused on the present moment during the rest of your time.

  1. Stay Active

Physical activity is a powerful stress reliever. Exercise can boost your mood, improve sleep, and distract you from your worries. Even a daily walk can make a significant difference in how you feel.

  1. Talk It Out

Sometimes, discussing your worries with a trusted friend or a therapist can provide relief. Talking about your concerns can help you gain perspective and find solutions that you might not have considered on your own.

How to Make Worry Go Away

Making worry go away entirely may not be possible, but you can significantly reduce its impact on your life. Here are some additional tips to help you manage worry more effectively:

  1. Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself. Understand that worrying is a natural response, and it’s okay to feel anxious sometimes. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would offer a friend.

  1. Focus on What You Can Control

Shift your focus from what you can’t control to what you can. By concentrating on actionable steps, you empower yourself to make positive changes and reduce feelings of helplessness.

  1. Limit Exposure to Stressors

Identify and limit exposure to sources of stress, such as negative news or toxic relationships. Surround yourself with supportive people and engaging activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Parental Worries and Letting Go

For many women in this age group, parental worries can be particularly intense. Whether your children are still at home or have moved out, their well-being can be a constant source of concern. Here’s how to manage these specific worries:

  1. Trust and Communicate

Trust that you have raised your children well and that they can make their own decisions. Keep open lines of communication and offer support without overstepping boundaries.

  1. Encourage Independence

Encourage your children to solve problems on their own. This not only builds their confidence but also reassures you that they can handle life’s challenges.

  1. Accept Imperfection

Let’s repeat this: ACCEPT IMPERFECTION! Understand that no one is perfect, and mistakes are part of learning. Accept that your children will make their own decisions, some of which you may not agree with, but these experiences are essential for their growth.

Worrying is a natural part of life, especially during significant life changes. However, by understanding the root causes and science behind worry, you can adopt strategies to manage and reduce its impact. Through mindfulness, challenging negative thoughts, setting aside worry time, staying active, and talking it out, you can find peace amidst uncertainty. Remember to practice self-compassion, focus on what you can control, and limit exposure to stressors. By doing so, you can lead a more balanced and fulfilling life, free from the constant grip of worry.

While it may not be possible to eliminate worry entirely, these techniques can help you manage it more effectively. Embrace the journey of letting go and trust in your ability to navigate life’s changes with grace and resilience.

INTEGRATION: Creating a Focus Wheel

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, where you hold the compass to your spiritual growth and self-realization, is a truly empowering experience. This is where the art of creating and using a focus wheel comes into play – a tool that guides you along your path with warmth, positivity, and an open invitation to explore the depths of your soul.

Begin this captivating journey by crafting a focus wheel, a circle of intention that becomes a sacred space for your desires and dreams. Find a quiet, serene spot where you can deeply connect with your inner self. Draw a circle on a piece of paper, symbolizing the universe of possibilities. In the center, write your core desire, the radiant nucleus of your focus wheel. This is the burning ember that ignites your spiritual journey. Let it be something deeply personal, a dream that resonates within your heart.

As you create your focus wheel, consider infusing it with vibrant colors and symbols that resonate with your soul. Each color and symbol should represent an aspect of your desire, infusing it with energy and life. Imagine the wheel as a mandala, an intricate web of intention that resonates with your unique essence.

Once your focus wheel is complete, it’s time to use this powerful tool. Place it in a space where you can see it daily, a visual reminder of your path toward self-realization. Every day, take a moment to meditate upon your focus wheel. Gently close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let the energy of your desires flow through you. Visualize yourself moving closer to your core desire, feeling the warmth and joy it brings.

Now, here’s where the magic unfolds. Surrounding your core desire in the center of the wheel, create spokes or sections that radiate outward like sunbeams. In each section, write down positive affirmations, intentions, or actions that will bring you closer to your core desire. These are the stepping stones on your spiritual journey, the roadmap to self-realization.

As you engage with your focus wheel daily, watch how the universe conspires in your favor. The positivity of your intentions infuses your life with energy, and the layers of your journey gradually unfold. Like the petals of a blooming lotus, your self-realization blossoms, one petal at a time. Embrace each moment, celebrate your progress, and trust in the process of self-discovery.

In the realm of the focus wheel, you become the architect of your dreams, the artist of your soul’s masterpiece. With each passing day, you draw closer to the heart of your core desire, feeling the realization envelop you. The journey is a dance, a symphony of self-discovery, and the focus wheel is your guiding star.

May you feel inspired to embark on your own enchanting journey of self-realization with the aid of the focus wheel. May your heart be warmed by the radiance of your desires, and may you find solace and joy in the process of becoming your most authentic self. The path to self-discovery is a treasure hunt of the soul, and the focus wheel is your map to the hidden gems within you. So, take a leap of faith, create your focus wheel, and let the adventure begin. Your destiny awaits, wrapped in the loving intentions of your heart.

 

*portions of this post were written with the assistance of Jeeves (AI)

The above blog post serves as a foundation for the insightful podcast episode titled
“Why Worry.”
YouTube Link: Click Here!
Weekly Wanderlust Integration: 
This is an accompaniment to the discussion to assist in integrating the concepts herein and can be accessed via the Facebook group>
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In the podcast, the hosts expand upon the ideas and findings presented in the blog post, engaging in a more comprehensive and dynamic discussion. They delve into real-world examples, current events and emerging understanding related to this topic. Through lively conversation and real-world examples, the podcast episode offers listeners a richer understanding of the topic while fostering thought-provoking dialogue among any participants and audience. Together, the blog post, podcast and the integration of the “Weekly Wanderlust” activity create a multimedia experience, that informs, stimulates and utilizes the topic at hand to create a deeper learning and discovery experience.

Mentioned in Podcast…

Affirmations to Use

  • Let that shit go!
  • Let it go.
  • Get the fuck over it.

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