BY Nicholas Wilkes
Have you ever found yourself worrying about one specific thing, which somehow leads to numerous other relevant or/and irrelevant worries that you just end up spending hours being anxious and worried? Have your worries ever interfered with your focus on studying and working, which eventually made you even more worried as the deadlines are coming closer but you have even less time left? Have those worries ever followed you till you go to bed, when you feel tired and sleepy, but somehow those worries during the day just cannot leave your mind, and the next thing you know it is almost the time you need to wake up and now you are still awake and left with more sleepiness and worries?
All of the above situations may sound quite familiar to some of us, and a lot of people may have experienced that vicious cycle of worrying at some point in their life. In fact, worry in and of itself is not as bad a thing as we may tend to think it is, a healthy amount of worries can actually serve to help to motivate us to take action to stop those uncomfortable feelings and thoughts. However, worries can also easily become a cycle of self-perpetuating negative thoughts that are uncontrollable and detrimental to not only your productivity but also your happiness in the long term.
There’s a saying by Corrie ten Boom which I find more and more accurate the more I think about it – “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength”. Excessive worries indeed can adversely affect our study and work and put a strain on both our mental and physical health as many studies have shown. So, now we know that it’s bad but how to stop it?
The very first step of tackling worries is to realize and accept that you are excessively worried and you need to do something about it.
The very first step of tackling worries is to realize and accept that you are excessively worried and you need to do something about it. It can be hard to totally eliminate worries especially if your problems can’t be fixed right away, but you can always set aside a designated time for worrying. Instead of staying worried for all day and everyday, set a fixed period of time like 30 minutes a day when you can think about your problems. During this time, identify what is worrying you and try to list out different options of how you may deal with this problem. When you can come up with a plan of what to do, you can then take small steps toward the goal, which would be way more productive than just being chronically worried without a specific solution. This special “worry time” should be far away from your bed time so not to compromise with your sleep, and whenever you catch yourself worrying not during this set time, make sure you try to think of something else or do something to distract yourself. Of course, things are easier said than done, but do not forget to give yourself time to control the worries, share your issues with your loved ones and be patient and understanding to yourself while you are dealing with all the stress and worries. I hope that that reading this may somehow help you to briefly forget about your current worries, and will motivate you to set your own worry time soon when I strongly believe you can also find a way to overcome your problems.