I’ve always been kind of a “worry wart,” and I’m actually the worst kind—the silent and deadly kind. When I become overwhelmed about something, it’s not uncommon for me to internalize it and try to deal with the obstacle the best way I know how.
However, this can sometimes become a recipe for disaster, and I end up totally blowing up on someone randomly or venting in tears to my best friend through private messages on Facebook.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “She may not be the best person to give advice on worrying.” However, I realized recently that I needed to find a way to deal with my stress more appropriately because it can affect both your mental health and physical health in negative ways, and I found some ways that work.
One way I deal with stress and worrying is definitely to vent. Find someone in your life who is practical to help you put things into perspective or help you deal with a tough decision you might be worried about facing.
That person, for me, is my dad. Although, I call my mom for most things, she always hands the phone to my dad when I’m dealing with something serious, so that he can offer his opinion.
With a cool head, he listens patiently and doesn’t go back and forth with me about the pros and cons of whatever I’m facing. He makes his assessment decisively and lets me know when I’m being too hard on myself or not hard enough.
He lets me know when he thinks I have taken on more than I can handle and offers me encouraging advice on the best course of action. You need someone like this in your life, someone who is going to see past your emotional grief and help you get to the root of the problem.
Maybe for you it’s a counselor or therapist who will listen totally unbiased and help you sort out your problems.
Another way you can deal with a worrisome mind and relieve stress is to find a hobby. I recently have become addicted to reading eBooks on my kindle, so when I’m not at work I’m usually downloading a new addicting novel and reading it in my spare time.
It’s important to find a hobby that gets your mind off of whatever you’re worrying about and reading does that for me. It puts me in another world and for a while I forget about my problems and focus on the lives of an imaginary character.
Exercise is another good hobby for dealing with anxiety and stress, because you release endorphins, which put you in a more positive frame of mind.
My final piece of advice for those dealing with stress is to treat yourself, which may be surprising considering I just suggested exercise as a means of stress relief. However, when I say “treat yourself” I don’t mean go into your pantry and eat all of the snacks or fill your freezer with pounds of ice cream for that midnight snack.
When I say “treat yourself,” I mean pamper yourself when you’re dealing with something stressful or find yourself worrying so much that it’s hard to fall asleep.
Last weekend, I indulged myself with a much-needed massage, and I’ll tell you I was so relaxed that I didn’t have a care in the world after that appointment. (By the way, thanks mom for that gift card.)
For you, treating yourself might look different. It might be making an appointment at the hair or nail salon, buying tickets to a concert, or making plans for a date night without the kids.
Let me know how you keep your worrying in check.
Lindsay Carey is a staff writer for the Southington Observer.