Worrying is an unnecessary evil when it comes to your mental health. Some consider it simply a bad habit that can be unlearned with practice. Some think that worrying may serve a purpose for the brain by helping us to learn from past experiences and prepare for new ones. Whether good or bad, worrying occupies our brain by focusing on an uncertain future that we can’t control.
It is said that depression is focusing on past events that you wish you could change, and that worrying is focusing on future events that you have no control over. It could also be said about worrying that you only think you have no control over the future when you can actually choose to take action to help prepare for whatever it is you are worried about. In this article, we will look at active ways that you can help train your brain to stop worrying.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO STOP WORRYING
1. STOP YOUR BRAIN FROM WORRYING BY WRITING IT DOWN
When you are training your brain to stop worrying, this one technique is said to be the most valuable. If your brain is keeping you up at night by thinking about something, put it down on paper or electronic format. Doing so lets your brain breathe a mental sigh of relief by no longer having to spend energy trying to remember these details. If you’re worrying about what to serve for a gathering of friends, write down ‘What to serve?’
Writing it down also is a way for you to put your brain on notice and tell your brain ‘This is important enough to write down.’ Your brain has now been alerted to put resources toward solving this problem rather than being worried or having to remember the important thing to worry about.
Why write it down? Researchers now have evidence that chronic worriers may be chronic problem avoiders too. Scientists in the journal Anxiety, Stress & Coping gave worriers an opportunity to write down three possible outcomes for the situation they were worried about, then they analyzed their answers for practical solutions. The scientists say ‘When participants’ problem elaborations were rated for concreteness, both studies showed an inverse relationship between degree of worry and concreteness: The more participants worried about a given topic, the less concrete was the content of their elaboration. The results challenge the view that worry may promote better problem analyses. Instead, they conform to the view that worry is a cognitive avoidance response.‘