Worry is not something that comes and goes. Sometimes it sets up camp in our minds and bodies, creating an endless line of worry soldiers that are set on defeating you. However, you do not have to live like this. You can take steps to stop the worry.
1. Get Moving
Any form of physical exercise that you can focus on will also take your mind away from worry. This can be a walk in a park, a game of basketball, or even hula hooping with your kids. The important aspect of moving is to focus on how your body feels—the feel of your legs and feet stabilizing you on a dirt path in the woods or your hips swiveling to keep a hoop around your waist. These can help ease worry in your mind and the physical side effects of worry that plague your body, such as muscle tension.
2. Yoga or Tai Chi
These forms of exercise help you to focus on your breath and movements in a manner that forces you to use all your intention on the practice. Therefore, leaving behind your worry, even if just for a short time.
Meditation is the practice of focusing on your body in its current state. Your breath, how you feel, and whatever else a guided meditation can take you through. Meditation also teaches you to acknowledge interruptions or sporadic thoughts, but then to move your mind back to meditation practice. This training can help you not to relent to worry cycles in everyday life.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This practice calls for you to tense and then relax specific muscles in your body. Doing this can take deep concentration as you flex muscles, you may not be used to flexing, and then expending equal concentration to relax that muscle.
5. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises can help lower your heart rate and focus on your body. You can find an array of these exercises online, or you can simply sit still and breathe deeply through your nose, hold the breath for a five-count, and then slowly release the breath for ten counts. Bonus points if you use a timer and work on lengthening your exhalations.
When worry seems to be attacking from all sides, take time to explore these steps, and interrupt the worry. Sometimes getting out of your own head for just a few moments can help you gain perspective.