We all worry, it is human nature to think about things that we cannot control and what the outcome could be. It is easier said than done to just stop worrying. Especially in the year 2020, where it seems to be the motto. But believe it or not, all that worry is actually taking a toll on your health. Not to get too scientific on you, but your nervous system is a messaging network made up of your brain, spinal cord, nerves, and neurons. Worrying too much can trigger the release of “stress hormones” that speed up your heart rate and breathing, raise your blood sugar, and send more blood to your arms and legs. Over an extended period of time, this will affect your heart, blood vessels, and muscles negatively. The muscles in your shoulder and neck can tense up, and that can lead to migraines or tension headaches. Worry can make you more likely to have high blood pressure, a heart attack, or a stroke.
With all that being said, not to scare you, but to give you an idea that worry isn’t exactly helping your health. With all the physical effects we talked about it is not even mentioning what it does to your energy level. And someone with no energy is probably not fully engaged in their work or performing at their max potential, whether that be in their career or their home life.
Thinking about things too much can absolutely drain all of your energy and give you anxiety. Well no one wants to be walking around like a zombie. But WAIT…there are ways to kick this worry to the curb and reduce the symptoms that you may be having.
The first step to begin reducing worry is to start off recognizing that worrying is not helping you but draining your energy and causing you a lot of undue stress. To fully recognize what you are worrying about, it may take some time to do this as well as self-reflection to determine if the topics you are worrying about are worth the time and energy for you. Are these important topics to worry about, or are they even events that are within your control? Worrying about things beyond our control creates a deeper level of anxiety because of our lack to even influence the outcome.
Now that you have begun to recognize your worry triggers or the symptoms associated with it give yourself permission to stop. Not everything needs your attention, and you can begin to let things go. I know, I know, easier said than done and this will take some time, but the more you begin to let go the less stress and more energy that you will ultimately feel. You will have more room for positive thoughts and possibly gain back some of that drained energy to be more engaged and motivated in your personal and work life.
A good practice to start is to take 20-30 minutes each day for self-mindfulness and or meditation. This can be a walk or run outside, reading a book, a conversation with a friend or whatever you need to take some time to do something for yourself. You have all heard the phrase you can’t serve others if you have an empty cup. Worry ultimately empties your tank and you start to run on E. Speaking from experience, you do not make it very far on an empty tank.
It is helpful to start making the distinction between what is a real problem and something that you have made up in your mind. Worry can allow you to make imagined scenarios that are so far fetched that they are not real, nor would they ever be. Start a journal and collect your thoughts. Sometimes it takes reading them to realize that some things are not as important as you once thought. This will help you begin to determine the problems that are true and worth your thoughts and ones that are not, helping you prioritize your thoughts. Once you can make the distinction, you will be able to divert your worry from less significant topics. The more you can decipher between these two the less stressed you will notice that you will become and you can begin to put your energy towards important efforts.
The last thing and most important factor in learning how to identify and worry less is to be patient with yourself. Changes like this don’t happen overnight. It will take time to recognize your worry triggers and what is worth your time and what is not. It may be easy to get frustrated at first for not being able to let things go, but rest assured that the more effort you put forth, the results WILL come! You should never be afraid to find a trusted source and confide in them or turn to your journal to collect your thoughts.
Like I stated in the beginning. Worry can weigh on not just your mind but your health. You cannot give your all to your employer, personal life, or family if you are in a constant state of worry. It will leave you distracted, disengaged and can drain your tank faster than you would ever think. While it seems almost normal to worry, recognizing that some things are just not worth your time and effort will bring you peace and energy. Direct that newfound momentum to more important areas of your life to live your best!!
With a passion for people, Kasey strives to understand the challenges that the Ag industry faces on the human side. She has confidence that creating positive working cultures will improve employee satisfaction and retention.