View Full Version : Help - how to stop worrying about stupid things?


JBee
09-12-2005, 09:04
Okay, I'm a born worrier and will over-think every single thing. And the odd thing is, it's often the smaller things that get me more worked up. When I'm worrying I can't sleep, I go off my food, and live in a perminent state of agitation where I can't focus on anything but the thing I'm worrying about.

At the moment I'm driving myself nuts over a simple phone conversation that I had last night, and the possibility that something negative will happen. Before it's even happened!

I drive myself nuts, I really do! I didn't sleep a wink last night, and now I can't focus on work at all. It's like a viscious circle, and feels like I've got a tornado of thoughts in my head. And the worst thing is, the more I worry, the less effective I am at taking any kind of positive action with a situation, because my head is so foggy.

Does anyone else get this? Before any of you start, I'm not depressed or self-obsessed, I just get myself into a tangle with worries sometimes.

It's not even exclusive to my own worries either. This particular one is, but if a friend shares a problem with me then I can spent hours - sometimes days - worrying about that too!

I'd love to be one of those 'cup half full' people who see the positive in things and don't start worrying until something bad actually happens. Half of the things I worry about never actually happen, so it's such a waste of effort.

How can I calm the thoughts that are currently playing merry hell with my sanity??? :(

nick2
09-12-2005, 09:06
I worry about stuff all the time, the best way to (temporarily) forget about them is to think if out all the times you've worried before has anything bad actually ever happened ?

GazB
09-12-2005, 09:09
A glass of wine or 2 will help get you to sleep.

H.P
09-12-2005, 09:17
I try and look for the signs and stop myself over worrying... I will sit and tell my self to stop worring, take some deep breaths and try and find somthing to take my mind off things.. I also find that I usually worry about the sillyest of things that are really of no relevance at all. and certain times of the month make it worse than others..Lavender oil is good to relax and try to wind down.. At the moment I am doing really well, A recent experience taught me that you can spend your life worrying about things, But it's the things you dont expect to happen that are the biggest threat of all. I have taken active steps to try and worry less because I dont want to spend the rest of my life whittling when I could be finding pleasure from the simplest of things.. and when you are worrying too much you miss all these things.. good luck..

pk014b7161
09-12-2005, 09:21
a lot of people worry some let it get them down some dont
try to think of the good things in life, when little things come on top. my remedy listen to the blasters ......sink some lager

nick2
09-12-2005, 09:22
That Johnsons Bedtime baby bath is very good at relaxing you too.

H.P
09-12-2005, 09:23
Yes but remember alcohol is a deppresent and while it may help you sleep and worry less it's only a temorary effect.. and you will find yourself worrying more when the effects have worn off..

nick2
09-12-2005, 09:29
Sex helps you relax too, it's the endorphines.

max
09-12-2005, 09:42
I cut down on the worry with a simple maxim: If I can't change the outcome I don't worry about it.

If you can't take back the 'phone call you had then why worry?

depoix
09-12-2005, 09:56
anticipation..then you play out all the different senarios and what if's... ive done it myself a thousand times

you start to make plan a,b and c your mind becomes to active to shut down and rest, you start looking at the phone,then getting up and looking out of the window every time a little noise goes off.

the only way out is to confront the person you think you have upset, get the matter cleared up as quick as possible and then you will relax...good luck with it :thumbsup:

Kthebean
09-12-2005, 10:00
Perhaps you should get yourself some bigger things to worry about so that you don't feel silly. Get into loads of debt, get pregnant, quit your job, sack off your family and start taking crack!

Sorry - to be a bit more constructive - try making lists, I do it all the time and it stops me from worrying. When I'm doing something really important the next day I can't sleep unless I've made ridiculously specific lists:

Get up
Breakfast
Don't forget: Library books, lunch, wallet, keys, address book
Leave house

etc etc

If you're worried about a specific problem, write down all the things you're going to do about it and when you're going to do them. Or if its a friends problem write down what you can do for them/help them with.

cloudybay
09-12-2005, 10:02
Worry and guilt are the two most pointless and counter productive feelings/emotions known to mankind. They are both a learnt response; usually taught by our parents. One focuses on something that's happened in the past, an event we obviously can't change, and one focuses on events that may or may not happen in the future. All the time we are concentrating on these two time zones, we are missing the only one that really exists, and the only one we can infuence.... the present. Concentrate on changing the things you can and forget the things you can't. What's done is done. What will be, will be. Examine your thought processes and modify accordingly. It's not easy and can be a long process but well worth the time and effort.

Snook
09-12-2005, 10:03
It's in your genes i'm afraid, and so if you are a born worrier, there is little you can do to stop... without the use of mind altering drugs (Alcohol, or a prescription drug for anxiety, like Zoloft).

Deavon
09-12-2005, 10:05
Originally posted by kathythebean
Get into loads of debt, get pregnant, quit your job, sack off your family and start taking crack!


Kathythebean, you should go into counselling, you have a knack!

JBee
09-12-2005, 10:24
Well I've just helped my boss tidy the kicthen in our office and now I feel slightly better.

Kathy the Bean - I know what you're saying, but it's usually the trivial things I worry about the most. I've had some pretty big bad things go off in my life, especially last year, and I just got stuck in and dealt with them. But it seems to be life's little woes and niggles that get me in a tiz!

Eeeek. Now I've started worrying again...

StarSparkle
09-12-2005, 12:34
Originally posted by cloudybay
Worry and guilt are the two most pointless and counter productive feelings/emotions known to mankind. They are both a learnt response; usually taught by our parents. One focuses on something that's happened in the past, an event we obviously can't change, and one focuses on events that may or may not happen in the future. All the time we are concentrating on these two time zones, we are missing the only one that really exists, and the only one we can infuence.... the present. Concentrate on changing the things you can and forget the things you can't. What's done is done. What will be, will be. Examine your thought processes and modify accordingly. It's not easy and can be a long process but well worth the time and effort.

You have my sympathies, JBee :(

I was going to put some thoughts together for you, but Cloudybay has already encapsulated everything I was going to say. It's an excellent post, and I endorse every word of it.

Guilt and worry are both TOTALLY negative emotions and will only harm a person if they indulge in them. Neither of them change anything - they just make you less able to deal with the Now, and from that, the Future. Feel regret for things you may have done wrong in the past, but from regret you can learn not to repeat the actions that caused pain. Guilt is self-focused and is all about beating yourself up over something that you cannot change. Move on. As Cloudybay says, What's Done is Done. And as for worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future - your worrying about it won't help - Or Alter the Outcome (worrying does not have magic powers). Worrying will just deplete your energies and make you less able to deal with any outcome. That's of no use to you, or anyone else.

I'm a terrible born-worrier myself - I used to make myself physically ill worrying about things.

But it's all pointless - and really quite self-indulgent. There are so many positive things worriers could be doing in the world rather than worrying.

I still worry (sometimes a lot) but mostly I focus on "What's Done is Done' and there's nothing I can do about it, so leave it be. And 'What will be, will be' as Cloudybay says.

Worriers need to realise they are not holding the world together by their worrying, and if they stop worrying the world will NOT fall into chaos - chill out and sit on that need to control!

Sorry to waffle on :D Good luck, JBee

StarSparkle :)

robbie
09-12-2005, 12:42
Originally posted by JBee
Okay, I'm a born worrier and will over-think every single thing. And the odd thing is, it's often the smaller things that get me more worked up. When I'm worrying I can't sleep, I go off my food, and live in a perminent state of agitation where I can't focus on anything but the thing I'm worrying about.

At the moment I'm driving myself nuts over a simple phone conversation that I had last night, and the possibility that something negative will happen. Before it's even happened!

I drive myself nuts, I really do! I didn't sleep a wink last night, and now I can't focus on work at all. It's like a viscious circle, and feels like I've got a tornado of thoughts in my head. And the worst thing is, the more I worry, the less effective I am at taking any kind of positive action with a situation, because my head is so foggy.

Does anyone else get this? Before any of you start, I'm not depressed or self-obsessed, I just get myself into a tangle with worries sometimes.

It's not even exclusive to my own worries either. This particular one is, but if a friend shares a problem with me then I can spent hours - sometimes days - worrying about that too!

I'd love to be one of those 'cup half full' people who see the positive in things and don't start worrying until something bad actually happens. Half of the things I worry about never actually happen, so it's such a waste of effort.

How can I calm the thoughts that are currently playing merry hell with my sanity??? :(


It is easy to let yourself worry over what may or may not happen, over trivial things. This is worse when you have time to think about things. It tends to be really bad when you are in bed trying to go to sleep. And because you are thinking so much your brain cannot shut down.

The only advise I can give is to try and keep yourself busy with other things. watch a film or read a book. watch tv (although I hate to recommend it!:))

as a cup half empty person I personally think you are born with a positive or negative attitude (although socialisation can alter this)

JBee
14-12-2005, 12:52
Thanks for the kind words everybody. Starsparkle and Cloudy Bay are right, worrying won't help or alter outcomes. It's wierd though, because sometimes I almost feel that worrying helps prepare me for the worst, even though in actualy fact it just makes me feel more stressed.

Like the Reindeer aviator BTW Starsparkle! :thumbsup:

absynthfairy
14-12-2005, 13:05
I worry a lot about things too - but we had a training session at school on this sort of thing that really helped.

The chap said you had to think about whatever you were worrying about and decide what aspects of it were within your "circle of influence" - ie: the things you can do something about. Anything you can't influence stays out of the circle and you accept that you can't alter it....and move on. The positive visual realisation can help put the problem or issue into perspective and help plan a way to either solve or ease the problem... Depending what sort of "learner" you are it can help to actually draw out the circle - plus you feel you are making a postive action to help yourself - or help others if you are worrying about someone else....

I hate the nights I can't get to sleep for worrying - night is always worse - invest in a bottle of Nytol!

medusa
14-12-2005, 13:20
Originally posted by JBee
Thanks for the kind words everybody. Starsparkle and Cloudy Bay are right, worrying won't help or alter outcomes. It's wierd though, because sometimes I almost feel that worrying helps prepare me for the worst, even though in actualy fact it just makes me feel more stressed.

How about making a formalised decision to work out a way of coping with potential bad outcomes? That way round you'll have nothing left to worry about.

If you take a little time to work out the worst case scenario and work out a way that you can live through it you can find that it's a very liberating thing. Anything else that happens you know that you can go with the flow because it's not as bad as the thing you already know that you can cope with.

This approach works in my life, admittedly after a day or two of serious pondering and planning with regards to planning survival of the worst.

Titian
14-12-2005, 13:27
grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change; the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.


You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Titian
14-12-2005, 13:33
You could always try making a list of your worries (get them on paper and out of your head)

Then put an action list with it of how you can change them or improve them.

Next step: Act out on the actions and forget the rest.

StarSparkle
14-12-2005, 13:54
Originally posted by JBee
Thanks for the kind words everybody. Starsparkle and Cloudy Bay are right, worrying won't help or alter outcomes. It's wierd though, because sometimes I almost feel that worrying helps prepare me for the worst, even though in actualy fact it just makes me feel more stressed.

Like the Reindeer aviator BTW Starsparkle! :thumbsup:

Cheers, JBee! Thought it was about time I got into the Christmas spirit! :D

Following up on AbsynthFairy's post, it's quite normal to find yourself worrying and fixating on things in the middle of the night. About 3.00am - 5.00am is the lowest ebb physically and mentally for most people (hence the 4 o'clock knock, so beloved (allegedly) of security services around the world, who want to have a 'word' with a suspect).

I've learned to ignore anything I think in the middle of the night, because I know it bears very little relation to the real world. You're tired and disoriented, and all your fears get blown up out of all proportion, and your imagination really goes to town. You can end up scaring yourself half to death if you listen to your fears during the night - just remember you're simply not thinking straight at that time, your concerns are just phantom shadows.

Everything looks brighter in the morning :)

StarSparkle

quas
14-12-2005, 14:21
I think you've got to train your mind as best as you can to think positively - it works wonders. It sounds cheesy but honestly how many of the things you worry about actually ever happen? Probably a very small number. It makes more sense to assume a good/normal outcome than one based on fear because it is more likely to happen in most cases. Fear and worry are perfectly valid emotions and they're not just 'negative' - they serve a good purpose. But many people are consumed by them and in those cases they are potentially devastating on someone's life. I have a family member who gets anxiety attacks so trust me on this,

quas

Yellowrose
14-12-2005, 14:47
One or two things that help me in this situation are:

Have a time set aside for discussing worries with your partner or friend.

If something is worrying you and you cant get it out of your head, write it all down, then put the notepad to bed for the night. Sometimes we turn things over in our minds because we dont want to forget essential details or possible solutions - putting it down on paper means you dont have to keep turning it round, you can do back to it tomorrow.

Remember this:

You cannot read others minds so you dont know what they think or what they will think.

You cannot predict the future, no one can, so dont imagine you know what will happen.

In a few weeks/months time you will look back on this and wonder what all the fuss was about.

DaBouncer
14-12-2005, 15:05
cloudybay and starsparkle have pretty much summed up the best response that I could muster to be honest so I'm not even going to attempt to expand on it.

However you said before that you've had bigger things to worry about in the past which you got stuck in and tackled.
Is this not a situation that you can just go and do that too?

I used to get in a similar situation sometimes JBee where I may worry if I've seriously made a fool of myself while drunk for example and maybe even offended a colleague or mate in the process.

If this happened on a Friday it used to pretty much ruin my weekend until I could deal with it or see the effects and tackle them.

Now I tend to take the Joey from friends approach... shrug my shoulders and say to myself "***** happens".
If I have offended someone or at least I think I may have I tackle it head on, be a man and apologise and move forward.

One thing I'm good at is not holding a grudge. If I have an argument with someone it's dealt with there and finishes there. I don't carry things on and I feel by displaying this to people they give me the same respect.
So the next time we're in the same company it's business as usual.

Good luck with it, I'm confident you'll make the right decision because you're obviously and intelligent girl who'll handle the situation in a mature manner.

Keep us informed tho... cos we're all nosey gets on here ;)