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I'm a born worrier. Yes, I worry right from the little, insignificant things to the major, life altering decisions. Add to it, my OCD and you have a mess, right there.
While travelling: Did I forget anything important? I'm sure I must have. What about my passport and tickets? Let me double check. Just in case. OMG, did I switch off all the lights?
While talking to someone: Oh mind, why do you wander so much? Why can't you listen to whatever it is that the other person is talking about. Wait, did she actually ask me something while I was dissecting something I read earlier on in my head?
While starting a new book or movie: Oh wait, this one doesn't seem to be that interesting. What about the other one that I had been planning to read/watch since forever? Now that I started this, should I continue and finish it off anyway?
Well, you kind of get the drift. This is me. This is the way I function. Yes, it is utter chaos in my life and head most of the time. Worries can quickly turn into anxieties if not addressed properly and at the right time. I have not suffered any anxiety attacks so far and that's just another one to add to my list of anxieties today. The day is not too far away, a nagging voice at the back of my head reminds me.
If there is one thing that I have learnt after all these years is this: there may be days when you will feel better, much better when the worries and anxieties decide to give you a break and go for a break themselves, but they will be back. The trick is not to let them take over your life completely. A healthy amount of worrying is normal, it is only when it escalates out of your control and turn into an obsession, do you need to be concerned.
Here is how I try to deal with mine.
1. Accept it. Ignoring the issue is not going to make it go away. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to solve it. There are a lot of things that are beyond our grasp. In such cases, accept the fact that you have done your best. Learn to let it go.
2. Writing down your thoughts. Yes, writing is my form of therapy. I write down my thoughts, even those crazy ones. Start a journal, if you want. I have a lot of folders on my laptop where my deepest, darkest thoughts reside. These are for your eyes alone and you don't necessarily have to show it to anyone if you are not comfortable with it. Of course, there are others who go ahead and post them online. It's entirely up to you. Whatever rocks your boat. I make sure mine are locked and safe, it's way too intimate for me to share with anyone else.
3, Talking about it. Well, if you have friends or family who understands you or who have gone through similar experiences themselves, you may want to confide in them. The fear of judgement will always be there, lurking in a deep corner of your mind, I know. Yet, talking about it helps. Sometimes, a listening ear is all you need.
4. Meditation. This is one exercise that I started and gave up after a few days. As easy as it may sound, learning to quieten your mind is no easy feat. Especially when you have thoughts and stories buzzing around your head all the time. But I'm determined to at least try. A few minutes a day for beginners like me.
5. Make time for yourself. Pamper yourself, enjoy your me time. Do not always rely on others for your happiness. Happiness is definitely an inside job, as I read somewhere. Take up a hobby and concentrate on just that. Reading, painting or even just coloring can be great stress busters.
6. Living in the moment. This one can be a struggle. At least for me it is. I worry too much either about the past or the future that I end up not really enjoying the present. So, I'm trying not to rush and savor each moment as it is handed to me.
7. Do what you love. You are the only one who knows you best. So do all those things that make you happy. Do not give two hoots about what others may think. If it makes you happy, go ahead and do it. Listen to your heart, follow your passion. Nothing makes me feel alive as much as writing. Find what you love and follow it.
All the above mentioned points are easier said than done. One step at a time is the key. Do not be too hard on yourself. Accept that all those broken parts of you are beautiful too. Learn to be kind to your own self. Have you had similar experiences? If so, how did you cope with it? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not comfortable in posting a comment here, I would love to hear from you.