Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to over come you’re Problems

How to over come you’re Problems

Are you someone who worries all of the time, afraid of saying the wrong thing or overly concerned with how you look? You are not alone. Only in USA there are more than 19 million people classified as chronic worriers. And people who worry almost every day six months or longer, 80 percent become depressed and stay depressed for years.

Worry is a many-headed beast, like the Hydra - it’s hard to stop it at your first attempt, but if you are persistent and try several different techniques, you can overcome it in the end. There is a lot of excellent research on the nature of worry as well as how to get control of it. What follows are 20 tips to conquer those worries, try them and you may have less mental baggage to carry around all day:

Steps to Over come your problems:

1. Get ‘out of your head’ with some physical activity.

The benefits of exercise on mental health are priceless. It is a great way to get ‘out of your head’ and recover a feeling of calmness and mental clarity. You’ll get most benefit from a really good workout, but any physical activity that engages your senses can make a difference - washing the dishes, walking down the road for a pint of milk, enjoying a hot bath or making something with your hands.

These activities provide a natural way to release tension in the body and will often lead to an automatic state of relaxation that naturally follows a good workout. You’ll feel significantly better than before, it will be easier to stay present and centered in your body and you’ll be much less prone to get lost in worry.

2. Distinguish productive from unproductive worry.

Ask yourself, “what is the advantage that I hope to get in worrying?” Some worriers believe that simply having a thought - “I can fail” - means that they should wont about it. They think that worry will prepare, motivate, and keep them from ever being surprised.

If I am going to fly from New York to Paris, productive worry involves action that I can take now. For instance, I can purchase my airline ticket and reserve a hotel room. Unproductive worry involves all the what-ifs that I cannot do anything about: What if my scheduled talk does not go well? What if I get lost in Paris?

3. Get more comfortable making mistakes.

If you’re a perfectionist and you often agonize over making mistakes before and after events, try to get more comfortable making those mistakes. Burn the toast on its edges or let conversations lag from time to time without always filling in the silence.

4. A problem shared is a problem halved.

Some of your problems are bad enough without all the guilt and self-blame that usually goes hand in hand with worrying. No man is an island; we all need other people. Don’t be too proud to ask for a bit of support and understanding from those around you. There are many areas where talking about a problem or merely getting it out solves the problem. So talk to someone you trust about your situation and how you feel about it. The chances are they won’t be nearly so hard on you as you are on yourself. They may not have all the answers, but it will be a relief to get your feelings off your chest, and help to put things into perspective.

5. Correct faulty thinking by assessing real danger.

If you’re always assuming the worst possible outcome - “I’m going to run out of gas,” or “If I’m late for work, I might get fired,” - try to correct your faulty thinking by assessing real danger. What are the odds of running out of gas? People are often late without disastrous consequences.

6. Accept reality and commit to change.

Research shows that worriers cannot tolerate uncertainty, treating it as if it was a sure negative. Ironically, 85% of the things that worriers worry about turn out to have a positive outcome, and even when the outcome is negative, 79% of the time worriers end up saying, “I handled that better than I thought I would.” Demanding certainty is hopeless. Instead, look for the advantages of having some uncertainty. These include novelty, surprise, challenge, change, and growth. Otherwise, life is boring.

7. Do not read bad news or watch the news before bedtime.

Sadly enough, most news are bad news. So if you are prone to worries you should not get involved in these bad news before going to sleep. Instead try reading a pleasant book or listening to some nice music. Try to relax with any method you like (a brisk walk, a glass of milk, sex).

8. Reclaim your imagination.

Creative people are usually particularly prone to worry. If you think about it, worry takes a lot of imagination. It’s as though your “inner film director” is running amok, churning out paranoid thrillers or ghastly horror movies about all the awful things that could happen to you. But instead of trying to ignore these internal images, why not “re-direct” them as different genres (comedy? romance?) and add a happy ending for you to look forward to? Imagine your current situation as just one chapter of an inspiring story about overcoming challenges - how does that change the way you feel about it?

9. Face failure and don’t view it as personal rejection.

Worriers feel that failure is unacceptable - and that everything can be viewed as a possible failure. If you go to a party and someone is not friendly, then you have failed, when I was in college. Here is a nice story: There was a guy who wrote a term paper for an economics course. It was a plan for an overnight mailing service. His professor gave him a low grade. “This is unrealistic. It will never work,” the instructor maintained. That guy graduated from college and became the founder of Federal Express.

10. Challenge your worried thinking.

Worriers have thought-reality fusion. The thought process goes something like this, “If I think I might get rejected, it will turn out to be true unless I worry about it and do everything to be sure it does not happen.” Worries are like obsessions in this sense: worriers treat their thoughts like they already are facts. Typical thinking errors include mind reading (he thinks I am a loser), jumping to conclusions (I don’t know something, therefore I will fail), emotional reasoning (I feel nervous, so things will not work out), perfectionism (I need to be perfect to be confident), and discounting the positive (the fact that I have done well in the past is not a guarantee of anything). Worriers also have sudden-emergency ideas, such as slippery slope thinking (if this trend continues, things could go downhill in a real hurry) or trap door mentality (I could make a mistake and my whole life could fall apart).

In response, worriers should challenge and test out their thinking: What is the worst, best, and most likely outcome? What are ‘all the things that I could do to deal with a real problem? Is there any evidence that things could turn out okay? Am I making the same incorrect predictions that I always do?

11. Do not work until late hours.

If you are still involved in work or unpleasant activities (finances, unpleasant correspondence) you will not be able to relax. So reserve a time of at least two to three hours to find rest and reserve this time for some pleasant activities.

12. Try ‘Parrot on your shoulder’ technique.

Worry is like a parrot sitting on your shoulder - jabbering on about all the awful things that could happen to you, how dreadful they will be and how little you can do to prevent them. Spend too long listening to the parrot and you start to believe it. But worry is only a small part of your mind, and not the most resourceful part either.

So next time the Parrot starts jabbering away in your ear, stop and listen to it for a moment - don’t try to block it out, just listen to the anxious Parrot-like voice, and recognize that it’s not you and it’s not telling you the truth about you or your situation. Look around you, move around and reconnect with your body - all the while keeping the Parrot’s voice in your awareness without getting caught up in it. A bit like when you have the radio on in the background, but you’re not really listening to it - the sound goes in and out of your awareness, without capturing your attention. The more you practice doing this, the more worry will fade into the background, the clearer your thinking will be and the calmer you will feel.

13. Restrain yourself, and start trusting your judgment.

You check and recheck. Next time you put your keys in your purse, but keep checking - restrain yourself, and ultimately you’ll start trusting your judgment. And keep in mind that it’s OK to make mistakes, or forget something once in a while.

14. Look at the deeper threat.

Personality plays a role in the problem of worrying. People differ from one another in what they worry about. Some are obsessed about money, others about health, and still others about what society thinks of them. Cognitive therapies techniques help modify these concerns. Is there any real advantage in thinking in such perfectionist and demanding terms? What would be the upside in cutting you a little slack? How about treating yourself like a human being?

Moreover, you can ask yourself what advice you would give a friend, or set up experiments where you do not ask for reassurance or act perfectly, or you spend time alone (if you think you always need someone). What will happen if you do not get reassurance? Will it really make any difference? You also can practice writing assertive statements to the parent or friend who taught you to believe all these negative things about yourself. These “messages” do not have to be sent, but it can be helpful to hem-yourself defending your right not to live up to the demanding and critical views of others.

15. Write down your concerns and worries in a journal.

Reserve a time for your worries and concerns at daytime. So you should try to develop a routine and reserved time for all the concerns and problems of the day. By writing your worries you will identify your common negative thoughts and worries. It will be much easier to find solutions when you’ll know the exact content and meaning of your worries.

Take your time for these worries but not in the evening. The best time might be late afternoon. Sit down with a journal and write down your concerns of the day. This will take at least 30 to 60 minutes. Force yourself to think about all the worries and problems of the past and coming day.

16. Think about a present event of the day.

After all the time for the worries you should stop the diary with at least one pleasant event of the day. Any nice story, any pleasant event of the day? Any “sunshine” in your life?

17. Put time on your side.

Finally, worriers think that some bad event is approaching rapidly. They just know that failure, rejection, financial rain, or life-threatening illness - or maybe all of these things - is right around the corner. Everything is an emergency: “I need to know right now,” is their mantra. They wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the potential disasters that next week may bring. Of course, it often is impossible to know “right now” what the future holds, so worriers worry that this is a bad sign.

18. Get some specialist advice.

Worry loves a vacuum - in the absence of facts, it creates all kinds of dire scenarios. So whether your worries are financial, professional, medical or otherwise, get some advice from a trustworthy specialist, who can give you an informed opinion and help you devise some practical options. They may surprise you with unexpected solutions or they may confirm the worst - but either way you’ll be dealing with facts and concrete options, and you should come away with clear “next steps” towards a solution.

19. Use your emotions rather than worry about them.

Research shows that worry is a form of emotional avoidance, When people engage in worry, they are activating the thinking part of their brain and not allowing themselves to feel emotion. In fact, when people are engaged in worry, they temporarily are less emotionally aroused.

20. Make a plan and take action.

Worry is fuelled by inaction, but once you’ve assessed your options, got some practical advice and devised a plan, you’re in a position to start taking action. And once you do that, it becomes much easier to stop worrying. The Chinese say that the journey of 10,000 miles starts with a single step - and once you’ve taken that step, you’re on the road to a solution, even if it’s a long and difficult one.

If you start putting your plan into action and don’t feel any reduction in your worry levels, then the chances are you’re not very confident about your plan - so it may be worth getting some more information or advice to revise the plan.

All of us have a certain personality style. Some people think they have to be perfect. Others think they have to be loved by everybody. Your worry is probably related to your core personality issues. So you really need to get in touch with that. You can turn failure into opportunity. It’s not a breakdown. It’s a breakthrough.

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