My friend doesn’t sleep. He worries a lot. From relationships to his job, to missed opportunities and most commonly, what people think of him.
He recently got an iPhone app which tracks his sleep patterns. He puts it near his head when he goes to sleep at night or naps during the day. The app data has actually proven what my friend already knows – he doesn’t get enough sleep.
But my friend is like many of us. We develop such a high level of worry, we can’t sleep, function, perform, or better yet, experience joy. It leads me to this thought.
Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have.
Do you want to be a person who can laugh or who is concerned, who is adventurous or who is boring, who is joyful or who is negative? Amazingly, if you study the human mind, you can be all these positive things, if we can just eliminate unnecessary worry.
Here are 3 Scientifically Proven Ways to Stop Worrying, Today
Learn the Adult ABCs
In this case, “A” doesn’t stand for “apple”, nor does “B” stand for “boy”. If you’re a worrier, your ABCs are as follows:
- A stands for: Activating Event
- B stands for: Belief
- C stands for: Consequent Emotion
Now stay with me here. I know this might seem complex. What can these ABCs do for you? They can help you identify the irrational beliefs (“B”) or thoughts that are triggered by some event (“A”) that leads to some emotion (“C”) that makes you crazy with worry. Cognitive-behavioral therapists (or crazy doctors as I like to call them) have confirmed we can actually train our brains to respond differently to events. So when something happens that triggers fear or worry, you need to spend some time answering this question:
What is the irrational belief (the “B”) that is making me worry? Then replace that belief with the truth! How? See number 2.
Choose Someone to Be Your Cortex:
Who do you want to be the boss of you? For worriers, the cortex – or the logical, rational part of the brain – is constantly being bossed around by emotions. If you’re tired of your negative emotions like worry, fear, and anxiety bossing you around, then I’d suggest you recruit some help along this journey. Choose someone in your life to be your cortex. They can be rational when you’re not. For me, it's my wife Veronica and the CEO of my company Paul.
Psychology Today encourages, “You have to decide to be the one in charge of your emotions, or your emotions will take charge of you.” Use this person (your new cortex) to help you talk through your emotions and identify the thoughts that are simply not true. As a person thinks, so they are. Renew your mind. Let truth wash over you. New neuropathways can actually form in our brains as we begin to think differently about our world, our relationships, and ourselves.
Example: If you have an irrational fear of roller coasters, next time you see one, don't ride it, but start to replace the thought of fear and concern with thoughts of exhilaration, excitement, and bravery. This is the true solution to overcoming worry and fear.
Get Outside and Move
This scientifically proven anti-worry advice has two simple parts: move your body and do it in the great outdoors. Can it really be that simple? Yes. It can. And there’s science to back it. Exercise gives us happy chemicals in our brains (endorphins). Why do you think runners are always chasing that feeling known as “runner’s high”? Because it actually exists and it feels really good when you find it. All sorts of good things happen in our bodies when we exercise. Cortisol – a negative hormone that’s released when you’re stressed – is used up during exercise to help burn fat! Yes, your stress hormones become fat fighters during exercise. Holy crap!
What are some ways you boss worry around instead of letting it be the boss of you? Let me know in your comments below.
Some know me as a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Sevenly and StartupCamp, others know me as the guy who can ride a unicycle and still kickflip on a skateboard. I’m on a mission to inspire people. Will you join me?