Worry and Anxiety: I Can't Stop Thinking
Have you found that you have often lost sleep due to worry and anxiety?
It's midnight. I went to bed a few hours ago, but I'm still not asleep, and I don't feel sleep coming on any time soon. My eyes are wide open, and even though the house is dark and completely quiet, my mind is awake and has not yet turned off. Instead, my thoughts are racing. Before I know it, it is quickly approaching morning, and I know that I will face another dreaded day without enough sleep.
At some point, my body is exhausted, and I finally fall asleep. Then, during waking hours, my mind continues the cycle of worry and anxiety.
Does this sound like something you can relate to?
When Does Worry and Anxiety Become Excessive?
It's normal to worry and have anxiety about certain situations that happen in your life. For example, you might worry about a family member in the hospital, or you might worry about a new job that you're starting.
But worry and anxiety can become problematic when it is interfering with your daily life and when you're constantly having a hard time sleeping at night. It can be an issue when it manifests as physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach problems, or muscle tension ("What Is an Anxiety Disorder?").
Ways to Cope with Excessive Worry and Anxiety
What are some strategies that you can use to deal with the excessive worry that you experience and to keep your thoughts from spiraling out of control? How can you prevent constant worry and anxiety from getting in the way of your daily functioning?
- Distraction -- One of the most effective coping strategies that I have found for myself has been distraction. This is one of the reasons that I spend quite a bit of my free time exercising. I find it helpful to focus on my workouts instead of those things that result in overwhelming and racing thoughts. Now, distraction may look different for you since it will not be the same for everyone. Perhaps you prefer to meditate, watch a funny movie, or simply to relax with family and friends. Whatever helps to distract you, use it to help you focus your thoughts and energy on something else.
- Talk -- Lean on your support system. One of the most important lessons in life that I have tried to teach my teenage son is that it is critical to talk about what is bothering you with someone you trust. Keeping all your worries bottled up inside may result in your feeling overly anxious and overwhelmed. Letting those thoughts out allows you to release those feelings and may help you to put things into perspective. Personally, I know that it is helpful for me to talk things out with someone.
- Control -- Think about what is in your control and what is not. Put these things into perspective and let go of those things that are out of your control. I know this is easier said than done. You may find it helpful to make a list and write this out. Figuring out what is in your control allows you to do something about it. Identifying what is not in your control can help you to let those things go.
- Confront -- Lastly, confront those troublesome thoughts. Personally, something that I have found myself often doing is avoiding the things that I know I need to do that cause me to worry excessively. Confronting those worries and anxieties head-on allows you to analyze them and assess whether or not they are something that you need to focus energy on.
Worry and anxiety are natural; however, sometimes it can get in the way of daily living. Be aware of when it becomes excessive, and what you can do to calm those feelings of overwhelming anxiety. Follow these steps to help you live a life with less worry.
How do you deal with excessive worry and anxiety? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2020, January 28). Worry and Anxiety: I Can't Stop Thinking, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 11 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2020/1/worry-and-anxiety-i-cant-stop-thinking
Author: Rizza Bermio-Gonzalez
I have severe anxiety disorder its crippling, For many year it was controlled with medicine but after a long time and having my colon removed Medicine stopped working, my coping skills are bad, I tend to over think and ruminate, and nomatter what I do I can't get out of my head, but it gets worse because I many ways I can't concentrate, do I can't distract my self, help its torture
Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about the challenges you have experienced with anxiety. I hope that there is information and posts on this site that are helpful for you. Wishing you all the best,