Loralyn Mears, PhD
Monday Motivation: Stop Worrying About Everything
This article was originally published on November 4, 2019 at https://gritdaily.com/monday-motivation-stop-worrying/
Monday Motivation here we come! How’d you like that change of time with a hint of daylight first thing in the morning? No go? Hoodie still pulled over your eyes? Well, we see you – coffee cup in hand, trudging through the rain on an early dark morning cursing your commute. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
This column is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings. If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Monday Motivation quick tips. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. And nobody wants to go through their day like an unmotivated, unproductive sourpuss, right?
Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday Motivation!
Chronic worrying is debilitating
It’s not healthy. As human beings, it’s simply inconceivable to spend every day worrying about everything and everyone. We have to be more selective about the things that trigger us.
Worrying not only raises anxiety levels but it can also manifest itself in the form of physical illness. Chronic worrying creates tension, leads to irrational and dysfunctional behaviors and even death.
Anxiety is crippling society and is on the rise. Today, one in six Americans is on a psychiatric drug and we’ve become pill-poppers where a whopping 46% of all Americans have been prescribed a drug within the last 30 days. Monday Motivation is about changing the behaviors that you can control – medication is good in moderation when used as prescribed, but we also have to do the work as individuals.
Self-medicating isn’t the solution
We’re self-medicating, too. Alcohol consumption in the US, by 2017 statistics, has risen to an average of 1 drink per day per adult. Drugs, alcohol, and suicide are now associated with the trending, decrease in life expectancy. And let’s not forget about the negative effects of obesity where compulsive eating is often a defense mechanism people use to manage stress (that’s my go-to when I’m whigged out).
Monday Motivation is all about becoming more aware and accountable for our own behaviors – then taking steps to change them. But we have to do the work. Set a goal, and GO FOR IT!
Go on a Worry Diet
Most of us have been on a weight-loss diet at some point in our lives or we certainly know someone who has. If we’re one of the 45 million Americans who go on a diet each year, we get it. We want to change how we look and feel so we have to make changes to our diet and exercise to make it happen.
Weight-loss diets are the norm. Nobody blinks if you tell someone that you’re on a diet. You likely also think that it’s perfectly natural to change your food and mobility habits to shed a few pounds. So why would it be such a big stretch to go on a “worry diet?” Think about that for a moment. What if you started to adjust your thinking so that you could shed some of your anxiety?
Tips to Worry Less
#1 – think of the worst-case and best-case scenario
For whatever is stressing you, what is the worst-case scenario that you can imagine? Now flip it around to the Monday motivation positive side of things, what’s the best-case? The idea is to prepare the worst, hope for the best and aim for the middle.
#2 – talk to someone
For some of us, it’s not easy to talk to others about how we’re feeling and what we’re worried about. Others may want to talk to someone but simply don’t have a circle of friends that they can trust to share how they feel. Anonymous chat groups and helplines like this 24/7 Anxiety HelpLine can be the answer for the people in the latter group. Don’t be shy. It’s your health and your life. Reach out.
#3 – limit yourself to one worry per day
We’re all going to have something to worry about at any given moment. From the generally trivial “I’m going to be late” to the non-trivial anxiety about someone’s health. It’s natural to have fears, concerns, and worries that we are going to lose someone or something. However, it’s not healthy or rational to have those feelings all the time. Here, anxiety coaches and licensed doctors plus psychiatrists can help you work through your anxiety.
But, if you can try to manage things on your own first, try to limit yourself to one worry per day. Consciously select what you’re going to worry about and hold yourself accountable. Once you’ve worried about one thing for one hour (keep the time limit defined and short) then you’re done. You’ve officially cashed in your “worry-chit” for the day and don’t get another one until tomorrow.
It’s Monday – bring on a better week!
This is a Monday motivation column, there is a silver lining to everything! Find joy in the everyday. Just as you will have something to worry about each day, you will also be able to find one thing that sparks joy in your day and it is worth focusing on that. Perhaps it was the song of a little bird, a cute dog passing you by, a photo or a call from a loved one.
Whatever it is or was, hold onto it, concentrate on what gives you joy, not causes you concern. Get out there, embrace your week pumped up with that extra hour of sleep. Go get ’em!
Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay