3 Quick Ways to Stop Worrying on the SpotWhen you get caught up in worrying, it can seem hard – or even impossible – to get out. One worry leads to another, and before you know it you’re tangled up in a web of worry thoughts.

But by using certain tools, you can quiet the mental chatter and calm your anxious mind.

Kathryn Tristan, author of the forthcoming book, Why Worry? Stop Coping and Start Living (available December 4, 2012), shares three strategies that can reduce worrying right now.

Q: What are several quick ways to stop worrying?

A: Some of the Worry Busters I discuss in my book Why Worry? are:

1. Belly (also called diaphragmatic) breathing.

Slow, deep breathing activates the vagus nerve. That helps to counter the stress response.

2. Focus on now.

This is a technique whereby one concentrates on the present moment, not the uncertain future.

3. The “Stop, Look, and Listen” technique.

This technique can quickly break the grip of worry or anxiety:

  • STOP: First recognize and accept that you are feeling worried or anxious. Mentally say “STOP” in your mind. Begin belly breathing to slow down the tirade of nervous reactions. Often, an initial flux of emotions will die down in the body within about 90 seconds. Buy yourself some time to let this happen, and then recover.
  • LOOK: For a full five minutes, focus on the external world rather than your internal feelings of discomfort. Look for details of things around you and even consider naming what you see.
  • LISTEN: Talk calmly and reassuringly to yourself, as you would to a best friend having a hard time. Say an affirmative phrase such as, “This, too, shall pass!” or, “All is well!”

 

Learn more about Tristan and her upcoming book at her website.

Further Reading

Check out these other Psych Central pieces to quell worrying and anxiety:

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Sep 2012
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2012). 3 Quick Ways to Stop Worrying on the Spot. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/09/19/3-quick-ways-to-stop-worrying-on-the-spot/

 

Recent Comments
  • Sarah R: While reading this article I was shocked that people were trying to escape a hospital. As I read further...
  • Jeff Quigley: Some of us like to understand things. And some of us prefer not to be casually lied to about things...
  • Susanna: Sorry to say, but it´s really not your problem…n ot your MIL´s problem… it´s your husband´s...
  • mr168792: Karoshi is becoming a problem in Japan, with work hours increasing. It seems as though overwork to such an...
  • Jeff Quigley: It is not a mere curiosity. There is a big difference between lying to sick people about the cause of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code