The New Year has begun! Want to Improve Your Health? Want to work on all of your New Year’s Resolutions and be the #BestYou? The number one thing you can do for your #BestHealth other than DRINK WINE - is to STOP WORRYING!
We are what we think. Literally. Our bodies are giant messaging networks comprising the brain, spinal cord, nerves and neurons. When we worry, our brains trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which spike our heart and breathing rate, elevate blood sugar, and rush blood to the extremities. Over time, chronically high levels of cortisol can lead to health problems. Did you know that worriers are more likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, fatigue, and aches and pains?
If you’re prone to worry, as many of us are, it’s high time you gave your body and mind a break. Here are a few worry-busting tips, inspired by the critically-acclaimed book, The Worry Cure: 7 Steps to Stop Worry From Stopping You, by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City.
1. Identify your “worry profile” so you can change it.
What do you worry about the most? Identifying your worry triggers can help you avoid falling victim to them. If you worry constantly about your health, for example, turn your focus into action by taking control over the things you can control, like scheduling your annual physical, eating well and getting enough sleep.
2. Redefine your “safe place.”
Many of us think that worrying about the unknown keeps us safe by helping us prepare for the worst. Unfortunately, worrying does not provide the protection you think it does. Every time you catch yourself worrying, remind yourself that worry is a false friend, not your ally. It’s a bad habit, but you can break it! Awareness is half the battle.
3. Give up on perfectionism.
Spoiler alert for all the die-hard worry warts in the world: There’s no such thing as perfection. The sooner you can let go of being perfect, the better. This doesn’t mean slacking is your new M.O. for living a happier life. Rather, the key to worrying less and achieving a greater sense of serenity is trading in your perfectionism for acceptance. According to great thinkers like Buddha, peace of mind comes from accepting the uncertainty of life rather than fighting against it.