What do we worry about at night? Turns out that we're not all that different from each other in our deep-seated worries. We all worry about the same things every night: finances, relationships, appearance, health, future events, and self.
Some of us are consumed by these thoughts, but others seem to crush them. What's the difference? Why can some people rise out of the torment of worry while others can't?
I wanted to find out for myself, so I researched and asked friends, patients and the experts. In fact, to treat my own worrying tendencies, I've tried all of these and seen a real difference in just a week!
1. You mull over your finances woes at night.
Crush strategy: Talk to your partner or someone you trust about your personal financial situation
Finding someone you trust to just discuss money issues is a helpful way to get clarity to your financial situation. It doesn't have to be your spouse; it can be your parent or friend.
2. You think, Why can't I make more money? Or Why can't I advance in my career?
Crush strategy: a) Channel the abundance mindset. It's a belief that there's plenty to go around, and that working together can make everyone more successful.
b) As for furthering your career, in the morning, write down three steps you could take to bring your career to the next step. Then the key step is to schedule it. It's really weird seeing that in your calendar, but as they say, "If it's not scheduled, it's not real."
3. You want to buy something, but you worry because it's clearly out of your budget.
Crush strategy: The concept of delayed gratification is the key here. Have you ever heard of the marshmallow experiments? A Stanford scientist asked kids to either eat one marshmallow immediately or wait approximately 15 minutes to receive two marshmallows. The latter group ended up with higher SAT scores, educational achievement, and better BMI, among other things.
So, If you want that luxury vacation, great! just make sure you work an extra few hours overtime each week in advance of the vacation.
4. You worry that someone has more than you.
Crush strategy: Instead, think in an abundance mindset. What's an abundance mindset? I describe it as a mindset that doesn't treat others as competition. Instead, the abundance mindset makes you believe there's plenty to go around, and that collaborating together can make everyone more successful. People who live in the scarcity mindset are suspicious, jealous and think that there's not enough money or success to go around.
5. You mull over the same person (or two!) in your life who just brings you down.
Crush strategy: Actively avoid negative people in your life. You're not stuck with the family members or friends who bring negativity in your life. The best gift you can give yourself is to surround yourself with people who make you better.
6. You worry about your weight.
Crush strategy: Despite the claims, the elusive magic pill has yet to be found. But you can do something. You can't control your genetics, but you can control food, toxins and exercise. Control what you can, and let go of the rest.
7. You worry about a future event that may or may not happen.
Crush strategy: The author Wayne Dyer writes that worrying is taking you away from being present in your life. Don't waste your "now" moments by worrying about the future.
8. You worry that you are not good enough.
Crush strategy: This is where gratitude comes in really handy. Spend a few moments each day to think of three things you're thankful for. Be thankful a few times a day, and you won't be so hard on yourself.
9. You worry about "balancing it all."
This was my biggest weakness. I searched high and low to help me deal with this worry. I created my version of a short morning routine to start the day. Try it, and I guarantee you'll be less frazzled.
There may be more thoughts that are ruining your life too — but when I was asking hundreds of friends, patients, experts this question, these were the ones that came up most frequently. Share your worries and crush strategies in the comments below so we can all learn!
Ready to learn more about what anxiety, brain health, and your diet all have in common? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Mark Hyman.