How To Worry Less And Improve Your Mental Health

by | May 15, 2024 | Podcasts

HOW TO WORRY LESS AND IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH TRANSCRIPT

SPEAKER_1: You’re listening to She Grabs The Mic, and I’m your host, Cole Baker-Bagwell. SPEAKER_1: Every week, we’ll explore what it means to be happy, present, and whole.

SPEAKER_1: You’ll hear from courageous women who are kicking ass in their lives, and leave with actionable tips that you can apply to reset from toxicity, tune into your gold, and live powerfully from the bedroom to the boardroom.

SPEAKER_1: Right now, it’s time to grab your headphones, kick back and relax and get ready to be inspired.

SPEAKER_1: Thank Welcome, amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: I am so thrilled that you were here today.

SPEAKER_1: Wherever you are and whatever stage of life you are in, I want you to know this.

SPEAKER_1: You have the power to live your most kick-ass life and be your most amazing self because you have the power to control your mindset, and that is why we are here today.

SPEAKER_1: So welcome again.
SPEAKER_1: Thank you for choosing to show up, for me, for yourself, for the community.

SPEAKER_1: One person at a time, we have the power to change the world, and that is a powerful and beautiful truth.

SPEAKER_1: So speaking of mindset, let me ask you a couple of questions. SPEAKER_1: When was the last time that you worried about something?

SPEAKER_1: I’m talking about like worrying yourself to death, getting yourself all spun up and a little tizzy, and that worrying that you did actually made something better.

SPEAKER_1: What are you worried about right now and why?

SPEAKER_1: And for the bonus question, what would happen, what would be possible for your life if you took that energy that you are spending on worry and you put it somewhere else, you poured it into yourself, you poured it into your work, into your people, into your goals and dreams, what would be possible for you?

SPEAKER_1: This week we’re going to talk about how to worry less starting today. SPEAKER_1: You do not have to wait for tomorrow or for some distant point in the future. SPEAKER_1: You can do it right now and you can start to be well and you can start to live better.

SPEAKER_1: And I’m here to help you.

SPEAKER_1: I’m going to help you understand what worry is, why we worry in the first place, the impact that worry has on our lives, and how you can break your cycle of worry with three mindful micro coaching practices if living well and feeling better is important to you.

SPEAKER_1: Now, let’s sort of level set here.

SPEAKER_1: All of us, every single one of us has worried about something at some point in our lives.

SPEAKER_1: Sometimes we worry about small things like temporarily.

SPEAKER_1: It could be, for instance, can we find a babysitter or can we get a pitch together, choose the right slides, choose the right images from Canva.

SPEAKER_1: Can we pull that together?

SPEAKER_1: And so we might feel this little sense of nervousness, this little creep of anxiety, but it’s short lived because we solve the problem.

SPEAKER_1: But in other cases, we are constantly in cycles of worry and that can become very, very damaging to our mental and our physical health.

SPEAKER_1: And worry is really worth exploring because science has proven that there’s a direct correlation between worry and anxiety and anxiety and depression.

SPEAKER_1: In fact, in an April, 2024 helpguide.org article, the authors of the article said, and I quote, chronic worrying can also be a major symptom of generalized anxiety disorder, a common anxiety disorder that involves tension, nervousness and a general feeling of unease that colors your whole life, end quote.

SPEAKER_1: Now check out these three staggering 2024 stats from Mental Health America, number one, anxiety disorders are the highest reported mental health issue in the US with 42.5 million Americans claiming to suffer from this illness.

SPEAKER_1: Stat number two, there are 4.5 million children in the United States diagnosed and living with anxiety right now.

SPEAKER_1: Now I don’t know about you, but that statistic is absolutely soul crushing for me to think that there are 4.5 million children living and diagnosed with anxiety.

SPEAKER_1: And stat number three, women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men.

SPEAKER_1: So if I kind of put some logic together here, that tells me that as women, we tend to worry perhaps a bit more, worry leading to anxiety and then also to depression.

SPEAKER_1: Now here’s what I know for my own life experience, my lived experience and from the women that I know, love and coach.

SPEAKER_1: The vast majority of us have more power to determine our mindset and our mental health than we realize or even believe in this moment.

SPEAKER_1: And that is one of the big whys for She Grabs The Mic.

SPEAKER_1: Because I know that if we can understand what we’re worried about, why we worry and break the cycle by choosing to shift our mindset because we have the tools and the knowledge, then we can reduce our anxiety and depression and we can disrupt the cycle for our children and actually live healthier and happier lives.

SPEAKER_1: And who doesn’t want more of that?

SPEAKER_1: I mean, we all want to be happy and well and healthy.

SPEAKER_1: We want to experience the best life we can.

SPEAKER_1: And the way I see it is the vast majority of us are holding that power right now because we have the power to shift and determine our mindset in every single moment.

SPEAKER_1: All right, amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s start improving our mental health together right now by understanding what worry actually is.

SPEAKER_1: So I went to Merriam-Webster and I pulled up the definition.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s what I learned.

SPEAKER_1: Worry is defined as an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation.

SPEAKER_1: In other words, stimulating a reaction like a thought or a pattern of worry that attacks us and breaks us down mentally and physically.

SPEAKER_1: And that is a pretty grim thought to think that we are throwing ourselves into that place.

SPEAKER_1: Now, I like to think of worry as a child of fear, a child that can be understood if we sit down with her and then taught something new so she doesn’t fit up and wreak havoc on our lives.

SPEAKER_1: It seems a little more manageable to me. SPEAKER_1: That’s just the way my brain works. SPEAKER_1: So the impact of worry on our lives is real.

SPEAKER_1: It creates stress and anxiety that can lead to depression. SPEAKER_1: That’s what we’ve just talked about.
SPEAKER_1: That’s what the science has shown.
SPEAKER_1: Worry causes us to lose sleep.

SPEAKER_1: How many times have you awakened in the middle of the night, two, three, four o’clock with your brain spinning because you’re worried about something?

SPEAKER_1: You know what I mean?

SPEAKER_1: I’ve been there.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe you’ve been there, too.

SPEAKER_1: Worry causes us to time travel to the past and the future, two moments in time that do not exist.

SPEAKER_1: Worry keeps us in cycles of swirl that become a downward spiral for our energy, our mood, and it stems with mindset.

SPEAKER_1: It starts with the thoughts that we have. SPEAKER_1: It can lead us to think the worst.

SPEAKER_1: It can rob us of our objectivity, and it can keep us isolated and cause a chain reaction that affects our children, our friends, our family members, our coworkers, and our community.

SPEAKER_1: Worry creates emotional dysregulation in our bodies and in our minds, and it disrupts our mental health, our sleep, as I just mentioned, and our well-being.

SPEAKER_1: So let’s dig in to what we worry about.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, my God, we can find all sorts of things to put on the worry list from really small things like, will my plane be on time, to really big things like climate change and war.

SPEAKER_1: We worry about whether or not we will have enough, enough food, enough stuff, enough money, savings for retirement, whether or not people will like us or accept us, whether we left the dryer or the oven on when we left the house, whether or not our relationship will be forever, and if it fails, will we have friends afterward?

SPEAKER_1: Where will we fit then?
SPEAKER_1: We worry that people will betray us or whether or not we’ll find a new gig after we get laid off or leave our jobs by choice.

SPEAKER_1: We worry whether or not guests will come to a party that we’ve planned, whether or not our team will win the big game, whether or not our car will break down on the way to work or on a family vacation.

SPEAKER_1: We worry about whether we’re lovable or good enough, whether past mistakes we made, what we didn’t do, what we could have done, what we should have done would change our lives.

SPEAKER_1: We worry about whether or not our contributions will be appreciated or valued, whether we’ll die alone, how we’ll die, who will come to our funeral services when we do.

SPEAKER_1: We worry about whether our kids will be happy, safe and healthy, or get accepted to their school of choice.

SPEAKER_1: We worry about all sorts of things.

SPEAKER_1: Why we worry can be different for every single one of us, but the common thread is that fear creates worry.

SPEAKER_1: And that stems from this little teeny tiny almond shaped part of the brain that processes emotions, stress, fear, worry, it’s called the amygdala.

SPEAKER_1: Our tendency to worry can stem from learned behavior, from our family members, you know, the women in my family were champions when it came to worrying.

SPEAKER_1: They worried about every single thing. Somebody could be going to visit a family member. Oh my God, I worry that they’ll get there. I worry whether they’ll be in a car crash. I worry if they’ll get a flat tire or run out of gas. They worried and I learned how to worry as a child.

SPEAKER_1: Sally R. Connolly, who is an LSCW and therapist, explains that “A biological predisposition for both of these conditions is often at the root of an individual’s battle. This seems to be true with anxiety disorders even more than with depression. Some people are just worriers and they pass it down.”

SPEAKER_1: So again, it can be learned from family.

SPEAKER_1: We could have suffered a traumatic experience, something that happened in the past that we’re still holding on to that causes worry in us today.

SPEAKER_1: We could have a false sense of security, this idea that if we worry, we can control the outcome, and that is simply not the case.

SPEAKER_1: And some of us worry because of the narratives and the stories that we create in our minds when we don’t know the answer.

SPEAKER_1: So I have a friend of mine whose children went to college and when they left the house, she started engaging in this major cycle of worry.

SPEAKER_1: She was tracking them on Life360. If she couldn’t see where they were or they didn’t respond, she was pacing the halls at night. Her husband was pacing the halls at night, kicked off this chain reaction to her sisters, to her father. And then a few hours later, she would invariably learn that the kids were just fine.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe they had turned off Life360 or they had turned off their phone or left their phone in their dorm room.

SPEAKER_1: But that cycle of worry absolutely disrupted her life. SPEAKER_1: Here’s what happens when we worry.

SPEAKER_1: We remove ourselves from what’s happening right now in this present moment, because we create a cycle where one bad thought leads to another until we are firmly in the swirl of stress, anxiety, nervousness, and it just absolutely overtakes us.

SPEAKER_1: It affects our thinking, it affects our energy, our mood, the way we feel in our physical bodies, and that causes us to lose our objectivity.

SPEAKER_1: We create a thinking pattern that becomes a habit, and that eventually breaks us down. SPEAKER_1: It impairs our mental health and our physical health.

SPEAKER_1: We enter these cycles of swirl, as I mentioned, this negativity and stress that creates nervousness and anxiety that consumes our thoughts and our state of well-being, and it can even lead us to depression, as science has shown us.

SPEAKER_1: Negative thoughts stimulate cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies, and when these chemicals are flooding our bodies, inflammation increases, our cognition becomes impaired, and we can become addicted to those chemicals.

SPEAKER_1: We can also become addicted to the cycles of stress and drama and chaos. SPEAKER_1: Now, the big deal is this.

SPEAKER_1: If you are a constant worrier, and you’ve been used to holding that space in your mind and in your life, it’s sometimes really, really, really tough to break the cycle because there’s a sense of emptiness.

SPEAKER_1: What will I hold? What will I do with my thoughts? How will I expend my energy?

SPEAKER_1: So, for all of my champion world-class worriers out there, the really big question is this.

SPEAKER_1: How do we stop worrying today so that we can start living and enjoying our lives with more freedom, ease, and a greater sense of overall well-being?

SPEAKER_1: The short answer is this.

SPEAKER_1: We get mindful.

SPEAKER_1: We pay attention to our mindset.

SPEAKER_1: And we do that by slowly and consistently developing a practice of tuning in to what is happening for us right here, right now, in the present, the only moment in time that is real.

SPEAKER_1: We start observing our thoughts and our words.

SPEAKER_1: We look at them as if they’re on a television screen.

SPEAKER_1: We get in touch with that.

SPEAKER_1: A lot of us are moving so quickly that we’re not in tune with what we’re thinking or feeling.

SPEAKER_1: We are reacting when that amygdala is sounding the alarm.
SPEAKER_1: We go into full states of fear, stress, worry, panic, anxiety, depression, and we can stop

that cycle when we just slow down.

SPEAKER_1: When we start challenging our tendency to worry with objectivity and intentionality, we have the power to break the cycle and to change our mindset to one of possibility and optimism.

SPEAKER_1: We can start to ask ourselves what could go right instead of focusing on what could go wrong.

SPEAKER_1: There are worry words.

SPEAKER_1: There is a language of worry, and I’m going to share that with you so that you can know you might be worrying if you are thinking or saying words like, I’ll be so worried if, I don’t know what I’ll do if, what happens if or when, I just hope, I’m just hoping, I’m praying it will be okay.

SPEAKER_1: I wonder if, what if, if this or that happens, then maybe I should have, I could have, it could have.

SPEAKER_1: If you’re using any of those words, you’re probably in a cycle of worry that could potentially lead to anxiety and depression.

SPEAKER_1: Now, all of us have said one or all of these phrases at some point or another, I certainly have.

SPEAKER_1: So, let’s pause here.

SPEAKER_1: Notice the tense of these statements.

SPEAKER_1: The first several represent the future.

SPEAKER_1: I’ll read them again.

SPEAKER_1: I’ll be so worried if or when, I don’t know what I’ll do if, I just hope, I’m just hoping, I’m praying it will be okay.

SPEAKER_1: I wonder if, what if, if this or that happens then.

SPEAKER_1: Those are all future looking statements. Now, the last two take place in the past.

SPEAKER_1: Maybe I should have, I could have, if only I had. SPEAKER_1: See what I mean?

SPEAKER_1: Those statements keep us time traveling and they rob us of what is happening right now in our lives.

SPEAKER_1: Now, this is so important when it comes to shifting your mindset because thoughts create words and actions.

SPEAKER_1: And if you can catch your worry thoughts by observing them because you are present with what you are thinking right now, there’s a damn good chance that you can disrupt the cycle and get yourself out of the worry swirl.

SPEAKER_1: Observing or noticing your thoughts, amazing ones, this is basic mindfulness.

SPEAKER_1: It doesn’t mean we’re always going to like what we see.

SPEAKER_1: It means that we are aware of what is going on in our minds.

SPEAKER_1: And then once we are aware, we are in a place where we can make a choice, where we can determine our mindset.

SPEAKER_1: It’s that simple.

SPEAKER_1: But practicing it can be hard because if we’re used to being in the swirl and this cycle of frenzy and reactivity, emotional disregulation, it can be really tough to cultivate a new pattern.

SPEAKER_1: But neuroscience shows us that we can.
SPEAKER_1: We can disrupt negative patterns any time that we choose. SPEAKER_1: It is a matter of choice and it is a matter of consistent practice.

SPEAKER_1: Now, if you want to start worrying less, I am inviting you to say yes to three mindful practices that will help you start to develop a way of being and thinking that will help you shift your mindset.

SPEAKER_1: It will help you develop confidence and clarity and awareness that will improve your overall quality of life.

SPEAKER_1: It takes practice.
SPEAKER_1: Presence is practice.
SPEAKER_1: It’s not going to happen overnight.
SPEAKER_1: But the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
SPEAKER_1: And I am living proof of that.
SPEAKER_1: I caught myself over the weekend worrying about something.

SPEAKER_1: And I saw the thought, I felt it in my body.

SPEAKER_1: Because I had practiced, I was able to disrupt the cycle.

SPEAKER_1: I was able to say, all right, what’s going on here?

SPEAKER_1: Why are you spending energy in this place?

SPEAKER_1: And I was able to shift my mindset and then take a deep breath and move forward.

SPEAKER_1: So here are the three steps for you.

SPEAKER_1: Number one, name your worries and understand where they camp out.

SPEAKER_1: Make a list of what you’re worried about right now.

SPEAKER_1: Put pen to paper. Get it out of your brain and onto the page.

SPEAKER_1: For my nighttime warriors, this is also a super powerful practice to add to your bedtime routine.

SPEAKER_1: It will improve your sleep, your brain function, your cognition, and your overall mental and physical health.

SPEAKER_1: So get familiar with how you feel in your body when you are worrying.

SPEAKER_1: Where does it camp out and show up for you?

SPEAKER_1: I know I’m in a worry cycle when my thoughts start to feel like they’re in a blender, and then my heart begins to race, and that’s my signal to hit pause, to take a few breaths, and to name my worries so that I can become aware of them.

SPEAKER_1: Number two, get clear on the timeline.
SPEAKER_1: Worrying causes us to time travel, as I mentioned, most often to the past and to the future.

SPEAKER_1: So once you name your worries, ask yourself, where does my worry belong? Somewhere in the past? Somewhere in the future? Or is it something that is right here in the present moment for me?
SPEAKER_1: Number three, look for the evidence.

SPEAKER_1: What evidence do you have right now that you need to worry about that thing or that person or that situation?

SPEAKER_1: How will worrying be beneficial?

SPEAKER_1: What evidence do you have that something is going to go wrong?

SPEAKER_1: And then what could go right?

SPEAKER_1: That is one of the most important questions to ask because when we get in a cycle of worry, all we’re focused on is the worst.

SPEAKER_1: The bottom falling out, the other shoe dropping, whatever analogy you want to use, we rarely think about what could go right.

SPEAKER_1: But when we shift our mindset from that place of what could go wrong because we have the evidence in front of us to what could go right, we can liberate ourselves and disrupt the cycle.

SPEAKER_1: So as we wrap up, here’s the reframe for today.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s review what we’ve covered.

SPEAKER_1: First of all, worry can create stress, anxiety, and even depression. Science has shown us that.

SPEAKER_1: Worry can damage our mental health, our physical health, and diminish the goodness and ease in our lives.

SPEAKER_1: Number two, we have power over our mental health, over our mindset.

SPEAKER_1: Understanding what’s happening behind the scenes, practicing, applying the tools that help us develop a healthy mindset is a choice.

SPEAKER_1: So once we have the information, what’s going on, why am I worrying, where does it belong, what is my evidence, oh, and here are the tools that I can use to break the cycle, then it becomes a matter of choice.

SPEAKER_1: Lastly, your mindset, Amazing Ones, can be your greatest asset or your greatest liability. And that choice is up to you in every single moment of every single day.

SPEAKER_1: If you are ready to stop worrying today, to shift your mindset, I invite you to start applying those three simple practices that I shared.

SPEAKER_1: Name your worries and understand where they camp out in your body.

SPEAKER_1: Get clear on the timeline and look for your evidence.

SPEAKER_1: Day by day, moment by moment, practice leads to presence.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for choosing to be right here right now.

SPEAKER_1: I know there are a gazillion other things you could have been doing or places that you could be.

SPEAKER_1: And I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.
SPEAKER_1: And I’m high-fiving you for choosing to show up for yourself today.

SPEAKER_1: If this episode has been meaningful to you, I would be oh so super grateful if you would take a few seconds to tap the three little dots at the top right of your screen and tap the word follow.

SPEAKER_1: And please, please, please help me spread the good vibes to other women in your life by scrolling to the bottom of the show homepage, tapping the five stars and dropping a few kind words about the show and what it’s meant for you.

SPEAKER_1: I would be abundantly grateful.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you!

SPEAKER_1: As we wrap up today, remember this, there is only one you.

SPEAKER_1: And in case no one’s told you yet today, that is what makes you amazing.

SPEAKER_1: Big love, babe.

SPEAKER_1: I’ll see you next week.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s the end of the show today, everybody.

SPEAKER_1: I hope it has served you well.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for tuning in.

SPEAKER_1: If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, please drop a review wherever you grab your favorite podcast.

SPEAKER_1: Please subscribe so you never miss an episode.
SPEAKER_1: And please be sure to share this podcast with another woman that you love.

SPEAKER_1: If you’d like to learn more about me or my work, check out my website, colebakerbagwell.com.

SPEAKER_1: Until next time, remember to be super kind to yourself and do your very best to leave everyone and everything just a little bit better.

 

.Research Cited:

Thanks to Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, and Jeanne Segal for their article in Helpguide.org

Hartgrove Hospital 

Healthline

Henry Ford Health

Are you ready to develop a mindset of clarity and confidence that helps you create your most kick ass life? If you’re nodding head to my contact form and send me a note. Let’s explore how taming your mind with mindfulness based empowerment coaching can help you get there.

Cole Baker-Bagwell

Master Certified Professional Coach

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