Two science-backed ways to Calm a worried mindful

The brain is wired for worry. However, the research shows you can calm your anxious mind by being mindful.

Why am I single? “Do people like you?”

When our worried mind takes control, this is the sound we hear. These thoughts are often the background noise of our daily lives. These thoughts are like a soundtrack. They can be a robust emotional background that tells us what may go wrong and how things might not work out.

This regular worrying habit makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. Living in constant vigilance is an essential adaptive trait if the goal is to avoid being eaten by a predator (as it was thousands of years ago).

We do not live in the prehistoric era anymore. Our biggest worries are not about an unplanned saber-tooth tiger attack. We have the unique luxury of worrying instead about the balance in our accounts, not being invited to a dinner, or that others might think we are only sometimes charming, impressive, and even mindful.

This brings up a peculiar paradox of modern life: despite being safe, comfortable, and well-fed for the most part, we still worry about future events and deadlines as if our existence is at risk.

Why We Worry

Long before modern neuroscientific research, Mark Twain pointed out this habit’s irrationality. Mark Twain said, “I have had many worries in my lifetime. Most of them never came true.” Recent research confirms Twain’s wise observation.

In a 2019 study at Penn State University, for instance, researchers came to two surprising conclusions. First, they discovered that 91 percent of the fears that plagued these patients were never realized. They also found that merely noticing that most of the worries people had were based on fantasy helped them to release their anxiety.

Why do we continue to be seduced by such a painful mental habit if most of our fears will never become a reality? can’t this habit be stopped once and for all if it is so irrational?

Why do we continue to be seduced by our mental habits?

Psychologists have suggested that worrying can act as a buffer to more intense negative feelings. This may sound crazy. Still. Still but it’s true. Imagine that you are about to deliver a speech before a large crowd. You start to worry about the fear that you may experience when you step on stage. You start worrying. While worrying isn’t fun, it helps prepare you for the future.

Worry is a negative emotional warm-up routine. It is how you prepare your body and mind for more significant anxiety and fear.

Even this type of “preparation worry” can be beneficial. Researchers at UC Riverside have shown how worry can serve as a buffer and a motivator. For example, you might practice the speech over and over again because you are worried about it.

When you finally deliver the speech, your worries will have created a positive and enjoyable experience. On the other hand, worrying about the address can make you feel down. This makes the experience of delivering the speech a lot more enjoyable.

Two science-backed ways to Calm a worried mind

It is unrealistic to try to eliminate or overcome worry. After all, the desire to eradicate anxiety only intensifies the suffering caused by these mindful thoughts.

Contrastingly, the science of worry offers a more skilled approach: don’t try to eliminate your fear. Instead, try to transform your anxiety. Recent Research from Case Western University suggests two powerful mindfulness-based tools to help you do just that.

1) Mindful Worrying: First, bring your attention to the worry. This practice relies on Note-Shift Rewire. Notice is the first step. Note that your mind has entered this seductive state. After you notice, you can Shift the shape of your mind by bringing attention to your worries. This shift is from aversion or checking out to noticing your worries as thoughts arise. The final step in the process is rewiring, which means spending 15 seconds savoring this change in perception.

This simple shift can lead to a feeling of “decentering,” i.e., a slight disassociation from your anxious mind. This subtle distance between you and your worry helps release its grip. You can now see your “worry thoughts” as just thoughts and watch them come and leave from a more peaceful and relaxed place.

2) Practicing gratitude: Another science-backed method to transform worry is based on the practice of gratefulness. This technique is more active than mindful worrying. The course is based on noticing that you are caught up in worry and then shifting to a source of present-moment joy or gratitude.

It can help you notice your anxious thoughts when worrying about the day ahead. Then redirect your focus to what you are grateful for now, such as the morning light, your delicious breakfast, or the taste of your coffee. It can be rewired by experiencing gratitude for a few moments.

Both practices are potent remedies for a stressed mind. Whatever method you choose, remember that the most important thing is awareness. Integrating mindfulness into your life is possible by choosing to Notice-Shift Rewire.

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