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Faith WoodWith so much unrest in the world, it can be challenging to step away from a feeling of being intensely worried that something bad is going to happen to you or those you love.

Some days we’d rather not go through it at all – wishing we could pull the covers over our head and check out for a bit. Sometimes the monsters aren’t under our beds.

Let’s face it, we all go through times of intense stress and worry. The idea of unwinding at all in these circumstances can feel impossible. At the same time, it’s these bad days where we need to unwind more than ever.

So here are a few quick tips for unwinding from unnecessary worry and stress:

Start by getting back into the moment

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A lot of what we’re doing when we’re worrying is living in the future. We’re caught in a world of ‘what if’ and speculation. This is why it’s crucial to get back into the here and now.

Mindfulness or meditation can help you focus on where you are right now. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Don’t allow thoughts to intrude. Instead, allow yourself to drift, thinking about what you hear or smell.

It doesn’t have to take long. Even a few minutes of mindfulness will help you to unwind significantly.

Are you being reasonable?

What are you worried about most often? Is this a reasonable worry?

Sometimes all we need to unwind is a quick reality check. You might be overthinking things.

If you’re not sure if you see the situation clearly, this might be a good time to talk to someone else about what’s going on. Do they see things the same way?

Let go

There are some things you’re not going to be able to change about what’s going on. Remind yourself that whatever is happening is just another piece of this particular segment of your life. You will get through it.

You’ll find it easier to relax if you can release what’s out of your control.

Forget the fortune teller

Sometimes when we’re worried, we fall into the trap of thinking things are very black and white. But things are seldom as bad as we imagine them to be.

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Take a deep breath and let the situation unfold as it will without trying to predict the future.

What are you telling yourself?

Sometimes we get in the habit of seeking out the negative, especially when it comes to ourselves. Could it be you’re worried about something that isn’t even true?

Consider the words you use when talking to yourself. If you’re using more negative than positive phrasing, start changing the dialogue to more positive statements. It’s a lot easier to unwind when you’re not beating yourself up all the time.

While these tips might not solve the crisis in your life, they’ll help you to put even difficult times into a better perspective, allowing you to at least take some time to breathe and figure out the next steps.

Truly, you’ve got this!

Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications.  For interview requests, click here.

The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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