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WORRY LESS - LIVE MORE PEACEFULLY

So many of us think about all of the things that can go wrong instead of focusing on what can go right.  We even giggle about folks who worry.  So many of Seinfeld's characters leave us laughing at their torment.  I can hardly think about George Constanza without wanting to watch reruns.  I sometimes identify myself with Charlie Brown who feels so awful because " Even my anxieties have anxieties."  We laugh about these types of folks but the excessive worry is not a laughing matter.  The research of Dr. Mark Goulston indicates that when we worry, our bodies produce cortisol otherwise known as the stress hormone.  On the one hand, it can help keep you away from danger, but, on the other hand, too much production of cortisol can damage your brain cells,      

There are at least 3 ways that you can train yourself to lose some extra worry weight:      

     1. Replace that stress hormone with the "bonding hormone".  Dr. Goulson points out that oxytocin, the love hormone, can be produced by cuddling, breastfeeding, having an orgasm, or talking with kind people you trust.  When you feel an attachment to others,  like friends or a therapist, you will find that you feel less alone and more relaxed,      
     2. Change your distorted thinking patterns.  Buy yourself a journal with a picture of someone who loves you inside.  This can be a living person or someone who is no longer alive,  Hear that person saying, "You can get through this."  You can also hear that person saying, "You are a great person.  Stop it!"  Also, ask yourself how likely it is that your worry will come true.      
     3. Stop. Look. Listen. Smell.  This is a military technique that encourages you to pause and focus on something other than your tension.  Stop what you are doing long enough to know that your worry is not helping you.  Look around you at something which you tend not to notice, trees, flowers, pets. caterpillars.....anything of your choice.  Listen to anything you can hear - a bird, music, an ice cream truck - anything.  Now, smell what is around you...coffee, perfume, pets, flowers,        

If none of the above things work for you, you may want to talk to a doctor about antianxiety medication.

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