Worry – how to cope with it

Worry – how to cope with it

Here are some advice on what you can do to feel better while simultaneously supporting the people around you.

What is worry? 

Worry and fear are common reactions to unusual situations, such as crises or various types of threats. When we are anxious, there's a risk that we may generalize our views to make sense of the world, which can make us even more afraid. Here are some advice on what you can do to feel better while simultaneously supporting the people around you. 
Worry and anxiety are two words we often use to describe the same feeling, but it is important to distinguish them. 

  • When crises and disasters strike, it is common to experience worry and fear. These are essentially positive reactions that help us to be cautious when threatened or faced with difficult events. 
  • Anxiety is an intense feeling of uneasiness and discomfort in the body that can occur in crisis situations, but also when there is no clear external threat. Anxiety can be unpleasant, but it is not dangerous. 

Mental illness is the common term for long-term worry, anxiety, depression and sleep disorder. 

Why do I feel worried? 

Worry is triggered by our thoughts and what is happening around us. Worry is a reaction to difficult events, crises and threats - such as diseases, natural disasters and wars. It is also common to feel worried about your health, loved ones, employment and finances.  
If these thoughts don´t go away or if you find the situation unbearable, it is important to request support. You can book an appointment with your healthcare centre. In case of an emergency, call 112.

How does worry affect the body? 

When we feel worried the body mobilises. Our senses are sharped, our muscles get tense and we become ready to react. This is not dangerous, but without recovery it can become a burden for the body and create damages in the long run. 
In everyday life, we experience both worry and recovery on a daily basis. If the cause of the worry persists over time, or if it is compounded by events and situations that create more stress, an imbalance cab develop.

Signs of stress 

Signs of too much stress can include tense muscles, stomach aches, trouble sleeping, difficulty with concentrating and mood swings. Thinking ability and memory can also be affected. 
Imbalance and too much stress can lead you to neglect taking care of yourself or skip doing what you usually do to recover. You may not have the time and energy or the situation may prevent you from being able to see your friends or continue with your hobby.  

Physical symptoms can also limit your mobility. There is a risk that your stress will increase at the same time as the opportunities for recovery decrease.

How to feel better when you’re worried 

In difficult life situations or worrisome, stressful periods, there are many things you can do to feel better, reduce stress and strengthen your resilience. Every time you manage to break your stress cycle, it contributes to your recovery and helps you manage stress better.

8 advice to reduce worry  

  • Talk to someone about your worries and feelings.
  • Don’t isolate yourself and ponder. Spend time with someone you feel safe with, even if you don’t want to talk about what you are feeling and thinking. 
  • Keep doing those things that make you feel good.
  • Stick to your routines.
  • Be physically active.
  • Try to balance your thoughts and avoid thinking in “black and white”.
  • Simple relaxation and breathing exercises can help you find a moment of calm.
  • Offer your help to others. Sometimes it helps to shift the focus from yourself to someone else. 

Worry-reducing exercises 

Certain exercises can help you get back into balance and live in the moment.  

  • Deep breathing – helps you relax. 
  • Exercise in physical presence – helps with severe stress and in case of anxiety or panic attacks. 

These exercises can be done anytime, anywhere. You can increase their effectiveness by repeating them several times. To get a more long-lasting effect, the exercises need to be done regularly. 
Keep in mind that it may take some time before you feel comfortable doing the exercises.