#65: When You Can’t Stop Worrying & Overthinking

When You Can't Stop Worrying & Overthinking

Is worrying part of your personality? (It could be literally part of your DNA.) There are so many reasons we can get stuck in an overthinking pattern – here’s how to hit pause on worrisome thoughts and retrain your brain. Put yourself on the waitlist and get notified when Michelle’s signature system is open for registration at http://ShesGotPower.com/spring2022.

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • What happens when you’re raised among worriers
  • How being a worrier can be baked into your DNA
  • 3 super useful tricks for managing worry to stop overthinking

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Worrying like it’s your job

Have you ever watched Olympic snowboarding? They spin around high in the air at 75 miles per hour going straight down a hill. Watching it recently, all I could think of looking at my boys was, “Please, please, please never get into snowboarding” because I could never stop worrying.

My child would be at the Olympics, ready to win a gold medal, and I would have to be medicated and in a padded room. 

I’m a worrier. That’s what I do. 

We all worry sometimes, but you probably have an idea whether you’re a capital-w Worrier who frets with intensity or just a normal person momentarily concerned about something. 

Anxiety’s nature vs. nurture

Anxiety can be a result of trauma, or of unresolved fear and needing to protect ourselves. It can also be passed down through both nurture and nature. 

Raising a worrywart

My mom is a grade-A worrier, that’s where I got it from. When I was 17 and wanted to get car, she had a laundry list of questions for me: “How are you going to afford it? How are you going to take care of it?” The car ended up fine. 

When I wanted to go to college? “You can’t go so far away. You can’t take out a loan. I’m not cosigning a loan. What if this? What if that?” You know what? It was fine.

When you are raised among worriers worrying, it’s just a normal, everyday part of life. It’s how you plan, it’s how you think, it’s how you show love.

These are the scripts that get engraved in your mind. You run them all day long, even as an adult. So many what ifs

When anxiety is in your nature

For some, worrying is baked into their DNA.

I’m not a DNA researcher by any means, but I have learned that there are certain genetic mutations called SNPs (pronounced “snips”) — and I have this particular SNP. That means my body cannot process adrenaline as easily or as quickly as other people. These type of SNPs are fairly common. 

We worry when we have anxiety and we have anxiety when we’re amped up on fear. If the fight-or-flight response is pumping adrenaline through the body and, as in my case, it’s not getting cleared, you’re more prone to getting into and staying in that worried state.

Sound familiar? 

If you’re in tune with yourself, you may have already found that you’re more likely to get anxious. You’re more likely to stay anxious longer and more intensely so than other people. 

What is there to do?

How to stop worrying so much

There’s plenty to worry about in the world. You probably have plenty of your own personal stuff going on, too. I want to share three super useful tricks for managing your anxiety so you can support your mental health and go from worrier to warrior.

1. Focus on the present

Worrying keeps you stuck in the past or too focused on the future.

In the past, we worry about something stupid we might have said. Did everybody hear me say that? What were they thinking? I should have said something else!

In the future, we’re wondering things like if we’re ever going to retire. Am I going to be one of those people eating dog food because I didn’t put enough into my Roth IRA? Will I keep working or will I be sick? Am I going to get cancer? What if I’m all alone?

What if you just live in the present? 

You’re alive? Check. 

You’re breathing? Check. 

You’re safe? Check.

Right here and now is the place to be. The more you can keep yourself from time traveling, the more at peace you will be.

2. Skip that second (and third) coffee

Being in a state of fight or flight is what makes you feel panicked. It’s bad enough that our daily stress is enough to put us in this state, but even worse that one of our favorite pick-me-ups can add to that adrenaline rush!

I’m talking caffeine, baby. Nobody wants to hear it. Everybody loves their coffee. I do, too. 

Caffeine makes you feel energized because it forces the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. That’s the way that you get energy from a cup of coffee. If you’re like me, that adrenaline is twice as bad because it sticks around for a really long time. 

If you’re somebody who is a worrier and you’re constantly overthinking, your mental health will improve if you can wean off the coffee. 

3. Call yourself out

Here’s a mental exercise to help retrain your brain. 

Carve some new neural pathways every time you notice yourself worrying. You might not recognize it because it’s just so normal for you, but when you notice yourself worrying, pause and say to yourself, “I’m worrying again.” 

Call it out now. Call a spade a spade. This is going to help you gain control over your mind running wild. 

What I like to do is flip my thinking and say, “I’m worrying again. What’s lovely and joyful?” and find an answer to that question. I’ll even say it out loud if I’m by myself. What’s lovely and joyful is how happy my children are, or what’s lovely and joyful is how my houseplants are all thriving. Whatever helps you redirect your thinking. 

A system that works

Almost every single one of my private clients comes to me experiencing anxiety or depression. On top of this, there is such a huge percentage of women taking medication for these issues too. We know that this is a topic that deserves our attention.

You deserve to feel calm and even-keeled. My signature system can help, as it has with so many other women, and I’m releasing into the public very soon at a very accessible price point. 

You can put yourself on this spring’s waitlist and you save 33% by going to ShesGotPower.com/spring2022