How do you stop worrying?

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the Netherlands. An unhealthy diet and insufficient exercise are factors that we all know as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A risk factor that often goes unnoticed but still causes an increased risk is worry or stress. The heart and blood vessels can work overtime due to too much stress or worry if you do not have an adequate way to deal with stress. Worrying has a cumulative effect. The more you worry, the heavier your heart and blood vessels become and the greater the experience of stress. The more you worry, the bigger the problems become, the more stress symptoms become, it seems as if they are put under a magnifying glass. When you feel stressed, the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system is seriously disrupted. The parasympathetic nervous system is that part of the nervous system responsible for rest and recovery. The heart starts beating faster, the pressure on veins increases and you feel rushed, literally and figuratively. This agitated feeling is caused by an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol . This increased level of cortisol is in turn bad for the heart and blood vessels.
It is not uncommon for chronic worriers to become overstressed or develop burnout or depression . Sometimes the worry manifests itself in attacks of hyperventilation . Many worriers worry about daily life, their own personality, work and workload, relationships, friendships, money and the future. They forget from time to time to take the necessary rest , which they certainly need. Because worrying and stress
can have drastic consequences , stress prevention is not an unnecessary luxury.


It is an impossible and unnecessary task to drastically tackle and change the entire personality. After all, everyone has their bad and good sides in terms of personality. Instead of desperately denying or resisting these lesser qualities, it is better to find a way to deal with them in a healthy way. Most worriers make things worse and worse than they are. When something bad happens, people tend to see only a dark future without a glimmer of light. As a result, people often unnecessarily talk themselves further into the hole, instead of climbing out. But is it indeed true that the future will only bring negative aspects? What would you advise your best friend if something serious or unpleasant happened? Would you tell her that life indeed has no meaning anymore and that she should end it immediately, or would you point out to her the things that are going well and the positive things that still lie ahead? And what does your problem actually mean if you place it among all the problems in the world? You still have a house, you can still eat, you have warm clothes, you have friends around you, you have a beautiful nature reserve around you… does this problem really outweigh that?

Be open

“Don’t make your heart a murder pit!”. This saying contains a great deal of truth. When you keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself, they can pile up and reinforce themselves in a vicious circle . Shared sorrow is really half sorrow, express your feelings! This does not necessarily have to be against an individual, this can also be against your reflection, your teddy bear, your cat or diary.
It is very difficult for many to suddenly talk about feelings and thoughts if you have never done this before. The threshold for doing this is getting higher and higher. However, remember that your friends won’t be surprised if you vent, that’s what friends are for.
If you have problems in relationships or with friends, try to keep the problem to yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to shut up and let your irritations go to your grave. This means that when you express your annoyance, it is best to try to describe the problem objectively and then explain how this problem affects you. Don’t blame or argue, that usually doesn’t get you anywhere. When you specifically indicate what something affects you, it is easy to understand and find a solution.

Challenge your worry

In life we behave in a certain way. We also deal with pleasant and less pleasant situations in a certain way. An important factor that influences how we behave is our feelings. When something happens and we think ‘that should never have happened’ or ‘I wish I had prevented that’, these thoughts are undoubtedly accompanied by negative feelings . You may experience shame, guilt, sadness, anger or other emotions. However, events in themselves do not cause us any emotions. The thing that can cause a certain feeling is our attitude or opinion about the event. For example, one child may cry very loudly when he sees a clown. The other child gets excited and happily approaches the clown. The clown and the situation are exactly the same. The children are different. And that is what causes the difference in reaction: the child itself.

4 Gs

Our behavior consists of different components. In the G training we speak of 4 G’s:
Thoughts (G1) + Thoughts (G2) = Feeling (G3) + Behavior (G4)

  • G1 contains the event itself
  • G2 contains the thoughts about the event
  • G3 contains the emotional response to that event
  • G4 contains the behavioral response resulting from those thoughts

The G-training states that we must challenge our thoughts . If we look objectively at our thoughts, how real are they? Is it indeed your fault that your boyfriend left you? Why? If this was indeed your fault (for example because you did not keep agreements), how can you prevent this in the future?
The purpose of the G-training is to gain a more realistic picture of ourselves and our behavior. It is a form of coaching .

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