SleepPhones® & Helping You Worry Less
Four Practical Ways to Worry Less
Between the 24-hour news cycle, health concerns, work stress, and the litany of other challenges life creates, people are often consumed by worry for a least a portion of their day. Depending on what's causing it, and when you're experiencing it, it can be either helpful or harmful.
To understand this feeling, where it comes from, and how to manage it, AcousticSheep LLC outlines four practical ways to worry less and explains why SleepPhones® headphones can be a helpful tool for regular worriers.
What is Worry and Why Do We Feel It?
Worry is a cognitive state wherein people have repetitive thoughts about a particular situation or problem. Generally, worry is accompanied by feelings of uneasiness. Put simply: Worry is what happens when our minds focus on negative ideas or issues that could possibly arise.
Although it is a universal emotion, if we don't process worry in the right ways, it can cause tension, irritability, and sleeplessness. At low levels, though, worry can be productive. For instance, if we're concerned about making it to work on time, it may prompt us to leave a few minutes early.
Conversely, when worry becomes chronic, it can affect other aspects of our life, such as diet, relationships, and sleep. Because of its ability to impact other areas of mental and physical health, chronic worry can endanger our wellbeing.
For instance, if a situation that is out of your control is keeping you up at night, you need tools and strategies that minimize your level of worry. Left unchecked and without intervention, worry can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical health problems.
But why do we worry in the first place?
Researchers from Université Laval in Québec who assessed subjects through questionnaires discovered two underlying reasons.
First, they found that we don't like uncertainty nor being surprised by bad news. It's for that reason that we try to anticipate anything that could go wrong. We think that worrying can prevent bad things from happening.
The other reason we worry is to find a way to control situations and find solutions to dilemmas. Unfortunately, life rarely hands us problems we can worry ourselves into solving. The good news is, you can lower your anxiety levels by making a few simple lifestyle changes.
Here Are 4 Quick Tips for How to Worry Less
It's hard to think straight and put worry in perspective when you're not getting enough rest at night. According to Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, Ph.D., sleep deprivation puts people at higher risk for depression, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and fuzzy thinking. Moreover, inadequate shuteye increases the likelihood of catching a cold by an astounding 300 percent.
To improve both the quality and duration of your sleep, try to:
- Increase your exposure to bright light during the day
- Stop TV and smartphone use at least one hour before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine up to six hours before bed
- Avoid long naps
- Get up and go to bed at consistent times, even on the weekends
- Avoid alcohol before bed, especially if you snore
- Exercise regularly, although not right before bedtime
If you wrestle with insomnia, you may be considering using sleeping pills. However, drugs can have adverse side effects. Listening to white noise or binaural beats may provide a more holistic and safer approach to treating sleeplessness. Ask your doctor if a medication-free treatment could work for you.
***Pro Tip: For a natural, unmedicated approach, try SleepPhones® headphones. The luxuriously soft headbands contain thin, padded, removable speakers to play any type of music, audiobooks, mediation, white noise, or talk radio to lull you to sleep. The headbands can also work as an eye mask to block light. Regular headphones and earbuds are uncomfortable to wear all night long, but even side sleepers can use these comfortable headbands.
Be Mindful of News Consumption
It's smart to stay up-to-date on pertinent coronavirus news. A constant stream of scary images and information, however, can harm your mental health. Disengaging from your smartphone and the TV for most of the day gives you time to process your thoughts.
Also, carefully evaluate where you get your coronavirus information. We recommend the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and your local public health authorities for accurate information.
In addition, the CEO of SleepPhones®, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, has an extensive background in epidemiology. To see her latest updates on the coronavirus and what you should do to prepare, see the Updates on Coronavirus Pandemic article. For Dr. Lai's suggestions on how to stop the coronavirus from spreading and mortality rate predictions, see this article: Coronavirus Predictions and Business Impact. Her most recent post includes DIY mask instructions and a solution for masks fogging up glasses.
Regularly moving your body promotes both mental and physical health. The Mayo Clinic reports that 30 minutes or more of exercise daily, three to five days a week, can "significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms."
Physical activity lowers levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are present in a person who is worrying excessively. Moving your body also produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that fight pain and raise your mood.
Spending time in nature can reduce anxiety. A walk in the woods can clear your mind and lift your spirits. A recent Behavioral Sciences study found that spending time in a forest caused subjects' cortisol levels to drop lower than doing the same activity in an urban setting.
If you can't get outside, listening to nature sounds can also have a therapeutic effect. In fact, a study conducted at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School used an MRI scanner to measure brain activity in people while they listened to artificial or natural sounds. The researchers found that hearing noises from nature caused changes in brain connectivity that showed participants were more relaxed.
Listening to the natural sounds caused the subjects to focus outward, much like people do when they're daydreaming. Listening to artificial sounds caused participants to focus inward, which occurs during periods of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
***Pro Tip: To get the most out of your listening experience, try AcousticSheep's innovative products. SleepPhones® and RunPhones® are available in corded or wireless versions in a wide variety of colors and different fabrics. If you'd like to incorporate nature sounds while you sleep, click on the AcousticSheep Harmony Project™. It is a revolutionary sleep induction app that uses artificial intelligence to generate, recommend, and deliver the most effective deep sleep-inducing music, rhythms, and sound patterns.
SleepPhones® and RunPhones® May Help You Worry Less
Sleeping well, moving your body, getting outside, and making smart media choices can provide you with the tools you need to lower anxiety. If worry keeps you awake, consider trying SleepPhones® to get more and better rest. AcousticSheep LLC offers the world's most comfortable headphones for sleeping and relaxing.