Do you struggle with worry?
All of us have times when we worry; but what makes us individual is that we all worry about different things – some of us worry about our career or business, others about our relationships, or a particular relationship. And then there are those of us who worry about the economy, terrorism and other global events.
How do we deal with our worries so that they don’t become all encompassing?
I have 4 techniques I’d like to share with you that may help :
#1 Schedule a worry time
This is a technique that I learnt from Dr Robi Sonderegger, a clinical psychologist. The technique is simple. When worrying about something, instead of continuing to dwell on it, you make a decision that you will schedule a specific time to worry about what has been on your mind. For example, you may decide that you are going to worry about it every Monday at 4pm.
You must tell yourself, when tempted to worry about the certain situation or person, that it’ll be dealt with during your allocated ‘worry time’, so you can forget about it for now, and know that it will be looked at again at the specified time.
This technique helps you to put it out of your mind until your scheduled ‘worry time’. And most often, when you get to the scheduled time and date, your worry has already dissipated!
#2 Challenge your worries
This technique involves you challenging your worries to dispute the fact that they have any real foundation at all.
Many of the things we worry about never happen.
To challenge your worry, firstly:
- Write it down. Write down exactly what is worrying you and why. What is the outcome that you are afraid of?
- What is the likelihood that it WILL happen? Perhaps there’s a very small likelihood of this worry occurring at all.
- What is the worst case scenario?
- Then, tell yourself, whatever that scenario is, ‘I can handle it‘, because you can.
- Think about the best-case scenario instead – the outcome could, in fact, be great!
#3 Brainstorm solutions
Sometimes we spend more time worrying about something when we could actually be doing something about it. We waste time and energy thinking about the wrong thing – dwelling on the problem rather than thinking about possible solutions.
Our minds have incredible ability to problem solve.
- Brainstorm 10 possible solutions to the problem that is worrying you.
- Choose from the top 3.
- Take action straightaway on 1 of those potential solutions.
#4 Let it go
Sometimes, after thinking about the worst case scenario for our worry, we realise that it could be significant, and because of that, it is difficult to stop dwelling on it. Some things truly are worrying!
In this case, if you realise there is nothing you can do about what you are worrying about, then it’s time to simply ‘let go.’ Let go of your worry. You have no control over the outcome, so for your peace of mind, you need to let it go.
If it helps, write your worry down on a piece of paper – then throw that piece of paper away as a symbolic gesture that you are casting that worry from you.
Use these techniques and watch your worry dissipate – it can take practice, but if you regularly use a technique that works well for you, it will become a very effective tool to use when worry arises. I sincerely hope this helps you!