Updated: Mar 14, 2021
When we worry, we slowly go over and over and over a situation and the fears that come along with it. We focus our attention on all the ramifications of what our worry is about. We may have sleepless nights. We may be distracted and then less productive at work and less available for our family and community. Constant worrying, negative thinking, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. Here are a few ideas to follow a path to reduce your worry:
Create a Worry "Space": Give yourself a time-box when you will focus on your worries. It could be daily, weekly or whatever frequency is appropriate for you. Based on your available time, set aside 30min (more or less) based on your schedule.
Create a Worry List: Start a worry journal. Write down all your worry thoughts and then prioritize them (like you may do for work or personal "to-dos").
Create Control: Identify which of your worry thoughts you actually have control over. Do you have the power to solve the situation yourself or is it really out of your ability to have an impact on the outcome?
Effectively Use the Worry "Space": As you use your worry space, focus on the items of worry you have control over first. Engage in problem solving by getting into the details of the situation. Reframe your potentially exaggerated and negative thoughts with more realistic ones. As needed, ask for help from someone who you feel can provide un-biased and honest perspective.
Before getting started take a moment to calm your mind and body. Use this breathing exercise to reduce your worried mind. Then return here if you need a reminder on the process.