Or: How to Worry Well.
We love to worry. My favourite things to worry about?
Money, jobs, relationships, family, the economy, politics, if my wifi is going to work when I skype. We worry about if we’re ever going to be successful. If we are failing. If we’re good enough. If we’re on the right track.
I’m an excellent worrier (yay me). Ironically, we think that worrying gives us power, in a situation in which we feel powerless.
We think worrying = an action = I’m doing something about it.
There’s a difference between thinking about what action you can take to solve whatever problem you have, and just mulling the problem over and over until you’re paralysed by it.
Now, the need to feel in control again is fine and good. But how do we do that in a way that is working FOR us, and that is productive?
So, how do you worry well?
Figure out if it’s an actual problem, a potential problem, or just an irrational fear. (You’d be surprised how many times we confuse the irrational with the rational).
Write down what you’re worried about. Or say it out loud to another human. Why? Because many times once we express whatever is in our heads, we realise it’s not that bad. Or that we already have some kind of answer.
Distract yourself. This is not avoidance. Many times our subconscious comes up with the answer or plans we need, when we give it the space to do so. So, either exercise, meditate, watch a film, play a game, hang out with friends. Anything where you get your mind in another space.
Schedule worry time. Sounds dismal, but it’s golden. Set time aside to ‘proactively’ worry. This serves your need to worry, but limits how much it takes up your life and energy. A good 10-20 mins a day is enough. Just don't do it before bed time.
Find someone who has worried about the same thing, and either it turned out fine, or they hatched a plan that solved it. Sad fact: you’re not that original that your problem hasn’t existed or been solved by someone else.
Talk to a professional. If your friends/family can’t help you out, chat to a trained therapist, psychologist or coach. Many times we have only niggly thought or belief that is keeping us stuck in our worry (and that’s why we keep worrying about the same thing over and over again).
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