Worry. It’s so easy to let the cares of the day get in the way of getting things done. Especially if you’re someone who finds it easy to find a worst-case scenario in every silver lining. So, what should you do if you find yourself caught up in a world of ‘what if’ scenarios? Simple. You stop worry in its tracks with these simple techniques.
List it Out
Start by figuring out what’s worrying you. Grab a paper and pencil and jot down everything vying for your attention.
Analyze What’s Going On
With your list in front of you, examine the things you’ve written down. Are there any themes to your worry? Is this worry something you can do something about? Keep in mind, sometimes worry is a good thing, as it can lead you to positive action steps (worrying about moving next week means you might help provide impetus to finish packing up your apartment). On the other hand, some worry you can’t do anything about, especially if the object of your worry is outside of your control.
With the productive worries out of the way, you’re going to focus now on the unproductive ones. Accept there are just some things you can’t do anything about.
Normalize the Situation
Now repeat the worry, over and over again, until the words become meaningless. If you’re worried about your job, say out loud, “I may get fired” until the words lose their power.
Worry makes you uncomfortable because you’re focusing on the feelings associated with fear. With this in mind, try things you find scary, such as public speaking or trying something new. Become used to the feeling of uncertainty, even embracing it.
Be Here Now
Worriers are time travelers, focused on the future. Instead of concentrating on what might happen later, look at this instant instead. What’s going on right now?
Realize it’s Really Not That Bad
Worrying takes things to extremes. Very rarely are things quite so dire. Dial back the fear by asking yourself honestly, what’s really most likely to happen.
Cry. Scream. Throw Things.
It’s ok to express your emotions. Bottling them up only makes what you’re worried about, worse. If you’re angry or upset, find a way to vent this (safely). Scream into a pillow, then throw it across the room if you need to.
Find someone who’s a great listener and take your worries to them. If necessary, check-in with a counselor. Expressing your fears does wonders for easing them.
Remember, worry doesn’t have to rule your life. You’re in charge of your thoughts. Take back control and stop worry in its tracks. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels!
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