We all worry at some time, however, constant worrying, about everything and things we have little or no control over, actually does us harm, Worry Not, there is a way you can manage your worries and get a better nights sleep to boot.
We may be a worrier because of learned behaviours, maybe your parents worried and you picked up from their anxiety and became the same.
Managing our worries requires a change of thinking, or un-learning some unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling and doing.
This will result in a change to how we feel, and in turn, how we behave, in therapy we call this this model of help cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
How to worry less
Sit down, relax and actually ‘think’ about what you’re worried about, grab a pen and paper or make a note on your mobile device, list these five questions.
Worry Not – 5 Simple Steps
1. What are you thinking will happen, and what is the likelihood of what you think will happen, actually happening?
Remember our fears play an important part in worry, so try to separate what you fear will happen and focus more on what is likely to happen.
2. What is the worst case scenario, best case scenario, and most likely scenario?
Identifying these three distinct variables will help you to identify the role fear plays in your belief system, or your individual Internal Working Model (your natural goto thought processing). Identifying the three possibilities, is helpful in learning a more rational way of thinking.
3. How many times have you thought this way and ‘the worst case scenario came true?
If you constantly think the worst is going to happen, but it rarely does, then its safe to say that your negative thought processes are causing more harm than the actual things you are worried about.
4. If the worst case scenario did happen, what would you do to deal with it?
If we know what we would do if this happens, we can feel in more control and prepared for whatever we fear may happen, its true that we deal with whatever we have to.
5. What are the Pro’s and Con’s of worrying about things?
After identifying what it is you’re worried about, write the pro’s and con’s of worrying about it, what are the positives and negatives re worrying. This will help you see just how much emotional energy you are giving to worrying.
If you’re a worrier and would like to learn even more therapeutic tools to help you manage your thoughts, manage and reduce your anxiety, working with a therapist/counselor could help.
Paul Parkin – online therapist and coach for life