Worry Time - Banish Your Worry

02 March 2021
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So, have you heard about this thing called Worry Time?

It's a strange idea where you set aside five to ten minutes of your day... ...and deliberately worry about things.

Bizarre? Yes.

Effective in helping you cope with your worry? Definitely.

But what is Worry Time, and how does it help you?

What Happens in Worry Time?

During Worry Time you read through a list of your recent worries (often called a Worry Diary).

The idea behind Worry Time is that you dedicate a portion of your day to uncontrolled, rampant worrying...

...but you don't worry at other times during the day.

While it takes a slight shift in behaviour to worry mainly during Worry Time, the rewards are worthwhile.

For each worry on your list, you consider the underlying problem or fear, along with looking for overall patterns.

But - the real magic of Worry Time happens before you sit down with your list of worries.

What Happens Before Worry Time?

The agreement you make with yourself is that you defer intense, focused worrying until Worry Time.

And it's this contract with yourself that provides the most benefit.

Why? Because you re-program yourself to catch worries as they spring into your mind, but re-focus away from them until Worry Time.

Re-focusing away from your worries helps you to get on with your day rather than worrying.

With a little practice, it's straightforward to tweak your behaviour so that you trap worries early and put them aside to tackle later.

Things Don't Seem as Bad in Worry Time

When Worry Time arrives, and you start to flip through your list of worries, you'll often find they don't seem as intense or important as when they first popped into your head.

This change occurs because the simple act of writing your worries down triggers a process of calm, rational thinking about the problem or issue feeding the worry.

Ultimately, you banish your "what-if" worries by reasoning about them logically, so starting that analysis early is crucial.

It's not unusual to read through your list in Worry Time and think, "I feel so much better now - what was I worrying about earlier?" - because you've been subconsciously challenging your worries all day.

Making Worry Time a Habit

You'll get the most value from Worry Time if you make it (and jotting down your worries) a daily habit.

There's no need for Worry Time to be at precisely the same time each day. You may find it helpful to stick to an approximate time slot each evening, varying as necessary to fit in with the rest of your life.

Usually, you won't need more than five or ten minutes for Worry Time. If it makes things easier for you, start by setting aside fifteen minutes and then gradually reduce as appropriate.

Even if you haven't worried about anything on a particular day, pausing for Worry Time gives you a chance to reflect on your day and reinforce the positive changes you've made.

How Long Will You Need Worry Time?

Everyone is different. You may start using Worry Time and continue for the rest of your life

Or Worry Time may help you through a challenging few months, after which you put it on the shelf for a while.

Thinking about your mental health more generally, spending a few minutes each day caring for your mind is a valuable investment.

You may start off practising Worry Time and, a few months down the line, be spending the time using approaches such as Gratitude Journals to maintain a balanced, positive outlook on life.

And you can always fall back on Worry Time if your worry starts to get out of control again - it's a tool you can turn to whenever needed.

Using Worry Time with Other Techniques

Planning Worry Time after complementary activities such as:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • hypnotic trance

works well as the positive aspects of each technique combine for a relaxing and calming effect.

There's no all or nothing with Worry Time - it works well on its own or in conjunction with other tools to manage and improve your mental health.

When building the arsenal of tools you use to care for your mind, Worry Time is just one thing that will guide you towards a happier and more rewarding life.

Where Does a Free Worry Diary Fit In?

Keeping a Worry Diary catalogues your worries, making it easy to review them in Worry Time.

Recording your worries in a Worry Diary (or equivalent log) is the foundation upon which Worry Time is built.

Once you commit your worries to paper, the logical and rational analysis to defeat your "what-if" worries begins.

Check out How to Use a Worry Diary to see how simple it is to get started and tap into all the benefits of Worry Time straight away.

Have you got time to start worrying less?

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