Worrying - How to Stop
What are you worrying about?
Answering that question is the key to eliminating your worry and living a happier life.
There are two main types of worry that you're likely to experience:
This type of worry revolves around something that may happen but hasn't occurred yet.
Worrying about losing your job is an excellent example of a hypothetical worry.
With practical worries, there is an actual problem you can solve.
If your home's roof is leaking, this is a practical worry that you may focus on.
We'll cover handling and challenging both types of worry in this article. Before that, let's spend some time breaking down the worry that's troubling you the most.
What Triggers Your Worry?
While you may be worrying about many different things, it's helpful to start by focusing on your largest worry and get to the heart of it.
Is there a pattern to when you experience your biggest worry? Perhaps it pops into your head when you're:
- feeling unwell
- in a rush
or there may be another trigger for your worry.
It may not be feasible to avoid the trigger that sets off your worry - a good approach is to minimize the likelihood of it occurring.
For example, if you worry more when you're tired, going to bed earlier one or two nights a week may help avoid triggering your worry as often.
Reducing or eliminating your triggers is the first step to stopping worrying.
When You Worry
In cases where your most significant worry is triggered, there are simple steps you can take to handle it and move on.
If you find you can't stop worrying a good technique to try is deliberately focusing on something else.
Sometimes you may find it easier to respond to your worry by taking physical action, rather than attempting to re-focus by thinking about something else.
When you start worrying, you could try leaving the room for a short walk or making a drink.
For practical worries, doing something that helps resolve the underlying problem can often be helpful - even if you just jot down a short plan to resolve the issue.
Re-focusing will also help handle hypothetical worries, as you start to un-pick the "what-if" story you've told yourself.
Worrying - How to Stop
So far we've covered avoiding the triggers for your main worry and re-focusing away from it.
Is your biggest worry a hypothetical worry or a practical worry?
If a practical worry plagues you the most effective way to eliminate it is by taking action (or a series of steps) to resolve the issue at the heart of the worry.
Often, challenging and dispelling a hypothetical worry can be a little trickier and less definitive than dispatching a practical worry.
Dismantling your hypothetical worry is a matter of challenging the future problem that may happen - but hasn't yet.
Here, a sound strategy is to think through similar hypothetical worries that didn't materialize, weighing reasons why they didn't happen against reasons why they could have happened.
Imagine that you're a lawyer defending or prosecuting your hypothetical worry. What evidence can you present for why it will (or will not) come to pass?
Considering how and why a hypothetical worry may or not happen starts a logical reasoning process that ultimately helps you dispel it.
Combined with avoiding triggers, re-focusing, taking action to address practical worries and challenging hypothetical worries are the tools which help you stop worrying.
While we've dealt primarily with your biggest worry, applying the techniques we've discussed will help you manage and eliminate all your worries.
And - there is a psychologically-proven way to eliminate your worries that costs you nothing, a Worry Diary.
How a Free Worry Diary Helps You
Using a Worry Diary makes it simple to:
- avoid worry triggers
- re-focus when you do worry
- kick-off the logical and rational analysis that ultimately defeats hypothetical worries
The mere act of recording a worry in your Worry Diary pushes it to the back of your mind and helps you re-focus.
A Worry Diary also helps you break cycles of intense worrying as you track which ways of re-focusing work best for you.
You can also capture details on your worry triggers, allowing you to plan how you avoid them.
But - the most critical aspect of using a Worry Diary is the role it plays in sparking the calm, rational thinking that banishes your hypothetical worries.
If you have time now, explore How to Use a Worry Diary and see just how simple it is to worry less.
Eliminating your worries with a Worry Diary is free, easy and quick...you can stop worrying now.
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