There’s So Much to Worry About! It’s Stressing Me Out
Let’s be honest . . . in these unprecedented times, it can seem like there’s so much to worry about. What does the future hold? When will things get back to normal, if ever? How will all of this impact me, my work, my family, my life? Here are some of my favorite strategies that I use to help me manage my worries.
- Research shows that the more you focus on your worries, the worse you will feel. And the worse you feel, the more you will worry, and round it goes. It can be easier to break this vicious cycle with practices that help you spend more time feeling positive emotions like hope, gratitude, peace, and curiosity. Check out this list of ideas.
- Uncertainty triggers a threat response in your brain that creates a feeling that you or someone you care about is in danger. Realizing that this is a normal instinctive response can be helpful. Then you can thank your survival instinct while also choosing to shift your thinking to something more useful.
- Get your worries out of your head by writing them down. Label them with an “A” if you can take some action to reduce the risk. If there is nothing you can do to change the situation, mark them with a “B.” Write down an action you can take for your “A” worries. Realize worrying about your “B” list is a waste of time and energy.
Worry Is Not a Strategy
- If you worry about something and nothing bad happens, you may start to believe that your worrying helped prevent it. Even though you may realize this sounds silly, your subconscious can still create this connection. Notice any thoughts that suggest worrying is helpful. Realize needless worry is impacting the quality of your life.
Get Another Perspective
- Share your worry with a trusted friend. Ask them to help you analyze the likelihood of your worry happening. Discuss what the worst possible outcome might be if it does happen and what you could do. Getting a second opinion can help put things in perspective.
Which of these ideas could you try this week?