Strategies to combat worry are needed more than ever. The Covid pandemic has left many people unemployed, struggling financially, arguing with loved ones and feeling very worried about an uncertain future. Thankfully, there are simple ways to help you to combat worry. Worry is unfortunately a part of life and a state that our minds seem to default to when they aren’t occupied (something evolution got wrong!)
Here are suggestions to help you combat worry:
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this something with a very low probability of occurring?
- What prediction am I making?
- What is the problem that needs to be solved?
- What specific actions can I take?
- Are these actions reasonable?
- Am I worrying about things over which I have little or no control?
- Is this a productive (resolution focused) or unproductive worry?
- Why or why not?
|My negative predictions||How I make these predictions come true||Alternatives that can disprove my negative predictions|
|How I’ll feel about what’s bothering me now in…..||Why I would not feel as bad about this|
Negation of Problems to combat worry:
|Problem||Why it’s not a problem…|
Why it’s not a problem
We rarely look for reasons why something isn’t a problem. Usually, we identify a problem or worry and the downward spiral begins. What if this happens? Or that? I will never cope…this is terrible! etc This is not a useful way to combat worry. Think about why something might not be a problem. You may not always be able to think of an answer but this is a step in the right direction towards effective thinking and problem solving and pulls you away from the constant negative thoughts that will ultimately drag you down.
Remember that thoughts aren’t facts and catastrophising is something we all do at times. Try not to think of the worst possible outcome as it may never happen but you will still feel the anxiety. Remind yourself that catastrophising isn’t helpful and think of alternative ways to look at a problem. Monitor errors in thinking to combat worry.
Be aware of your errors in thinking and this will help you to combat worry. Refrain from making assumptions but what others might be thinking, remind yourself that your thinking might be inaccurate and actively look for other ways to perceive the situation.
Example: to combat worry
If you worry that you might lose your job, consider the fact that this may be something you have no control over. Instead of “what if” thinking, try problem-solving instead.
Ask yourself what you could do if you were to lose your job and also consider the likelihood of this scenario. Fill your mind with thoughts that empower you rather than debilitate you.
The Covid pandemic has left millions of people feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Take it one day at a time, problem solve, think about what is good in your life (no matter how small) and use coping statements to help you combat worry such as “No matter what comes my way, I will find a solution.”
Thank goodness that change is inevitable and this situation won’t last forever. Hang in there!