Strategies to manage worrying unnecessarily
We all do it far too much for our own good but it is a habit that we can manage. The questions and exercises below are a fantastic effective way to put manage worrying and put you back in the frame in a more objective mindset.
Ask yourself the following questions to manage worrying:
- 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/worries:
1) for example: I will end up alone and miserable.
How I make these predictions come true:
Example: I avoid meeting new people because it’s a pointless exercise anyhow.
An alternative way to look at it that can disprove my negative predictions:
It’s not a ‘given’ that I will end up alone. I need to meet more people but I don’t need someone in my life to be happy. Being lonely is a state of mind. I might prefer to have a relationship but I am responsible for my own happiness.
How I’ll feel about what is bothering me now in:
Why I would not feel as bad about this in the future…
Negation of problems:
Example: I am single
Why it’s not a problem….
Example: I know many people in relationships who feel alone and miserable.
I have the choice to fill my life as I wish. Being single means making my own choices.
The above worksheet/exercise is a great way to introduce rational aspects into emotional reasoning. It can decrease your level of anxiety instantly and help you to manage worrying when it is just wasted energy.
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Photo by StormKatt