Worry is draining. You try to get busy, but your mind keeps going back to the same thing. You forget about it for a while, and then a sick feeling in your stomach brings it all back. You can’t enjoy your family and friends because you aren’t really present. Popping awake at 3 am and knowing that you’ll lie there for the next two hours gives you something new to worry about.
What can you do to stop worrying and effectively solve your difficulties? The first step is to realize that worry is a problem in itself. The situation troubling you may well be serious, but worry keeps you from thinking clearly and taking effective action. Once you get a better handle on your worry problem, you’ll be better able to solve your other problems.
These suggestions may help you exit the worry trap:
- Do some exercise — it’s very effective for reducing worry. Next, take a hot shower or bath.
- Decide that for 15 minutes, whenever you catch yourself worrying, you will gently return your mind to the business at hand. Tell yourself that you can worry later if you wish, but right now, you’re going to focus on what you’re doing.
- Without realizing it, you’re probably repeating over and over, “What if……what if…..what if?” Get a little distance from this by stepping back and telling yourself: I’m thinking “what if?”
- Remind yourself that, whatever your problem is, many other people have faced the same difficulty and figured out a solution. You will, too.
Your solutions may include talking to a therapist, especially if you find that you cannot stop worrying despite using strategies like these. If so, please call me. I am experienced in helping people with a variety of worry and anxiety problems. Things really can get better.