By Jayne Reah
We all worry right? It’s a natural human response to situations that we perceive as potentially harmful or threatening. However, constantly worrying is no fun, it’s exhausting and it can be detrimental to our mental and physical health.
Less worrying is generally a good thing. It means more sleep, more energy, we’re less on edge, we have better concentration and more head space. So, the question is how do we stop worrying?
Here are some tips to help you:
Identify the source of your worry: Try to pinpoint the specific cause of your worry. Is it something you can control or influence?
Take action: If possible take action to address the issue. Make a plan and take steps towards resolving the issue. And try and do it sooner rather than later. For example, don’t leave unresolved work issues hanging over the weekend if you don't need to.
Question the usefulness of your worry: Is worrying making the situation or you feel better? Challenge these assumptions as the time we spend worrying isn’t generally helpful.
Reframe your thoughts: Try to view your situation from a different perspective and focus on what you can do to improve the situation.
Practice mindfulness: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, may help you stay present and focused. Draw on your senses; hear the birds, taste your food, sense the weight of whatever it is you're holding in your hand. Focus on what is happening now and reduce the power of worrying thoughts.
Face what you fear: Sometimes we have to accept we can’t resolve our worries and doing so may be fuelling the worry cycle. Try accepting that what you’re worrying about might happen. You might be late for the presentation tomorrow, you may lose your job, your son may fail his A-levels. Reflect on the level of control you have over your worries. And know if your worry comes true trust that you will navigate the challenge with strength as you have done in the past.
Controlled Worry Time: Allow yourself a fixed amount of time to think about what it is that’s worrying you. You could write it down or say it out loud. Set your timer for 10-15 mins and when the time's up, tell yourself to stop thinking about it and move onto something else.
Seek Support: Talking to someone you trust like a friend or family member, or seek the professional help of a therapist or coach. Find someone who can provide you with the support you need to manage your worries.
Remember, it's natural to worry, but too much worrying can be stressful. We can learn to control our thoughts and how much time we spend worrying. So, what could you do in order to worry less?
Author: Jayne Reah
Jayne is our Work Stories Co- founder and resident executive coach. To find out more about Jayne click HERE