Why Worry? – 12 Tips for Dealing With Worry.
In the immortal words in the lyrics of the song of the same name by Dire Straits, Why Worry? Or you could follow the philosophy of the very clever lyrics by Baz Luhrmann in his song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” which simply state, “Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum”. It really is no surprise that in this ever changing world, financial, technological and cultural, that we all worry about things from time to time. But when one’s worries start to become a more deep seated anxiety that stops us from behaving in an appropriate fashion, it really is time to so something about it.
You will find that people often worry about things they feel powerless to change. Otherwise they’d change it and wouldn’t have to waste energy worrying about it anymore. So it follows that a worrier will worry about something generally negative rather than something that is actually happening. For example; many worry about the state of the economy, what it means for them and perhaps slightly more specifically how they are going to make ends meet in the coming months. This worry is, as I have said in previous posts in this blog, often drip-fed by the constant negativity in the media, which of course doesn’t help. But, can a single person (worrier) do anything about it? Not a chance! Which leads to my original question; Why worry?
Here are some tips for dealing with worry:
- Learn to recognise accept the things you can’t change. It really is a waste of energy worrying about something you can’t do anything about.
- IF you feel the need to worry, structure it. Have a 20 minute (no more) worrying session 2 or 3 times a week. Believe it or not this will help you to stop worrying!
- Accept that we cannot be 100% certain about everything. Worriers often worry about the uncertainty of things and strive to have that certainty. It’s just not possible thus feeding the initial worry. Learn to accept it.
- Notwithstanding the previous point, DO take action when and where appropriate.
- Procrastination is the enemy! Just get on with it and never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
- Stop trying and start doing! Trying implies failure and gives us an excuse to just that, so just do it. In the words of Yoda; “NO! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try!”
- Turn your problems into goals. As I said before, people worry about the negative, never the positive. So it stands to reason that people worry about perceived problems in their lives. Write them down. Consider the resource you have to be able to deal with them, then rewrite those problems into goals.
- Be mindful of your problems. Sit down, close your eyes and take time to just notice what you are worrying about. Don’t latch onto it, just notice it then let it float by you.
- Take time to relax. And I mean relax properly. Relaxation has become something of a luxury these days but really can help with so many things. When was the last time you relaxed properly?
- Recognise that the deeper, sub-conscious parts of our minds are generally a lot better at solving problems than our conscious thought processes. Learn to use it. A good way of doing this is that old saying “Sleep on it”.
- On the subject of old sayings “A worry shared is a worry halved”. Speak to family, friend and trusted colleagues. Often, having a different perception of a problem will assist in solving it.
- Challenge your worries. How likely is it to happen the way you’re worrying about? If it does, what’s the worst that can happen? Is it really likely to challenge your ability to cope or are you unnecessarily exaggerating the problem (by worrying about it)?
Of course many worriers will read these tips and worry about achieving all of it. Hypnosis and many of the other therapeutic practices I use can go a long way to coaching an individual to be able to achieve these things.
Nonetheless, don’t waste energy on worrying. It really is counter-productive and won’t solve the issues you’re worrying about.