Worry behavior is meant to relieve anxiety, but worry actually prevents emotional processing.
We might ask ourselves: To what degree is worry beneficial to me?
There are some common and telling statements people make about worry:
- Worry prepares me for bad events.
- Worry helps me avoid bad events from happenings.
- Worry is an effective way to problem solve.
- Worry distracts me from more emotional topics
It would be helpful to remember that about 85% of the things we worry about don’t happen. Of the 15% of the bad things that do happen, people cope the majority of the time.
- Keep a worry outcome diary.
- What is the reality of your worries?
- Write down detected worries as they are noticed during the day.
- Write down what outcome you fear will happen.
- When an outcome occurs for a worry, write down what that outcome actually was and how well you coped with it.
- Establish a daily time period that will be worry free
- Postpone any detected worrying to the daily worry period.
- Detect worrying and postpone it, wait it out.
- Things heal themselves without our help.
- Focus attention on what is happening in the present.
- Establish a daily worry period.
- Use the worry period to problem solve
- Discover that worry is not necessary to prevent bad outcomes or prepare for the worst.
Don’t feel you are abandoning your responsibility by not worrying.
Reprinted from The Anxiety and Phobia Newsletter Volume XXX, issue 6