3 Ways to Curb Worrying

by Pam Solberg-Tapper

Are you a worrier? In reality, most of the things you worry about never happen. And, worrying will never change the outcome. Here are some ways to curb your worry habit.

  1. Write your worries down

Instead of letting worry swirl around in your mind taking up brain space and distracting you from the present, make a list of what you are worrying about. Then decide if they are solvable or unsolvable worries by asking yourself, “Is this worry a problem I can solve or is it an imaginary “what if” scenario?” If it is “solvable worry”, decide on the first thing you must do to seek a solution and get into action as soon as possible. If it’s a “what-if worry” ask yourself, “What is the reality of this happening?” and “Is this something I can control?” Write down your answers. Recording your thoughts on paper that the worry is unfounded or out of your control can aid in dissipating the worry.

  1. Schedule a “worry time”

Slate a time and place to worry. You’re not telling yourself to stop worrying,  instead, you’re telling yourself to postpone worrying until the scheduled time. During this time period, allow yourself to worry about whatever is on your mind. This practice does not suppress worry but defers worrying so you aren’t distracted from things you must do. You are also not pretending that your worries aren’t warranted. But, you can come up with your plan of action during your scheduled time. Knowing that you can compartmentalize worry for later, the rest of the day can be a worry-free zone.

  1. Shrink the importance of your worry

Don’t invest $100 of worry on a $5 problem. When you have a worry ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how important is this?” If it is not at least a 7, it doesn’t deserve much attention so just let it go. Write the worry on a piece of paper, crumple it up and throw it away.  As you develop the ability to evaluate and minimize worry’s importance, you’ll start to realize that you have more control over worry than you think.

“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years.

If something is wrong, fix it if you can.

But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.”
– Mary Hemingway

Using these suggestions can help you curb your worry habit and free your mind to be present on the matters at hand.