How to stop worrying in one step

It is easier to stop worrying than you might think and the secret to worrying less may very well surprise you. How to stop anxiety in its tracks? Put a time limit on your worries.

How to stop worrying in one step

A place for everything

  • Often, worry signals that we have unfinished business - thoughts, emotions and issues that need to be addressed, but that we are unable to face for whatever reason.
  • By assigning yourself a designated time to worry, you create space for things that might be bothering you. The result can be life-changing: once your thoughts have a place to go and your subconscious knows that you will have time to think and worry about whatever makes you anxious, you very well may worry less.

Time to worry

  • In order to make scheduled worrying as productive as possible, identify a quiet time during your week.
  • If necessary, block the time out on your calendar so that you keep the appointment with yourself.
  • Promise yourself that during your designated worry time, you will not check your computer, answer your phone, or visit with anyone else. This is your time for worry.

Worry with reason

  • Once your worry time rolls around, seat yourself in a quiet place without any distractions. Now, go over the things you're worried about.
  • Check in with your mind, body and spirit. What is distressing you at the moment? Which of your worries are actionable and which are just anxiety?
  • You may feel panic when you face your worries head-on, but don't get stressed. Instead, breathe slowly and steadily and let your mind wander around your worries.

Cut it off

  • Now that your designated worry time has expired (start with twenty minutes), remove yourself from your worry spot and stop worrying. If you are bothered by more worries, anxieties, or intrusive thoughts, catch yourself and label the behaviour in your head. "I'm worrying," you may say to yourself, or "that's a worry." Don't follow the worry to its conclusion.
  • Remind yourself that you have designated worry time in which to address any anxiety. This discipline is the key to scheduled worrying.
  • Once your brain realizes that you really will address everything pressing at your next worry session, you may feel your anxiety levels decrease. Now go forth and enjoy your worry-free day.
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