How to Worry the Right Way

//How to Worry the Right Way

“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater their power to harm us”

-Voltaire

Here you’ll find ways to:

    Change “worries” into “problems” that you can solve.
    Make plans for action, and then
    Decide what to do – or
    What attitude to take up when you can’t actually do anything.

This  can be of most help when depression is coming from an overload of stress. It’s less important when your depression simply comes out of the blue – but we all worry and it’s useful to be able to do it well!

The Two Kinds of Worry:

1. Bad worry – is destructive. It’s keeping worry inside – just spinning your wheels – and leads to all kinds of symptoms, discomfort and unhappiness.

2. Good worry is accurate and organized – it allows you to solve problems.

The more depressed you are, the more important it is to know exactly what’s bothering you so that you can choose a better response.

It’s totally useless to say to anybody: “Stop worrying!” Everyone worries sometimes. The question isn’t whether you worry, but HOW!

Question: How do you ‘Worry RIGHT’?
Answer: You Worry-WRITE!

Use pencil and paper to get your worries organized – and find solutions.

When?-Set aside definite times each day to do it.

Where? -Worry at a desk. Never worry in bed!

Force yourself to worry regularly, and your mind will probably rebel against doing it – you may find yourself unable to worry as often. Make a contract with yourself to worry for 30 minutes once or twice a day and if you can’t keep worrying that long, you can allow yourself to cut the time down.


“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes – most of which never happened”

– Michel Monteigne



If you’re worrying outside designated hours, shout “STOP” loudly, or visualize a large red STOP sign in your mind’s eye.

Here are a few points to help you develop your responses – to almost any worry you can think of.

      1. Write down a list of all your worries.
      1. Rate each worry as major or minor- or just a hassle.
      1. Divide major and minor ones into ‘urgent’, and ‘non-urgent’.
      1. Put aside the minor and non-urgent ones until later.
      1. Organize worries into two groups:
      • 1. Those you can do something about.
      • 2. Those you can’t do anything about.

Is the Worry Accurate?

Be specific. Instead of thinking “I’m depressed!” say “I’m angry”, “I’m worried about not having enough money for the next month,” or “There is conflict in the family caused by…………….”

You will feel more in control if you are clear about the nature of your worry. You can more easily develop a positive attitude, work out solutions and make good decisions.

TAKING ACTION on worries you can influence

Write each big, urgent worry as a heading on its own sheet of paper.

Organize all sheets related to a specific problem area – such as work or relationships – in a folder or loose leaf book.

Accumulate a list of books, articles, ideas and people who might help – family and friends, acquaintances, people at work, your doctor, or a counselor.

Brainstorm. Let your mind wander – write down any and every solution that pops in to it. Generate ideas as fast as you can, no matter how ridiculous they seem (this encourages creative thinking). Out of a hundred ideas one really useful one might surface. Keep a wide open mind!

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas”.

Relaxation and imagery techniques can help. You may find better solutions when you sit back and take a look at the problem in a more relaxed and creative mood.

A huge problem? – Break it down into parts and deal with each part separately. For example, if you are laid off, the parts might be: money problems; where and how to find a new job; what field to change to if you must; the response of your spouse.

Once you have a Plan for the Worry:

      • – How do you see this happening? Picture each step.
      • – What do you need in order to do it? Make a list.
      • – Who do you need to help you? What do they have to do?
      • – When will you carry out each step? Write down a date.

WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE’S NO SOLUTION



There are no neat solutions for some problems. Here are some options:

1. Focus on the present

Don’t dwell on the future – or the past! Learn from the past, let it go, then focus on the present moment.

2. Acceptance
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”- Epictetus

It’ s not easy, but accepting any bad situation that seems out of your control can be your first step to reducing your stress. You don’t have to like it, agree with it, or approve of it, but to accept it without struggling will make you feel stronger.

Acceptance does not mean sitting around doing nothing. If you decide you can accept something, you will actually be more able to act because you’ll be in a calmer and stronger frame of mind.

3. Action
Even if you can’t do much to change the thing that ís stressing you, it’s always a smart move to get busy doing something else constructive. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself for too long. DO SOMETHING! This is a great anti-depression weapon!

4. Awfulizing
Consciously deciding to face up to the worst that could possibly happen, often means that you see just how unlikely and ridiculous it actually is and you can let it go. If the worst is quite possible, then vividly picture yourself coping well with it – bravely and resourcefully. This can help you let the worry go and focus on dealing with the actual problems of the present.

Shakespeare wrote: “To fear the worst, oft cures the worst”.

Take care doing this if you feel really hopeless. See your doctor as soon as possible and tell him or her how you are feeling, because focusing on the worst outcomes may cause you to be even more depressed.

Read more: 25 ways to manage stress

Read more: Maintain a healthy life balance

2018-07-23T12:06:35+00:00 Tags: , , , , , |

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