Why don’t you try? : Try setting aside some worry time
It’s really hard to stop worrying altogether. Worry is a mechanism that our brains have learnt in order to keep us safe. Our brains learned to worry and experience anxiety in order to deal with tigers and other threats in our natural environment. Except most of us aren’t dealing with tigers any more. We’re dealing with presentations, pandemics and zoom calls. Our worrying becomes something that doesn’t keep us safe, it just holds us back. And often the harder we try not to think about something, the more we think about it!
Simply trying not to think or worry about something just doesn’t work. And that can be where the worry time technique can really help some people. You’re not trying not to think about it, you’re noting it down and making a deal with your brain to think about it later.
Worry time doesn’t work for everyone but it does work for many.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS IF YOU’RE GOING TO TRY THE WORRY TIME TECHNIQUE:
Schedule it for the same time every day
Habits form when something is easy to do. Schedule your worry time for the same time each day, preferably a time when no one else has demands of you. It ideally needs to be later in the day, but definitely not too close to bedtime. Many people find around 6pm to 7pm is about right and don’t allow yourself more than half an hour at the most or it can take over.
Find somewhere calm and quiet (and uninterrupted)
Worry time is an act of self-care for many people so make it sacrosanct if you’re going to do it. Find yourself somewhere calming where you won’t be interrupted and make sure the people around you know to leave you alone for that half an hour.
Think about what you’ll do after your worry time has finished and make it a ritual
Set an alarm so you don’t go over your time, it’s really important that you stop at the end of the time you’ve scheduled. Always have something you enjoy that will be a bridge for you to transition out of your worry time. That might be five minutes with your favourite magazine, making a cup of tea, or stepping out into your garden for five minutes before you go back to your day to day. This gives you something to look forward to and move you into a positive mindset again.
Write down your worries throughout the day
The important thing about worry time is that it is the only time during the day when you allow yourself to worry. So as things crop up and negative thoughts pop into your head throughout the day, make a note of them in your diary, on your phone or on a post-it note, whatever works for you.
Here’s a tip for you to try this week :
Set yourself routine breaks during the day and be kinder to yourself. If your worries keep distracting you, try writing them down throughout the day and setting aside a “worry time” each day for a few minutes where you let yourself go through the list, and don’t think about them outside of your worry time., Call a support line or charity for support, such as MIND or Lets Talk,
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