Many of us worry – sometimes about things we can control and sometimes about things we can’t. I know at times, worry can get in my way – it might hold me back from doing the things I want to do or it might stand in the way of a good nights sleep. The sooner you notice you are worrying, the easier it becomes to stop it. If we allow it to continue, it may build up until it becomes a bigger issue and get in the way of building a flourishing life.
Here are three strategies that I have found help in dealing with worry.
Susan Jeffers (1987) writes that we don’t fear the things we think we fear – we fear that we won’t be able to handle it. So in order to counteract that feeling, look back on your past experiences and remember that anything that has ever happened to you, you have handled! So make your new mantra – I’ll handle it!
Another alternative is to prevent your worry from taking over and going on and on – set up a designated time to worry. Designate 15 minutes at 2 pm to bring forth a safe container for those thoughts. Another time that they come up say to yourself “ Thanks for brining those fears up but let’s save them for 2pm Worry time. You may choose to conclude your worry time by identifying one small step you can take to move forward on what ever is worrying you. Action helps to further reduce anxiety and worry. Note that it might really be small –for example, I am going to call somebody or do an internet search on something.
The third way to master your worry is to notice if you are using a fixed or growth mindset. Fixed mindset occurrs when you believe you have a fixed amount of something – like talent or ability and therefore don’t work to cultivate it. Growth mindset occurs when you recognize that anything can change with practice and perseverance. Just learning this difference allows you to start to identify fixed mindset yourself and when you identify it you can then start to change it. Everyone I know has a fixed mindset at least in a couple of areas in their life. What are yours?