“There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne
Worrying can be useful since it can motivate us to be prepared. However, too much worry can be problematic and can lead to sleep problems, irritability, poor concentration, and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress. Worrying can also be a waste of time and energy. Often, the things that we worry about are beyond our control and no amount of worrying will guarantee a positive outcome. Here are some quick tips for managing worry:
1. Challenge your thoughts – when we worry, we tend to overestimate the likelihood of a negative outcome. So ask yourself how likely that worst case scenario really is and consider other options that may be more realistic and easier to handle.
2. Use healthy relaxation skills such as deep breathing, meditation, and exercise.
3. Replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Some examples of worry-reducing beliefs are “Things are rarely as bad as I expect them to be,” “I have the skills that I need to deal with this,” and “I’ve survived other situations like this in the past and I’ll survive this one too.”