There is no lack of things to worry about right now. From Covid-19 to economic uncertainty to whether schools will reopen for the upcoming academic year uncertainty is the name of the game. And with uncertainty, can come worry. Worry is a natural response but excessive worrying can make it difficult to think clearly and make good decisions.
Lisa Mitchell, Communications Expert & Founder of Power Body Language has a few simple tips to help you worry less:
1. Don’t get stuck in the “what if” worry trap
A lot of what we worry about isn’t even things that have happened or will happen with certainty. We spend a lot of time spinning on all the “what if” scenarios that we create in our minds, most of which are not even within the realm of actual or likely possibility, and we put our energy into worrying about things that don’t need our attention. When your mind starts running into the worry trap, reign it back in by asking yourself “how likely is this to really happen?” before giving it your serious attention.
2. Identify what specifically is causing you the most worry about any situation
When you find yourself worrying about something, pause to ask yourself what you are specifically worrying about in that situation or scenario. In the case of worrying about something you consider to be a “big” concern or problem, break it down into specific pieces or stages to see where your worry is really being triggered. You will most likely find that even though a problem at first appeared to be big or complex, there may only really be 1 specific concern that you can take action to plan for or avoid that could make a big difference in how big you perceive the problem to be and will lead you more clearly to what action to take.
3. Replace worry with perspective
Write down what you’re worried about in detail. And then challenge yourself with 2 questions:
1) How likely is this to happen?
2) What positive outcomes might result?
This helps you to shift your worry perspective by getting honest with yourself about the actual risk or chance that whatever you’re worried about might actually happen and also allows your mind to see that positive outcomes are a very real possibility and that helps to dilute your worry to a more manageable feeling level of concern.
We live in stressful and uncertain times. It’s not realistic to think we can eliminate all of our worries but we do have more control over how much energy we give to our worries and how we perceive concerns that we give ourselves credit for.