See How a Pro Handles Worry
By Sandy Schroeder
I am the original worry wart, so I was interested to hear two clinical psychologists share their ways to deal with worry.
WellAndGood.com featured Elana Cairo, PhD, and Aimee Daramus, PsyD, who provided ways to stop worrying about things that can't be controlled.
Cairo started out by saying distraction is a great first line defense when you worry. Daramus agreed and suggested several ways to "stop the worry loops in their tracks."
Create a backup list - Pick some activities that make you happy and give you a sense of accomplishment. You may be great with arts and crafts, or a natural with storytelling or music. Or you may be a wizard in the garden growing all sorts of flowers and veggies. Use your talents to lose your worries. Try to work some of these activities into your days and weekends.
Ground yourself with soothing rituals - When you are worried, find a quiet spot and use your breath to slow your pulse and soothe your mind. Look around and use your senses to describe what you see, feel, hear or smell to connect yourself to the present and feel OK.
Treat yourself like you would a friend - Consider what you would do and say if a friend were troubled. Use that spirit of kindness and receptivity to talk with yourself about your worries. Skip all of the negative remarks and skepticism and focus on the positive.
Match new worries to past experiences - Whenever you are worried, take a moment to see if your worries resemble things you have dealt with in the past. Remember what you did and how you made it work.
Reserve some worry time - Set aside a time every day to consider your worries. It could be a time early in the morning or later in the evening that is used to air your worries. When that time becomes a regular thing, you may find you are worrying less throughout the rest of the day.
Make mindfulness part of your day - Brief meditations with 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 in the evening may help you let go of worries about things you can't control. As you sit quietly and watch your thoughts flow by unjudged, you may find a sense of relief that lets you think more clearly later.
If these methods work for you, hang onto them and use them whenever worries began to grow.
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