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  • Writer's pictureCristina Macena

A 3-Step Process to Stop Worry

Most people have worried about something in their life on occasion, but some people manage to turn it into a full-time job!

Worry is a state of mind where the same issue goes around and around in an endless loop with no intention of ever coming to an end.

The prime reason we allow it to continue is because we feel that by having the problem constantly in our mind, front and center, it will magically find a solution, and the issue will go away. It’s like we know that, when we find a solution, the worry will evaporate, but we put no effort into actually finding the solution.

Worry can sap all your emotional, mental, and even physical energy, and it will if you continue to give it permission to do so. So, you have to stop giving your permission. But how do you do that?

Before You Start

Think back to a previous time and make a note of every time you have worried in the past, and how that worry solved anything.

...Can’t think of one? Okay, let’s move on.

There must have been a time in the past where worrying was actually useful for you. Explain one time where worrying created a benefit for you that you have been able to use to make your life better.

...Can’t think of one? Okay, let’s move on.

One last thing. Let’s give this worry one last chance before we tackle it head on. Worry with as much angst and despair as you can for the next 30 minutes to see what happens. Go!

...Nothing changed? Okay, let’s move on.

You have discovered for yourself that worry never actually solved anything, right? You have also discovered for yourself that worry has never created a single benefit for you or made your life better, right? And finally, you have worried to the best of your ability for 30 minutes straight and nothing changed, right?

The Process

Now that you’ve seen that worrying doesn’t resolve the situation, and, in fact, has multiple negative consequences, let’s look at how you can stop the worry.

Follow these 3 steps:

1. Write down a detailed description of the issue. It’s important to clarify exactly what it is that you’re worrying about.

● How it came to be there

● What the cause of it was

● How this issue will affect your life

● Any other pertinent details

2. Next, write down what needs to happen for this issue to be resolved to your satisfaction. If there is more than one solution, write them all down. You might think of more solutions later, but for now, just write the ones that come to mind.

3. Make a decision and take action.

● Choose one solution and take action to implement it. It doesn’t even matter if you make the wrong decision and take the wrong action, because you can easily make another decision and take another action if the first one doesn’t work out.

● Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to alleviate the issue itself, but you can still choose how you respond. Instead of negatively affecting your wellbeing by worrying, each time you start to worry, immediately redirect your thoughts to something positive. This takes practice, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

So, the next time you find worry creeping up on you, just STOP, make a detailed description of it, write down some possible solutions to it, make a decision, and get into action. You’ll find that, as soon as you tackle the issue in this way, your worry will dissipate.

By the Urban Life Center Team

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