Worrying, we all do it. While it can sometimes be helpful – spurring you on to solve a problem – unnecessary worrying drains your emotional energy, leading to stress and chronic anxiety. We sat down with hypnotherapist Fiona Lamb for her advice on how to get a grip on it...
Ask This Question
Ask yourself, is the problem solvable? If it is, brainstorm ideas of how to solve it and follow through with the best course of action to eliminate anxiety. You may realise the problem isn't actually there yet, and you’re going over imaginary ‘what ifs’. If the problem is there and is unsolvable, it’s important to tune into your emotions and control any unhelpful thoughts.
Challenge Your Thoughts
Do you have a habit of jumping to conclusions and imagining the worst case scenario? That’s known as ‘cognitive distortion’. Try not to identify your thoughts and worries as facts. Ask yourself if there's a more positive way of looking at the situation and if there's any evidence to suggest your thoughts aren't true.
Create A ‘Worry Window’
If you try to suppress a feeling it can actually make it stronger, and you feel worse. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. However, break the cycle of continuous dwelling by setting yourself a 'worry window' of, for example, 20 minutes per day at the same time every day. Anything before or after that should be a worry-free zone.
Believe In Yourself
No matter your problem or worry, know that you can handle it, as you always do. Learn to trust yourself and the decisions you make, and try not to dwell on what you 'should have' done. If you make a mistake, that's ok, forgive yourself – you’re only human.
Live In The Now
Anxiety and worry are a projection into the future, which isn't happening yet and may not ever happen. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, try to bring your attention back to the present moment. This may take time as you are effectively re-training your brain against its old habits, but be patient and practice letting go.