Why Worry All of the Time When We Can Worry Some of the Time
We all worry.
Worrying is a form of thinking that leaves us feeling anxious or apprehensive. Although it is not the same as anxiety, it can definitely feel uncomfortable and stressful, to say the least!
We will never be able to stop worrying completely. However, that doesn’t need to be our goal. Instead, we can develop some control over how we manage our worries and how much energy we dedicate to worrying.
💡One way we can do this is by scheduling worry time: a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) technique where we are encouraged to set aside time to specifically think about and work through our worries.
💡Sounds a bit counteractive, doesn’t it? Why would one schedule a time to worry if they don’t want to worry?
💡Think about this:
-Do you ever find yourself in an endless stream of worries that can consume you for hours or even an entire day?
-Do you ever feel exhausted, physically and/or mentally from spending all of this energy on worrying?
💡Well, that’s the point! By setting a scheduled worry time and postponing your worries to the allocated time increases your control over your thoughts and worries while not deterring you from feeling your feelings. It allows you to grapple with the worry but doesn’t let you ruminate over it throughout the day. Thus, making worries less intrusive in your daily life.
💡Moreover, setting a scheduled worry time helps us become more mindful of our thought patterns and processes. Lastly, by allocating time for our worries, we become more productive (more energy to spend on tasks or joys at hand).
-This strategy takes practice!
-Do not use your "worry time" to delve into or relive traumatic events.
-Stop the practice if you find yourself becoming highly anxious or uncomfortable.
-Remember that worry and anxiety are not the same.