5 Steps to stop worrying
Many of my clients find themselves worrying about things throughout their daily lives. We worry about what people think of us, or worrying about one of our family members catching COVID, or what would happen if we lose our job. Our worries often bring us down the rabbit holes of the “what if…?”, what if I lose my job next month, what if I can’t find a job for a few months after that, or what if my mom tests positive for COVID. These rabbit holes often lead us to think worst case scenarios, and often leave us with more questions than answers, which feeds into our worry even more. In all reality, what we think is the worst case scenario, rarely, if ever, happens.
An important theme with worrying is that we worry about things that are often out of our control. Some of our worries are completely out of our control, and some things, a portion is in our control. When we catch ourselves worrying, we should be asking ourselves how much is in control to change the outcome of what we are worrying about. Our worry is going to make it seem like we are in control of a lot more than we, actually, are. It is going to try to trick us into believing that worrying will change the outcome. It wants us to believe that by worrying, we are helping prevent something or we will be able to think of a solution that will change things. Most of the time that is not true.
Here are 5 steps to help stop worrying:
Step 1 – is to recognize that we are worrying.
Step 2 – you want to assess what is in your control.
Step 3 – once we know what is in our control, we make a plan of how we are going to tackle what is in our control (action plan).
Step 4 – Complete action plan and accept that the rest is out of our control.
Step 5 – Get distracted and do some self-care.
Here is an example with the steps, when we are worried about looking for work, “we are worried about find a job fast enough, because are savings are dwindling quickly, and we have applied for all of these jobs…and still no interviews yet…what if we are unemployable…what if we won’t ever find a job ever again”… and the worries and thoughts continue.
Step 1 – We recognize we are worrying
Step 2 – The part that is in our control is that we make sure to look for new job postings everyday, what jobs we choose to apply for, if we get help to make our resume better and how we present ourselves on paper.
Step 3 – We make a plan to look for new postings every day from Monday to Friday. And to apply for all of the jobs that interest us or that we qualify for. We plan to talk to an employment centre to help improve our resume, and we tailor every cover letter to the respective job.
Step 4 – Let’s put this plan in motion. Once we send our application in, the rest of it is out of our control. This is the part that we have to start accepting that is out of our control, and no amount of worrying will change the outcome of getting an interview or getting hired. Worrying is having a negative effect on our body and mind, and it’s more harmful than helpful.
Step 5 – Every day after we apply for our jobs, we have scheduled some intentional self-care to keep our minds distracted from worrying, and with activities that make up feel better.
Julie Couture, MACP, has extensive experience in the area of anxiety and family relationships, plus many more. For more information on Julie and her work, click here to link to her full bio page