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10 Simple ways to overcome worry

We all have worries; from financial to relationships to employment. Some people worry constantly or are in a state of anxiety all of the time. Some people cannot even describe the problem but have a feeling of anxiety. Regardless of the cause of the worry, one thing is for sure: being stressed out all of the time is mentally and physically draining.

At times, worry can be a motivator to enable a solution to a problem. However, there are occasions when it becomes paralysing and prevents any clarity to the problem from surfacing. In addition, worrying is energy and time consuming and may lead to a more intense form of worry known as fear.

Here are 10 simple tips to overcome worry.

  1. Talk to someone about your worries.

  2. Write down a detailed description of the problem. Try to identify the root cause of a problem, for this a laddering technique can be utilised. A laddering technique requires you to start with a clear, simple and concise description of the problem. From this point you can begin to understand the implications of the problem by asking yourself, “what will happen then?” In doing this you begin to question and, also, address the fear in a rational way. This allows you to find a positive solution to your problem, rather than allowing your irrational thoughts to escalate it.

  3. Write down what you can do about the core problem.

  4. Decide on a plan of action and the coping skills you possess to help you cope. If you feel as though you do not have the specific skills required, think of someone who has those skills and who may help you, for example, consult with a doctor if you are anxious about a certain physical or medical condition.

  5. Start to implement your plan immediately and try to stick to it. Procrastination only serves to elevate your level of anxiety as the problem intensifies.

  6. Live in the present. Be mindful of the here-and-now and what you are able to control. It is no use worrying about the future as you are able to plan for it but unable to predict or control it. “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it only empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom.

  7. Self-Care: Exercise. Eat correctly. Take deep breaths. Get enough sleep.

  8. Determine the amount of concern the problem is worth. Decide not to be more stressed than that.

  9. Put aside “worry time” each day. This is an allocated time when you allow yourself a couple of minutes to worry about a matter or problem. Once ‘worry time’ is over, put the problem aside and continue with your day.

  10. Decide to let it go.

At times, you may feel overwhelmed by worry which may disrupt your everyday functioning. It may hamper the way you interact with people, your ability to perform in your job or impact the way you perceive yourself. If you feel as though your worries or anxieties are hampering your ability to reach your potential, it may be helpful to consult with a mental healthcare professional, such as a psychologist.

There is always help nearby. You just need to decide to ask for it.

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