How Do You Deal With Worry?

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.
Erma Bombeck

I am an inveterate worrier. As long as I’ve been sentient, I’ve been worried about something or the other. Some of the things I stress about are mundane. Some are really big deals: job security, money, worrying about the future.

Usually, I get very annoyed when people trot out trite phrases like “Why worry when you can pray”. I feel like yelling at them, “That’s not how life works!”

When worry keeps me up at night, or takes up my mental bandwidth, it makes me unlikely to succeed at what it is I’m trying to do, and that only reinforces my troubles.

Lists are my solution to worry. Well, not solution… More like a salve, some sort of soothing relief.

I make to-do lists, problem lists and pro-con lists.

  • Making to-do lists the night before or the morning of, helps me organize my thoughts and actions towards getting things done.
  • Problem lists come in when I’m so stressed and frazzled- I start writing down all my worries and fears so I can articulate the actual things I’m stressed about.
  • Pro-con lists help me decide on a course of action, or at least make situations more clear.

With lists, I’m able to process my worry and figure out how to solve my problems.

How do you deal with worry? Let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “How Do You Deal With Worry?

  1. I ask myself what is the worst that could happen I focus on the present. try to read dale carnegie’s book on worry.

  2. Hi Toby,

    I am a worrier, I like to over-analyse the ifs, whens, whats, hows and buts. So, I worry, then I worry some more until the worry runs its natural course and it hits me smack in the face that worrying is futile. Then I snap out if and act.

    Like you, writing lists help me keep track of my thoughts, I plan what to do and how to do it and it calms me somewhat. I separate the worry into ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ and break down the solution into alternatives.

    1. Oh yes, breaking the solutions down further really helps me come to terms with whatever the situation is. Nice to know I’m not the only one!

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