Challenge Your Worry
Worrying is NOT work and worrying doesn't work towards fixing what you're worried about. Our brain loves to lie to us and say that worrying is productive, but truthfully it often just leaves us less mentally and emotionally capable of addressing what we are actually worried about.
1. Is worrying helping or hurting my capacity to address the situation? Worrying depletes our reserves, it is often more hurtful than it's helpful. Asking yourself if worrying is helping or hurting you can be the first step in becoming aware that you get to choose how to address your worry in more mindful and constructive ways.
2. Do I need to take Action? Worry often doesn't have meaningful action attached to it. It's a vicious cycle that often doesn't move us forward. Get curious about what action item allows you to address the worry. Maybe it's prayer, a phone call, asking a hard question, naming your needs, or writing down your fears. Ask yourself what action item actually addresses what you're worried about. Action often reduces worry and anxiety. Get clear about 1 thing, big or small, that addresses the worry head-on.
3. Do I need to kindly surrender my need for control? Sometimes what we are worried about doesn't have a concrete action item associated with it. Sometimes our worry is a gentle opportunity and reminder that we need to breathe deeply and surrender to the discomfort that we aren't in control of AND that worrying isn't going to fix that. In moments like this meditation, prayer, affirmations, patience and self-love and compassion are important to practice.
4. What can I trust about myself to handle this situation regardless of the outcome? In moments of worry, we often step out of our own power because we feel helpless or out of control. In these moments step back into your power by asking what you can trust about yourself. Are you brave? Are you able to ask for help? Can you do hard things? Can you make informed choices? What values can you live into regardless of the outcome?
I hope these four simple questions help ground you when your worry is high. What are your favorite approaches to challenge worry?
Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LCSW works from a holistic approach, focusing on issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, chronic pain, disordered eating, faith transitions, stress management and serving the LGBTQ+ community. She offers coaching/consultation and therapy services to individuals, couples and families.