Challenge Accepted: Scheduling Worry

Photo by Aaron Blanco Tejedor.

I don't generally consider myself to be a worrier because I'm not always coming up with worst-case scenarios or getting paralyzed by random possibilities at every turn. HOWEVER, there are some specific topics that, once they creep into my mind, create a nice, mental loop of worry that's hard to release.

One might say that I worry about the things that worry me. (Shocker.)

So I like this challenge: schedule a time to worry and then stick to it.

Apparently, it's a research-supported idea that scheduling in your worry helps reduce overall anxiety. I also can see it being effective for increasing overall happiness, productivity, relationship quality, and maybe even sleep, depending on when and how worry manifests in your life.

The advice is simple: start with a 30-minute time slot dedicated to worry, ideally scheduled a little later in the day but not right before bed. Have something to write with during that time so you can list or write about your worry. Throughout the day, if a worry pops into your head, just jot it down so that you don't forget to worry about it at the appropriate time. Then, once time's up, stop!

I really like the idea of being able to tell myself, "not now, you've got time to worry about that later."

So I'm going to try it! Let's see what happens.

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