6 Great Strategies for Managing Worry

6 Great Strategies for Managing Worry

Happiness is a positive emotion that typically comes from engaging in positive behaviours. But sometimes we need to manage negativity to enjoy some positivity. So, today we're pleased to bring you a guest blog by one of the clinical psychologists from Dr. Timothy Sharp & Associates (HERE

by Nicholas Lim-Howe – Don't worry, be happy! 

It is not unusual to experience a sense of worry in our busy lives. In fact we can start worrying from a very young age. Children often worry about not being in close proximity to their parents, about their first day at school, and of course about monsters under their bed.  At adolescence the focus commonly turns to academic performance, social/intimate relationships and social status. As adults we may worry about our university/career/ our health/our social relationships/our intimate relationships/our families/our finances/our home and the list goes on.

While we may not exactly worry about the same things, it seems that the older we get the number of things we have to worry about grows nevertheless.

While worry can and does lead to solutions, sometimes however it can often add more problems. As a clinician, I often hear that too much worry can have an impact on concentration and relationships, lead to sleep problems, indecision and irritability. In fact it may disrupt your entire daily routine, with worry often taking control. Here are some tips to get control back–

Remain calm– Due to the pervasive nature of worry, its persisting physical effects like chronic irritability and agitation, can take its toll on our bodies. Allocate some time each day to relax, exercise and de-stress.

Ground Yourself– When we worry our attention typically tends to be focused inwards on our thinking rather than what we need to be doing in the ‘here and now’. Take time to notice 3 things in your surroundings to draw your attention to the task at hand. Ask yourself what can you hear, see or smell?

Can it be solved now? – As much as we would like to, sometimes we just aren’t able solve problems straight away. It’s important to assess what, if anything can be achieved right now.

Write it down– Sometimes we can be overrun by our worry.  It might be useful to jot down our worries to deal with them at a more appropriate time.

Set aside a time for solutions– Worry can often intrude and disrupt what we need or want to be doing. Setting aside a half hour each day to work through our worries may be useful in reducing the amount of time we spend worrying.

Coping with the unsolvable­– As frustrating as it can be sometimes there may be no solution to our worries. Rather than fighting it, energy may be better spent accepting this and dealing with our feelings.

So there you go…6 simple tips for managing worry and enjoying more happiness. 

Nick is a clinical psychologist specialising in evidence based therapies for problems such as stress, depression and anxiety (including Cognitive Behvaiour Therapy, Mindfulness Based Approaches and Acceptance Committment Therapy). If you'd like to speak with Nick about options for psychological therapy (either face-to-face in our Sydney rooms or over the phone from where ever you life/work) and/or other ways to manage worry and anxiety then please call on 02 9231 2522 or email directly to nick@makingchanges.com.au