3 Steps to Deal With Worry

Are you a worrier? "I know worry works because nothing I worry about ever happens."   Have you heard of this quote? It sounds funny, but it's not far from the truth! It's normal to worry from time to time, but more and more people seem to worry about the smallest stuff. They also worry about the big things, too, of course, like health, relationships, and finances. Because worrying can be overwhelming and counterproductive, when writing my book 21 Days to Happiness, I decided to try to understand it through research and dedicated the chapter "Don't Worry Be Happy" to address how to decrease it. Maybe you'd like to know what to do about it. 3 Strategies for Peace of Mind: 1) Practice catching yourself. During a recent phone call with a friend, I caught the person worrying 5 times about 5 different things. I'm not kidding. "Hey, you're worrying again." What I've learned is that worry is a mental habit. You can change habits; but you have to catch yourself first in order to stop it. 2) Practice thought switching. Once you catch yourself worrying, decide to think about something else. By this I mean, think of something that is more positive, perhaps a project or passion that will take your mind off whatever you are worried about. Are you planing an event, a trip or have some work goals you could focus on? Remember, "worrying is like a rocking chair...it keeps you busy, but it doesn't get you anywhere." 3) Act, file, or throw it away. Decide to do one of three things: decide to address the issue right then by finding a solution; if you can't do anything about it at the moment, give yourself a time to address it later; or decide that it is not important and let it go. In other words, act on it, file it or throw it away. Awareness and acknowledgment are the keys to changing our habits. If you tend to worry a lot, try to lighten up. 95% of what we worry about doesn't happen. What a waste of time and energy that can be. Of course, if there's a problem, find a solution...but let's not imagine and create problems that aren't there! What strategies work for you? Leave a comment or post on my 21 Days to Happiness Facebook page to tell me about it. My book, 21 Days to Happiness, describes additional strategies for setting aside worry for greater happiness. Ingrid Kelada Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert KCC Inc.