worrying 101

Posted on April 25, 2007


Varo, woman leaving the psychoanalystHere’s a nifty suggestion I stole from Self magazine, November 2004.

Worriers spend a great deal of time worrying throughout the day, often re-worrying the same worry they’ve already worried earlier. This is inevitable, but exhausting and unproductive as well as rather dull.

Suzanne C. Segerstrom PhD of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, suggests that every time a worry occurs to you, write it down in a notebook and tell yourself you’ve delegated it and will deal with it when the time is appropriate. All day, record your worries in that notebook (or three-ring-binder, for hard cases).

Then, at the end of the day, take twenty minutes or so and go over your list. Deal with anything that you can take care of then and there, and note what you need to deal with the other things on the list, so that tomorrow you can get a head start on them.

This tells your brain it doesn’t have to carry around all that baggage all day, constantly reminding you of these things, and it enables you to take a realistic look at things that preoccupy you and deal productively with them.