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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tips to Handle Worry


There are always new stressors, changes and unknowns that suck enjoyment out of our lives. The ability to channel your daily energy into productive tasks, instead of being siphoned off by the rumination, anxiety and depression that come with worry is key to living to your fullest potential. I would like to discuss a few strategies that I have found useful to stay productive and mitigate worry.
Stay Focused
Did you know that when your mind wanders, it has a better chance of bringing you a negative thought rather than a positive one? By simply keeping your mind focused on the present will go a long way to avoid unpleasant and unproductive thoughts. It is easier to keep your mind from wandering when you are involved in a project - especially an enjoyable one. Try to put yourself in those situations. When you cannot, try focusing on your surroundings. Take notice of life's details that often go overlooked such as the people and things around you. This will help keep your mind from wandering. Our feelings, both good and bad, are a direct result of what we think. You have complete control over our thoughts, so choose them wisely.
Today is What's Important
Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. ~Author Unknown
Yesterday happened, tomorrow is not here yet, so all we really have is today. A common source of worry is using too much mental energy on the past or future. This is not to say that you should not plan for the future or take into consideration things from the past, but many of us spend too much time worrying about what has happened or what could happen. Try to take the unknowns of life and put them on the back burner of your mind, instead of actively trying to play out every scenario. You will be surprised about how many times answers will come to you when you are able to do this.
Three Step Strategy to Avoid Worry
He is something you can do right now to reduce worry. Most worry is caused by the fear of the unknown. Let me challenge you to do the following when faced with an anxiety provoking situation.
Step 1: Ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?" In other words, look for the worst case scenario of your current situation.
Step 2: Accept that the worst case scenario is going to happen.
Step 3: Prepare a plan to make the best of the worst case scenario.
Once you have done these steps, there is no need to let your mind ruminate over a situation of unknowns. You have already made a plan for the worst, anything else that happens is better than the situation for which you are already mentally prepared.
The next time you find yourself anxious, I encourage you to practice the techniques discussed in this article. Hopefully, it will get your mind off what is troubling you, keep you productive, happy and able to better deal with the life's worries.
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