Thursday, December 13, 2012

Worry Rule Book

Can you believe there are rules about worrying?  Okay, there aren't really rules, but we do seem to give ourselves worry rules.  I found these when I was reading one day and thought they were great, so here are the Worry Rules:

1 - You need absolute certainty
2 - There is danger all around you
3 - You have to be ready to respond
4 - You have to be in control
5 - If a worry pops into your head then you have to do something about it
6 - You need to avoid any emotional discomfort
7 - You need the answer right now
8 - You can't live in the present moment
9 - You need to avoid doing things that make you anxious, you escape your anxiety by worrying

Aren't they great?!  I have so used every single one of these rules as I have worried about anything and everything throughout my life.  I still struggle with a lot of them, especially numbers 4 and 7.  So what do we do about these rules?  They aren't a great way to live, well as I read on, this is what I found:

To overcome worrying: 
1 - Build motivation, make up a list of things you can do.  If you get things done, you will have less to worry about.  Action is different than worry.  Act-don't worry.
2 - Challenge your thinking, what action can I take today:  What's the advantage of doing what I don't want to do, but needs to be done?
3 - Set aside worry time and test your predictions, set aside 2 minutes per day to write down your worries.  After the first week use your worry time to write out predictions.  At the end of each week write down the actual outcomes. 
4 - Validate your emotions keep a journal of emotions.  Any time you become aware of a feeling write it down together with the situation that triggered it.  Try not to comment on the feeling in any way.  Either carry your journal around with you or make a point of writing in it every day for 10 minutes or so at a time-if possible several times a day.  At each interval the main feelings you remember.  Your being able to feel them is absolutely crucial to overcoming your General Anxiety Disorder.  The more you are able to feel them, the less you need t keep them at bay through worrying.

Aren't they great?!  My favorite line in that quote is "action is different than worry, act-don't worry."  I think the biggest thing I have learned about worrying is that I need to connect the emotion I am feeling with that worry and then decide if there is some way I can act on it, if not, I have to let it go.

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