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Tag Archives: ways to stop worry

Are you a worrier? Do you tend to dwell on something and envision the worst possible outcomes? There is something to be said for preparing for the worst; however, constant worrying and catastrophizing can also lead to anxiousness, constant fear, and difficulty finding enjoyment or joy.

How can you combat your worrywart tendencies?

Psychiatrist Katherine Pannel recommends a thought exercise. If you’re faced with an uncertain situation, picture the very worst outcome, then shift your thinking and imagine the very best outcome. After that, consider the most likely outcome, which will probably land somewhere in the middle of the two scenarios. This exercise helps you to refocus and “redirect your thoughts to a more realistic, comfortable place.”

Another way to stop worrying so much is to focus on preparations.

When you know you’ve put in the leg work and are thoroughly prepared, there’s less cause for worry. Tell yourself that you’ve done everything you can, and the outcome will be what it will be.

When I’m preparing for a presentation or an important meeting, I try to allow myself time to A) prepare the material B) practice and C) anticipate possible questions. Ideally, when you practice it should be out loud, in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member. When you’re anticipating possible questions, think about the things people are likely to ask AND anticipate any follow-up questions to those initial questions. When you’re prepared, you tend to feel more confident and less worried. You’ve done what you can, and the rest is out of your hands.

Lastly, if you’d like to stop worrying so much it’s important to accept your imperfections.

Recognize that you are not perfect, and you don’t have to be. Nobody is! If you make a mistake, it’s okay (truly). Pick yourself, attend to any necessary damage control, and try again. Many of us have unrealistic expectations for ourselves (we would probably never treat others the way we sometimes treat ourselves!), and that isn’t healthy. Instead, be kind to yourself, recognize you’re an imperfect human being, and simply try your best.

Let’s combat worrywart tendencies once and for all! Most of the time, things are not as bad as you fear them to be.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

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