How to Control Worry

Controlling worry is difficult! When you become aware that you have been worrying, you already experienced racing thoughts, different scenarios of the worst-case scenario, and imagined terrible things happening. Often, worry leads to stress and anxiety. So, what is Anxiety? Simply put, anxiety is the overestimation of risk and the underestimation that you will be able to cope with the challenge. There are many ways to deal with anxiety and worry, but today I will show you the cognitive route. I hope these thought-provoking questions and statements provide you with some helpful cognitive techniques to help you manage the stressful worry you experience.

  • Evaluate your thoughts. Are your worries and fears backed up by facts?

  • Gather evidence to support and refute your worries. What side has stronger concrete evidence?

  • If you think of the worst-case scenario when you worry; then also think about the best case scenario. Which of the two scenario’s is MOST likely to happen?

  • Ask yourself; What is the likelihood that that specific scenario will occur?

  • Is there another explanation for the situation that provoked worry?

  • Is there another way to think about this worry-some situation?

  • What would you tell a friend who experiences the same worries?

  • Run your thoughts and concerns with a trusted person, such as a spouse, a friend, or significant other.

Thinking can help, but I recommend writing down your results to these questions as well as your conclusions. This technique can help you better understand and expose what is at the root of your worry. My advice is to keep these notes visible such as in your phone, journal, mirror, or even posted it on your fridge next to your picture of your cat/dog! My recommendation is you post these conclusions and read it daily to remind yourself that perhaps your worries are not as severe as your mind keeps telling you. Give it a try and get those worry bugs under control!