October 08, 2008

Why Worry?

Is your worrying habit out of control? Let's face it: there are plenty of things to worry about these days: the economy, your family and friends' well-being, your job, your bills, and your own health and day-to-day concerns. But sometimes worrying can start to interfere with the enjoyment of your everyday life. And then you start worrying about that!

How can you stop this cycle of worry?

Establish "worry time." Each day, designate a period of time -- say, 15 minutes every evening at 7 p.m. -- where you allow yourself to do nothing but worry. During this time, write down everything you’re anxious about and your best solution to your concerns.

While this activity won't necessarily solve your worrying, it will help direct intrusive thoughts to a more appropriate time. You might even find that when worry time rolls around, you've forgotten what you wanted to worry about!

"Worry time" can also be applied to other reactions or feelings you might be having. Many people have trouble coping because they often feel sorry for themselves. Carving out a "pity time" during the day will help you deal with these emotions. Modify this technique for anything else, too, such as "depression time," "guilty time," or "angry time."

If you feel that 15 minutes isn't enough time, you can always start with two sessions during the day or expand your worry time to 30 minutes. Remember, this is your tool to use. Figure out what works best for you, and learn how it feels to let go of your worries for the rest of the day.

Taken from the Fall 2008 issue of Lupus Now magazine.

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