Have many of you been told to schedule some worry time?
I mean, I am sitting looking at my computer screen as I write this shaking my head from side to side, like I am just coming to the end of some mad withdrawal!
I don’t think it is a good idea, and I am going to share my thoughts with you.
Scheduling worry time
It’s very popular and I am sure that clinicians smarter than me advocate this, but I just think it is counterproductive. Supposedly, a therapist might tell you if you are prone to worry, or anxiety, that rather than worry all the time, save it up until a predefined time and then worry your heart out.
Does anybody ask why?
I think it is bonkers. Say I was a worrier, and I used to be one! That would mean instead of worrying all day, I would just shut it off, and look forward to my torturous worries when I am comfortably at home, maybe after my dinner, say between 7 and 8!
Problem No 1. If I were able to shut it off during the day, would it not be better for me to continue with my new found skill of not worrying, rather than reintroduce it during my ‘worry time?’
Problem No 2. If constant worrying is a problem for you, are you told how to stop worrying, until your pre defined time?
Problem No 3. If I schedule in a worry time, is my brain learning a new skill – to worry at the end of my day when I have freed up some time?
Write it down in a worry box
Many people use this, and if it works for you, keep doing it. But again, I am not really sure of the benefits of this.
To me there is a stark difference between worry, and active problem solving.
Lets say I have a problem ( you might be thinking I have many as I am off on one of my rants again!) If there is a solution to my problem then writing it down and putting it in a box may not help, worrying about it between 7 and 8pm may not solve the problem either. Taking time to solve the problem, putting the solution into practice and then letting go, would work for me.
If the problem does not have a solution, then in my mind, the worry will not help. Being able to accept it, and move on works best for me, which brings me back to my original rant.
If your worry is something that cannot be solved, or is about a hypothetical thing in the future that may or may not happen, going over and over all possible scenarios will not help, whether it is contained within a box or at a pre defined time.
Rather, this worrying will probably affect your physiology, you could end up with some aches and pains from a stress response being released in your body, as your brain does not really know the difference between worrying at your predefined time and a real threat.
If your worry can be solved, rather than being passive, take an active approach, sit down, solve the problem and carry out the steps to put the solution in practice and then let it go.