Worry can have it’s place in life — if it encourages us to act and incites life-improving change (my worry could have gotten me super prepared for said meeting, for example), it’s serving its purpose. But if worrying has just become habit, with idle fretting and rumination a general way to cope with the world at large, it might be time to nip it in the bud. Here are five ways to deal with worry in your life:
1. Accept uncertainty.
Oftentimes, worry can be a persistent fear of the unknown. But what’s so great about certainty? Think of those movies in which characters ask to know the future of their lives from an all-knowing oracle, only to then feel like prisoners of that knowledge. Ask yourself some questions: Is it possible to be certain about everything in life? How could uncertainty be helpful? If you are imagining the worst case scenarios just as a matter of course, try envisioning a range of outcomes, from good to bad to just acceptable; all are equally probable.
2. Set aside a worry time.
Worry wart ways won’t be undone in a moment, so allow yourself the time and space in your life to worry. Maybe you ought to give yourself 15 minutes on your morning commute. Postpone all worries that spring up at other times in the day by noting them and coming back to them during the worry time. The idea is to confine your worry to one brief part of your day so that your concerns aren’t stretching to fill every waking moment.