There’s nothing unusual about feeling some worry in your day-to-day life. You might be worried about how you will do in a class or at work, about money or about a family member. However, if these worries become persistent and you find yourself ruminating over them constantly and imagining the worst possible outcomes, it’s time to get a handle on things.
Solve the Problem
It sounds like common sense, but it really is the best way to deal with certain types of worries. Some anxieties become unmanageable simply because you’ve put off dealing with them for so long. When you go in and rip off the bandage, metaphorically speaking, it often turns out that the worst parts of your worries were unfounded. A common example of this is how some people deal with bills. They start to struggle to keep up with payments and fall behind, and soon they just stop opening their mail. This only makes the problem worse, and it can also start to grow into an unmanageable problem in your mind.
You may start to think about all kinds of worst-case scenarios if you look at your bills. However, taking action to deal with them can make a big difference. For example, if you have student loans, you might want to research whether you can make them easier to pay by consolidating them. A student loan consolidation may be applicable to both federal and private debt, and you’d only have to deal with one payment a month instead of several. This could also help you save money each month.
It may sound silly, but you can allot yourself a certain amount of time each day to do your worrying. If you think about the issue at other times in the day, make a note of it and remind yourself that it’s not the right time. Ideally, you should schedule your worry time at the same point in every day. This will help you give a feeling of control instead of feeling as though your anxiety is in charge of you.
Sometimes, you just need a distraction. That could be getting up and doing some exercise. It could mean phoning a friend, reading a book or getting to work. This can have the effect of breaking the frantic chain of your thoughts and resetting your thinking.
While there are plenty of worries that are perfectly rational, you might be thinking about them in an irrational way. For example, you may have received some genuinely bad news. However, you might then say something to yourself like, “This kind of thing always happens to me. Nothing ever goes right.” This is an irrational leap. Try to notice these kinds of distortions. It can help to ask yourself what evidence you have to support a distorted thought.
It’s also very common for people to discount the positive and only notice the negative. For example, perhaps you are worried about an evaluation at work that mentioned a couple of things you need to improve. If you go back and review the evaluation, you might actually find that most of it consisted of praise.