The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Reigning In Worry: A Half Dozen Approaches

Life is full of obstacles. We worry about them from time to time. We all need to find ways to reign in that worry periodically or it can become an obsessive downward spiral leading us to dark places and potentially disastrous reactions. There are a number of ways to pull back from such a spiral.

Here are a few that work for me ... and I'm a veteran of the worry wars.

  1. Exercise: Yep, put your body in motion. When you are busy with exercise, it is really hard to focus on worrying. 
  2. Find an enjoyable diversion that requires focus: my most recent diversion is a small and very responsive radio control helicopter. You can't fly it well while focused on problems. It really requires your attention. A video game will accomplish the same goal. So will a really good book or movie. Find what works for you and stick with it.
  3. Seek calming routines (breathing exercises along with an attempt to empty your mind of thought). Trying to empty your mind will make it hard to worry because you'll be so focused on not thinking that ... you can't think about that problem. 
  4. Enjoy some powerful art or music that is really uplifting. 
  5. Find a friend or family member to talk your worry out with. Other people have a really talent for bringing your problem (which can often grow way out of proportion with silence) back down to a manageable size. 
  6. Plan and execute actions that will POSITIVELY address that worry. Nothing reactionary or angry as that leads to other worries. 
  7. Now for the bonus idea: Reading the Psalms works for me as well (yeah, that's pretty case specific and may not be for you and that's fine ... I'm just throwing it out there ... no worries). Those psalmists were really honest about the problems they faced and the responses they desired (which were often over the top and a reminder to us to tame that worry before we ask for extreme responses). 

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