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Is Worry worth my time?

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It is perfectly natural to worry; in fact worrying just tells us that the thing we are worrying about is important to us and everyone worries from time to time.

It is only a problem when your worries get in the way of other parts of your life, or if they make you unhappy. There are four things that are not worth worrying about.

The unimportant

When you find yourself worrying, ask yourself “how important is the thing that I am worrying about?”

  • Apply the 5 year rule; ask yourself will this matter in 5 years’ time? A week, a month or a year? Look at worries from a long-term point of view.

  • Apply the scale: “where on a scale of bad experiences, is the thing that I am worried about?” Is it as bad as some other experience in the past? How does your current worry feel when compared to others?

The improbable 

A lot of worries ask “what if….” questions. All kinds of things could happen but most are unlikely. Is it likely to happen?

The uncertain

Sometimes the things we worry about have not yet happened and we can only do something when we know what has happened.

The uncontrollable

Worrying about things we have no control over, e.g. worry about getting older will not prevent us from getting older.

It can be really hard to stop worrying and you might have worries you can’t control. You may feel like you need to keep worrying because it feels useful – or that bad things might happen if you stop. In this instance, it can be really helpful to look at the pros and cons of worry and ask ourselves; ‘Is this serving me’. Starting to notice and understand our thoughts is the first step to getting control over them. 

If you find that your thoughts are impacting negatively on your wellbeing seek support from your GP; support is available!

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