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What are you worrying about?
Start with identifying what it is specifically that you’re worrying about.
Is there something you can do about it now?
If there is something you can do, this is a practical worry. It’s a worry that you can do something about right now.
What can you do?
- Think about your options – you may want to make a list.
- Pick the best option and do it.
- Take comfort in the knowledge that you’ve done what you can and let it go.
If you’re worried about something that you can’t do anything about right now, then this is what’s called a hypothetical or ‘what if’ worry.
So what can you do if you’re in this situation?
- Be present. When your thoughts start to spiral, try to bring yourself back to what’s happening right now in the present moment.
- Try a relaxation exercise such as progressive muscle relaxation.
- Postpone the worry – give it a specific time and place when you can deal with it better.
- Write your worries down. Keeping a journal can help you get thoughts out of your head. When you look back at them, you may find the worry is no longer there.
- Practise accepting uncertainty – this can help you let go of wanting to predict and control every outcome.
If you’re concerned about your worries and they’re affecting your mental health, speak to your GP for advice and support.