“Focus on what you can control and don’t waste energy on the things you cannot” Unknown
Determine what you can control
We all wish we had a ‘magic stop’ button to stop us worrying, but we don’t and so we have to find strategies to help ourselves.
When you find yourself worrying about something whether it is personal or professional, just take a minute or two to examine all the things you do have control over.
Then look at the problem you’re worrying about and try and put it into context by putting some sort of scoring on it e.g. 1-5 with 5 being the biggest. Then look how likely this is to happen and what is the likely consequence should it happen.
Doing something with our thoughts is one way we can at least prepare for things that might happen, we know we have to prepare for things we know will happen and we do, we just deal with them.
We must remember we can’t prevent a storm from coming but we can prepare for it, and we can control how we react and behave.
Trying to have a positive attitude no matter what will give us more energy and make us more effective in dealing with the problem.
Identify your fears
When we worry, we fear what might happen. Let’s look at the word fear and what that means to ask when we think of that worry. Try and name it and think about where it sits inside us.
Ask yourself what you are afraid will actually happen, what is it you predict will happen. What is it you have already decided will happen. Usually they are unrealistic, not fact, just a feeling creating our fear.
Consider the worst-case scenario and then look at actions you might take to mitigate this from happening along with how we might help ourselves emotionally.
Differentiate between deliberating and problem-solving.
Having imaginary conversations with imagined disastrous outcomes over and over again isn’t helpful. All it does is make us feel worse, believing more and more that what we believe will happen is real and this just increases our fear.
Deliberating isn’t productive, but problem-solving is. Inaction doesn’t help, but action does help. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Often just doing something helps us feel we are dealing with the problem. Focusing our minds on something productive will help keep you more positive.
Create a plan to manage your stress
Deciding on acting on our problem or issue we fear is a great start. Making a plan of actions and writing these down is a great way to put the problem into context. Often when we write things down or even read them out loud, they aren’t half as bad as we think.
Perhaps consider speaking to a friend or family member to talk through the issue and your plan if you feel this might help. The key thing is to act on your plan to ensure you do carry it out and don’t avoid it.
Develop your own personal positive affirmations
Find these on the internet or develop your own. These can help you keep calm, less stressed and remind yourself that this is what you can believe in and focus on. It reminds us we are in control, and we can manage, and we can do this and deal with things better than we think we can.
Keep telling yourself you can do this, and you are in control, and you are OK is a great way to distract your mind on to more positive thoughts.
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