To an extent, worries are beneficial. Worries about grades make a student study well. Anxiety about diseases makes us take care of ourselves. The concern about financial stability ensures we save for a rainy day. However, constant worrying leads to undesirable consequences on the body and mind. When we are anxious or worried, our bodies release stress hormones such as cortisol. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol leads to
- Reduced immunity
- Increased abdominal fat deposition
- Muscle, bone and connective tissue breakdown
Chronic worrying can also lead to
- Premature onset of cardiovascular ailments
- Shortness of breath
Scheduling of worry time is one of the techniques used by Cognitive Behavioural therapists for people who constantly suffer from anxiety.
Asking an anxious person not to worry at all is not the best advice one can give…
However, advising him to schedule a worry time every day and forget his worries for the remainder of the day could do wonders to his moods.
Here are some tips for scheduling a worry time for yourself…
1. Keep a specific time aside for worries every day. Ideally, it could be 30 minutes every day. However, if you have a lot of concerns to address, please schedule two worry sessions in a day.
Choose a peaceful room in your home, where you’re not easily distracted or disturbed. Take a couple of deep breaths before you start your session.
2. Try to worry about one topic at a time. Move to the next topic, only when you are sure that all your concerns regarding the current topic have been dealt with mentally.
3. Try not to schedule your worry time before dinner.
4. During the course of the day, if worries haunt you, repeat to yourself that your worry time for the day hasn’t arrived yet and you will deal with it during the scheduled worry time. After the scheduled worry time, if you are still worried, again repeat to yourself that you will deal with worry during the next scheduled worry session. By repeating this, you can make sure that worries don’t affect us during the major part of the day.
5. During the worry time, please don’t brood over major traumatic events. If you have had a big trauma recently, visit a psychiatrist and start treatment, so that you come to grips with life faster.