WHY WORRY WHEN YOU CAN CHANGE
If I were to say this to anyone, the immediate reaction would be, “of course I know”. Actually, the truth is still the same that one can change rather than getting exhausted with just worrying. Fortunately it’s very simple. However, It is important to understand why we get trapped in the vicious cycle of worrying. Sometimes we even think that something is wrong with us when we don’t worry and end up worrying about it.
Worrying is our normal defense mechanism. It prepares us for the uncertainty of the future, opening our vision to certain things that should be a matter of concern or caution for our benevolence. Worries about important events give us that extra emotional and physical energy that an individual requires to complete his task. For e.g., a student’s worries about his upcoming exams could actually enhance his attention span and alertness.
However, everything has a limit, so is the worrying. One needs to draw a line between productive and unproductive worrying. There is a need to understand that too much of worry would lead us to excessive anxiety, which, instead of enhancing our coping mechanism would simply exhaust of our mental and physical energy. For e.g., if a homemaker is worried about everything that happens around her, she would not only become miserable but also her extra worry and caution’s might turn out to be detrimental to her well-being and that of her loved ones.
So how do we handle worry?
The strange thing about the mind is that it can provide us with both positive and negative outcome for any given situation and also has the capacity to generate problems as well as solutions. So to get the best out of our mind, one needs to be objective about the problem with the understanding that the problem does not define the person, irrespective of its outcome.
Some workable ways to achieve this detachable state is to pen down what ever is worrying you and follow 3 A’s technique. For e.g., an employee thinking, “ I need to finish this work at a specific time or my boss will be mad at me…..”Followed by train of thoughts’ about how embarrassed he’ll be, what will his colleague think of him, etc.
• Pen down all these thoughts. (Awareness)
• Command oneself to stop these thoughts, by mentally shouting the word “STOP” or moving away for that place. (Acknowledge that these thoughts are distracting you)
• Write your action/resources/targets what one needs to finish at hand and try to bring back your attention. (Action)
• Plan mentally and physically things that one can do easily or can ask for some help, starting with things which are rewarding or one has some sought of mastery.
• Once in middle of achievements one needs to remind themselves that it is just the work and no failure in any task define them.
• In this case the employee needs to remember that even he fails his capability cannot be defined by just one piece of work.
By Ritika Bhagat, M.Sc clinical psychology, M.Phil clinical psychology, RCI license holder