It’s time for another cheap and cheerful idea as part of our Happiness & Wellbeing Week. Today it’s time to take a worry dump – how delightful!
You know the song, ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy‘? Well, while we can take many actions that will make us happier, we can’t just ‘decide to be happy from now on’ and trying to do something impossible simply sets us up to fail, so it’s not the greatest advice.
The same goes for the don’t worry part too. You can’t just decide to stop worrying. Human brains are remarkably good at scanning for problems, so we need to actively engage in behaviours that reduce the worrying.
How to take a worry dump
Today, all you need to do is put five or ten minutes aside in the evening. Take a deep breath or two, get comfortable, and focus on anything and everything you’re worried about. Write it all down in a notepad (even if it makes no sense or seems silly), as much as you can for up to ten minutes, then STOP. Set a timer if you need to.
Now remind yourself that most of the things we worry about never happen, or are greatly exaggerated. Also remind yourself that humans are pretty good at solving problems.
Next, go through your list, and cross off anything that you know is probably irrational. That tells you it isn’t worth worrying about (technically it’s *you* telling yourself it isn’t worth worrying about).
Finally, if there’s anything left on your worry list that isn’t crossed out, commit to tackling your worry tomorrow even if it’s one small first step.
If you have difficulty sleeping due to things that are troubling you, try keeping a notepad by your bedside and doing a worry dump before you settle down to sleep. It might stop the worries going round and round in your head when you put them down on paper.
Do you have any things that you worry about that are, er, just plain daft?