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How to challenge your worries

Dr. Henriette Smith September 2017

· Mind

When you suffer from chronic worrying, many of your thoughts may be distorted and you end up being a “fortune teller” for your own future. You may not even consider the positive things which can happen in your life because of all the negative thoughts you can’t cope with.

 

If you could stop and think for a while about your worry-thoughts, what do you think they might be? Likely, you’ll find that you’re jumping to conclusions and the prediction you’re making will never happen.

 

When you begin to ask yourself certain questions, you can better predict what the outcome will be without becoming mired in worry that is futile and a waste of time.

 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to challenge the worry:

 

  1. What evidence do I have that my prediction will take place? You may fear loss of your job and have certain evidence that it could actually happen. But, even if your prediction comes true, you’ve got to take steps to accept the situation and find another job. One action you could take is to get your resume ready – just in case. Chances are, you’ll find that what you’re worrying about doesn’t support any evidence that a negative outcome will take place.
  2. Am I usually wrong when I predict an outcome through worrying? Think about the times you’ve been worried in the past and the catastrophic prediction in your mind hasn’t come to fruition. If your research into past thinking reveals that you’ve been consistently wrong, look at your problem solving skills. You may need to use some self-help techniques or get professional therapy to learn problem-solving.
  3. What advice would you give a friend who is having the same problem? You may be more objective with another person than you are with yourself and your own problems. When you logically break down the reasons why you’re excessively worrying and projecting a negative outcome into the future, you’re better able to realize a solution to the problem.

You may lack personal confidence to solve your life’s problems, and assume that anything you try to do will turn out negatively. That pessimistic attitude and feelings are called “cognitive distortions,” and it may be difficult for you to break the worry habit.

 

As you continue to challenge your worries, you’ll develop more self-confidence and surety that you’re more than able to solve any problem that life throws your way.

 

References

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder - Mayo Clinic
  2. www.mayoclinic.org
  3. http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/generalized-anxiety-disorder#1
  4. Learn More About General Anxiety Disorder
  5. www.webmd.com
  6. Anxiety - Open Path Psychotherapy Collective - Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
  7. oppc.mentalhealthexcellence.org
  8. http://gymlion.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/worry.png
  9. https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/5/005/0ad/102/143f497.jpg
  10. https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sLep2dKrKeM/Ty1FWPN3kHI/AAAAAAAABMc/feVSWN2-0zY/s1600/picsmeme-worry-quotes-09.jpg
  11. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/x56_Kn2nULg/maxresdefault.jpg

 

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.

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This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.