Thursday 8 December 2016

Starve worry of space and time

Published 19/04/2016 | 02:30

Athlete John Travers and Arlene Regan, INM launch the 1916 5K partnership taking place on April 24. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Athlete John Travers and Arlene Regan, INM launch the 1916 5K partnership taking place on April 24. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Don't worry. Be happy. Easier said that done. But Dr Keith Gaynor of St John of God Hospital in Dublin says one of the key reasons people worry is because they think it's positive.

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Here's some tips on stopping worry in its tracks.

Don't waste time on 'what ifs'. Don't waste time thinking up situations that 'might' happen, but in reality are quite unlikely to happen - that is just a misuse of time. Try to pinpoint when you start asking yourself these questions. The majority of the scenarios you create using this approach are never likely to happen - so why waste your time thinking about them?

Create a worry diary. Take a diary, a paper one or on your phone, and in it mark an asterisk every time and place you worry and guesstimate how long you worried for. This is important because we need to notice how frequently we worry - most people will be shocked at what they see, and this helps pinpoint those occasions when we worry the most because these are the times we are going to target.

Starve worry of space and time. If we want to reduce the amount of time we worry, we need to starve it of time and space in our lives.

Get lost in something different. Don't let yourself be overcome with worry. The trick to forgetting your worries is to replace them with something else. Exercise, take a class in art, yoga or read a book.

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