Try a ‘Worry Hour’

One thing you must remember is that ANXIETY AND WORRY feed off each other. More anxiety = more worry. More worry = more anxiety.

It is NOT helpful to tell someone to quit worrying. And, trust me, it is VERY difficult to teach someone to not worry.

But there is a technique you can practice that will keep worry from contaminating every moment of your day. It is called A Worry Hour. Here’s how it works: You set aside a specific hour in your day, let’s say 7:00 p.m. Nothing is to interfere with you keeping that appointment—nothing. When Worry Hour arrives, find a solitary place (your bedroom, a closet, the bathroom, etc.), and begin writing down everything you are worried about. Write down all the scary ‘what ifs’ your anxiety is telling you. You must not think about anything else except your worries. Dwell on them; let your imagination run wild to horrible places.

If you get finished before your hour is up, go back and read everything you’ve written. Concentrate on it. Add any additional worries that you can think of.

When your worry hour is up, you must stop.

Make this a regular, daily practice, even if you feel like you don’t need to. You must be vigilant. But here is a very important rule—if you find yourself worrying during any other moment of the day, you must tell yourself, “I can’t worry about that right now. I have to save it for my Worry Hour.”

After you have practiced this every day for some time, if you believe sixty minutes has become too much time to set aside for worrying, you can reduce the Worry Hour by ten minutes and see how that works for you. 

Going forward with this practice, you are allowed to reduce the Worry Hour to a number that works for you. And, as challenging events come and go in your life, you can increase it or decrease it based on your need.

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