The latest articles to help you maintain mental, physical and spiritual wellness.

Learning the Art of Worrying Well

Everyone has experienced worry at some time or another.

But have you ever found yourself worrying too much or more than you’d like? And have you been given the response, “don’t worry about it”?

Unhelpful isn’t it?

It’s common for the majority of us to worry. Sometimes we worry about big things such as health or finances. Sometimes we worry about smaller things such as what we’re going to have for tea tonight or what if the bus doesn’t turn up on time.

Worrying in itself is not unhealthy. In fact it can keep us safe, it is possibly trying to tell us something or trying to warn us of a danger. For example, you might worry about being late for a meeting, but that worry can be the motivation that gets you ready and leaving in plenty of time to ensure that you aren’t late.

So whilst worrying can be useful, it is how we worry or how often we worry that can cause concern. Worry will have a habit of lingering; it’ll pop up at the most inconvenient times and it’ll hang around, getting in our way and stopping us functioning as well as we could.

Worrying is ok

Our minds are designed to cope with worry. But we can easily overload it. When we sleep we have a certain amount of R.E.M. sleep, this is when we dream. Dreaming is our mind’s way of completing our day; any unresolved events or decisions from the day that need dealing with or any unfulfilled desires or unprocessed emotions. We don’t want to be carrying everything over from one day to the next, so we dream to resolve those situations.

If we worry too much, then we are giving our minds a lot to process during R.E.M. sleep. In turn we’ll need more R.E.M, giving us less time for deep sleep and deep sleep is when our body rests and restored. Blood is redirected to our muscles and our breathing slows down. This is to allow healing and growth to take place. Body tissues are repaired, new tissue growth occurs and energy levels are recharged.

Sleep is one of our basic needs, if we don’t sleep well we’re not going to feel well. If we don’t get enough deep sleep, we’ll wake up tired in the morning and be paying the price for it all day. We’ll find it harder to concentrate and respond quickly. We’ll find it harder to engage our rational brain and our emotional brain will find it easier to take control – the dangers of which are a whole different subject!

As well as our brains not being able to function efficiently, research shows that there are a number of other disorders that are at an increased risk of developing in those who suffer from poor quality sleep. These include diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression.

Worry will affect our sleep. So, by worrying unnecessarily about possible health issues, annoyingly, we may well be creating our own health issues. So, would you like to learn a method to stop worry taking over your life?

How would you feel if I told you that you are allowed to worry, but to worry well?

Worrying well

I am going to give you permission to worry.

But, you are only allowed to worry once a day, at a designated time; your ‘worry slot’

Your worry slot can be whenever suits you, in the morning, afternoon, evening – whatever works best for you. But, it can only last for half an hour. In that half an hour you can worry away. If you start to worry about something at any other time, write it down and put it into your worry bank. You’ll get to it in your worry slot but now is not the time.

So, you’ve got half an hour when you are allowed to worry. Now it is important to identify the worry. Is it useful? Is it telling me something? It may also be useful to scale the worry, how much of a worry is it? How significant or how urgent? With your worries identified, they then need sorting using the 4D method; Do, Delay, Delegate or Ditch. Ask yourself:

Can I ‘DO’ something about this?

Could I ‘DELAY’ this worry?

Could I ‘DELEGATE’ this worry to somebody else?

Or if none of the above are relevant can I simply ‘DITCH’ the worry?

There is nothing I can do about the situation therefore there is no need to worry about it any longer. By looking at it this way it really only leaves one category of worries to deal with, and we’ve established there is something we can ‘DO’ about them. So make a plan, break down into manageable chunks.

Now you’ve got a ‘to do’ list rather than a worry list!

So, does that mean we’ve no worries left? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I’ll just leave you with this Swedish proverb:

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.’

Stacey Reid, Fusion Master Trainer course
August 2018

Resolving depression, the Rewind Technique, Mindfulness Based Mind Management (advanced MBSR), worrying well, solution focus, guided visualisation, resolving addiction, epigenetics, mapping the connectome, polyvagal theory, the reticular activating system (RAS), secondary gain, trauma resolution, coaching for kids, treating depression, worrying well, working SMART, therapeutic stories, insight, psycho education, suicide prevention, affirmations, positive mental rehearsal, imagery, dissociation, goal setting, new paradigms, reframes, fast track learning, perception shifting, self actualisation, positive psychology, reframing, metaphor, personal empowerment, motivational thinking, resilience and resourcefulness, human flourishing, anchoring, rewiring your brain, the STOP System, the SAFE SPACE happiness recipe, holistic coaching and working on the continuum of wellbeing plus many other professional theories, tools and techniques underpin the content of the fast paced, fast track, Fusion training programmes. 

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.