Worrying can be so hard to stop. It can even be addictive. Once you start, it is hard to stop. Sometimes worry can seem to help you, but if worrying is running your life, things need to change. It is not easy to stop worrying. The more you try, worry tricks you and continues. Sometimes it even gets worse.
Try not to think of a pink elephant. Can you do that? What happens? Worry can be like a pink elephant. Changing your negative thoughts to more positive ones can almost be impossible, especially in the long term.
So how do you stop worrying? Stopping may be almost impossible. But then again, I have used worry time, worry boxes, and worry journals in the past with some success. Now I do not need to use them. Pick one method from above and set a time to worry 10 to 20 minutes at a specific set time. If your worries are especially strong, you can do a worry time right now or postpone it until your set time.
When it is time, worry once or twice a day. Go to a quiet room and just worry. You could also write in a worry journal or on post-it notes to fill your worry box. Put your whole heart into worrying. Use a timer. If you run out of things to worry about, repeat the same worries over and over again. Don’t stop until the timer goes off.
The goal is to limit your worrying to a specific time and place (ideally twice a day). Refocus as much as possible. Train yourself to worry only two times a day.
If you are a worried, give it a try and let me know how it worked. I am anxious to hear from you. If this doesn’t work, just accept that you worry. Say to yourself “here comes that worry again”. Try to defuse worry. Use ACT (Acceptance Behavior Therapy). Do not let worry stop you from having the life you want.
Worry is usually about the future, while rumination is about the past. Both keep you from enjoying the present moment.
Write down all your worries and fears in a journal. Write them all out, so you can move on with your life. Worry time works for you by having you experience the anxiety while worrying in a controlled environment. Exposure is a behavior therapy. It also helps you to limit your worry to a set time and place. You do not have to do the above perfectly. Just do your best.