What is worry?
So many of us have experienced that feeling at night when our minds start to go over the events of the day, and a chain of ‘what if’s’ and a snowball effect starts to happen where the more we feel bothered by something that we are thinking about, the less able to sleep we become. This feeling of being on-edge makes us more likely to have worrying thoughts, we feel a bit more keyed-up and the cycle continues.
“Why cant I stop myself thinking about this?!!”
we inwardly scream. But by then it is very hard to try and calm ourselves back to where we need to be to be able to sleep. What we do at that point can then become another part of the problem. We might get into the habit of getting up having a drink, or a snack, watching TV etc. And if we do this repeatedly then this behaviour can become conditioned and become a hard habit to break.
What can we do?
Just starting to notice and tell yourself you are worrying is a good start. Then work on noticing sooner, because worry has a ‘chaining’ effect; one worry leads to another leads to another and so on, and once it goes too far down the chain it’s pretty hard to break out of.
Recognise that this late-night worry often isn’t the type of problem solving that you would like it to be. Either ‘Postpone’ it, or use the ‘Worry Tree’. The Worry Tree helps us to see that there is a difference between problem solving and worry.
Different types of Worry
There are also different types of worry, and certain thoughts that we can have about worry which help to keep the problem going. There are also certain behaviours that keep the problem going too, for example procrastination and avoidance. This is where is gets a little complicated. Worry is complex. So don’t ever ‘worry’ about seeking help for what you might think is a minor problem. Worry destroys our sleep, hijacks our thoughts and keeps us keyed-up and on edge and unable to relax. So if you are struggling with it, don’t struggle alone. Here are some great self-help resources for Worry. If you feel you need any guidance with your worries, you can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org