Last Updated on September 10, 2022 by Larious
Constant worriers may find it challenging to break the habit no matter how hard they try. The stress may make it difficult to relax, concentrate, or fall asleep. Worry time is a useful strategy for dealing with this.
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Exactly what Does Worry Time Entail?
Clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, characterizes the worry time technique as setting aside a specific period of time each day to worry.
Dr. Romanoff recommends this strategy to help you spend less time worrying about external factors, which may sound paradoxical at first. The idea is to set up a specific time each day to worry about everything that’s bothering you and use the rest of the day to take action on the things you can change.
In this post, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of scheduling worry time, as well as some concrete steps you can take to put this strategy to use.
Advantages of Planning Your Worry Time
Minimize Your Worry Time
Using the worry time method, you can spend less time fretting over external factors. The point is to free up some mental bandwidth so you can put that energy into something useful.
Achieve Greater Efficiency and Focus
When stress and anxiety take hold, it can be easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of fretting. By giving yourself dedicated “worry time,” you might learn to manage your anxiety more constructively.
The point is not to wallow in your anxiety, but rather to examine each concern and ask, “Can I do something to improve this?” Is it up to me to deal with this stress? If “yes” is your answer, then you need to make a strategy and hold yourself accountable. If “no” is the reply, practice acceptance and letting go.
Lessen the Negative Impact of Stress
Mental and physical health are both compromised by stress. Tension in the muscles, a racing heart rate, and a rise in blood sugar are just some of the physiological responses that can occur in response to stress, in addition to increased alertness.
Being chronically or repeatedly stressed out is unhealthy. Conditions including obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease have all been linked to extended periods of stress.
Effectively Planning Your Worry Time
Dr. Romanoff provides instructions that can improve your use of this method:
- Figure out how much time you’ll need and schedule it in. 15–30 minutes of “worry time” every day is recommended. An effective strategy is to set a timer that will jar you out of your anxious state once the allotted time has passed.
- Be consistent. Pick a regular time and spot in your day to worry, and stick to it.
- Choose an uncomfortable location where you won’t be tempted to overstay your given time, such as a hard chair, a stair, or a bench. If you do this at your bed, couch, or workstation, you may develop a negative association with those spaces and find it more challenging to rest or get work done there in the future.
- The best time to worry is in the evening, about 6 o’clock. If you schedule your worrying time for later in the day, you’ll be able to save up your concerns and keep them separate until then. However, it is still early enough in the evening that you can unwind and switch gears to something soothing before turning in for the night.
- It’s best to put off worrying about things as they come up throughout the day and deal with them all at once when concern time rolls around. A good strategy for dealing with worrying thoughts is to write them down and revisit them when worry time rolls around. Keep a worry journal or use your phone’s note-taking app.
- In the midst of each worry during your designated worrying period, ask yourself whether there is anything you can do to alleviate the situation. If you can affect change, then it’s up to you to figure out what that is and how to put it into action. Attempt acceptance and letting go if you can’t change the situation. Some people find it beneficial to write down their feelings, then rip up the paper and dispose of it as a means to help them let go.
- Don’t waste the day, concentrate on getting things done. If you find yourself worrying throughout the day, jot down your thoughts and then redirect your focus by doing something else.
- Instead of worrying, you may try other things that make you nervous. You can also opt to engage in other stressful activities, like reading the news, during this period.
- Move on from your worrying phase. Putting an end to your worrying after the allotted 15–30 minutes has passed is a challenging part of this strategy. One strategy for doing so is to set a worry timer and have something ready to do when it goes off. You may make a meal, talk to a buddy, watch TV, read, go for a walk, or even go for a run.
Disadvantages of the Worry-Time Method
Dr. Romanoff warns that improper practitioners may not see any results. Some of the behaviors that may lessen the efficiency of this method are those she lists below, in her opinion.
Failing to make a plan of action: Worry time is not just for dwelling on problems. Instead, it should be a tool for channeling efforts toward constructive ends, such as overcoming obstacles or coming to terms with realities that are particularly difficult to face. If you focus on the parts of your anxiety that you can’t change, rather than coming up with solutions, the worry time technique may not help as much.
Failing to follow through with your plan: Another barrier arises when people fail to keep themselves accountable for carrying out the strategy they devised to deal with their anxiety.