Do you spend a lot of time worrying about things that may or may not occur? If you are a chronic worrier, it seems natural, almost like a good luck charm, to anticipate the worst. But this thought process doesn’t give you any more control over the outcome. As an alternative, try these five techniques to help re-frame and get a handle on distressing situations.
1. Assess the Odds of a Negative Event
Experts have studied how worry predicts actual results. It turns out that 85% of what we worry about never happens. So, usually
it’s a waste of energy. A more productive approach is to review the situation and ask yourself how likely is that negative event REALLY going to happen. If the odds are >50%, then identify one action you can take to control the situation. If odds are <50%, then accept that you’ll have to wait it out and move on.
2. Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself
If you have an Inner Critic mindset, you may have unrealistic expectations of what makes for a “productive” day. One way to
find out is to ask yourself to what standards you’d hold a good friend or respected colleague. Then consider holding yourself to
the same standards.
3. Rely on Your Role Model
We all know someone who seems to be cool under pressure – use that person as your role model. Stop to think about how that person responds versus reacts to a situation; and next time try responding similarly.
4. Chunk Your Time to Better Manage It
If you’re feeling paralyzed by the enormity of a situation, breaking it down into multiple mini-projects will make the job easier to
tackle. Most importantly, remember to delegate responsibilities when possible!
5. Trade “Balance” for “Fit”
Instead of “Work-Life Balance,” which implies two competing forces that take equal parts of your time, consider the idea of “Work-Life Fit.” With our 24/7 accessibility, a 50/50 balance isn’t realistic. But by thinking of all your priorities (work, family, relationships, community and healthy self-care) as intersecting pieces in a puzzle allows you to fit them together in flexible ways that result in a more satisfying, less stressful life.