Dealing with worry by writing things down

Worry is a toughie. While it’s impossible to run away from it, there are certain ways that can help us soften it’s impact.
Let’s take a simple example. I realized today that there are some overdue bills (very overdue!) that I wasn’t aware of. Now, I saw the letters and I began freaking out. The whole thing looked pretty darn scary.
I always give myself 5 minutes of freaking out time when I’m faced with a problem I can’t do much about, atleast at that moment. During that time, I play ‘judger’ and think about what went wrong. In this case, I had a friend’s help in setting up payment and my hypothesis is that something broke down.
Once I am past the irrational ‘freaking out’ period, it’s time to problem solve. I made a couple of calls to check in on how bad the (potential) situation is. The (only) best case solution is to wait till Monday morning and make the payment as soon as the offices open.
That said and done, I found myself worrying again. And here, I employ another old tactic – Write it down. So, I write on my trusty whiteboard –
(The lighting wasn’t the best – hence the red hue!)
So, that’s my ‘stop worrying about it – only thing you can do is sleep @ 9pm tomorrow’ and ‘if you are really restless, finish all your weekend tasks today’ note.
This does a couple of things –
1. Writing is neuro-muscular – so the message is clearer (to myself!)
2. Clearly describes what I CAN do -> Sleep by 9pm tomorrow so I can be up at 5am on Monday
3. Tells me what to do to distract myself i.e. do my weekend tasks! (there’s a list on the side)
And this has helped greatly. I am on my weekend tasks now and am focusing on the ‘issue’ a lot less. Again, logic here would tell you that there’s no point worrying. But, worrying is emotional, and hence not rational.
And I hope the workaround helps you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

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