The main problem with worry is that it’s not a very useful feeling.
Worrying – usually about things that might happen in the future and are outside of our control – is not helpful and often makes us feel helpless. And it doesn’t help us change what we worry about.
Thus, it might be a good idea to decide to stop worrying, or at least to reduce the amount of worry we are willing to feel.
If we want to ‘delete’ feelings of worry, we first have to uncover worry-producing thoughts in our mind.
We can ask ourselves:
- What am I thinking right now that makes me feel worried?
Then, we can start to search for new thoughts – different ways to think about the current or potential future circumstances and developments.
We now ask ourselves:
- What would I be thinking if I didn’t worry about this?
This is the future event I am currently feeling worried about:
We have invited some friends for dinner on Saturday. We will be sitting outside in the backyard. It’s getting colder in the evenings.
What am I thinking right now that makes me feel worried?
I am worried because I am thinking: Our friends might get cold and feel uncomfortable the whole time. This would spoil the evening.
What would I be thinking if I didn’t worry about this?
I wouldn’t worry if I was thinking: Our friends know the weather condition and will bring a warm sweater along. And we have lots of blankets to keep them warm. We’ll have a nice evening.