I was walking around Newtown yesterday and saw the sign to the left on display in one of the cafes near the railway station. It caught my attention, and I thought I would share! Worrying is one of the things we often do without thinking, even though sometimes we wouldn't consider it to be worrying. We might call it, being lost in thought, replaying an argument, having a conversation in our head that hasn't happened yet, or just thinking about the worst case scenario.
As we have talked about before, there are often good reasons why our brains work the way they do. Think about the cave people that came before us, they had to think about the worst case scenario. If they didn't they would be eaten! They developed strategies to help them manage this, you can read about it more here.
Sometimes worrying about something can feel quite helpful, and will give a sense that things are more in control than what they really are. Often what happens though is that we spend tonnes of time thinking through a scenario, all of the possible outcomes and ways that it might go wrong, with no actual control over the outcome. For instance, if you have a fight with someone that you care about, you may spend hours and hours thinking over what you each said, how it was left, and even how you feel. Perhaps you try and call them and they don't respond. So you might get more and more anxious, which will make you think over the details more and more. After all of this, you are probably more anxious and worried than you were just after the argument, and I suspect that nothing will have changed. Ultimately, the outcome is dependent on you and the person you had the argument with, so you can spend all day thinking about it, but you have no control at all over what happens next.
I am not suggesting that you don't worry at all. Its not likely to happen. Worries will pop into your head hundreds of times a day, and sometimes you might not even notice them. If you try not to worry, they will come anyway, and probably more than they had before. Instead, perhaps a more helpful way of managing them is to be ok with them being there. You don't have to like them, you don't have to challenge them, but just notice them. Sometimes they might be loud, sometimes soft. Sometimes they will speed up or slow down, and at 3am they may be scary. When they come, notice that they are worries, and just let them be.
What do you think might happen?
Next week, we are going to talk more about watching and noticing your worries, and the ways that you can manage them.