A Brain Trick to Stop Worry

By nature, I’m a planner. As a highly-pronounced ENTJ, I naturally am good at thinking ahead and coming up with contingency plans. But, that makes me a worrier, who has a great deal of problems letting go. I have to work every day to learn how to relax.

Recently, one of my children was dealing with a very important decision. Yet, there was an important meeting on a different topic that was about to happen. It required prep time.

I gave her some advice. Later, I followed up with an email regarding something that I do that usually works for me.

So, if you tend to worry too much and too often, I hope the excerpt below will be helpful.

I wanted to recommend a brain trick: scheduling on your online calendar.

One thing very powerful about the brain is that it can mull things over. Yet, if you mull over things over and over, for me, that leads to endless worry. So, one brain trick I try to do is to schedule something to deal with a certain issue later, so that it does not become a distraction now.

For example, I think I should have recommended to you this: “schedule an hour, for after your interview, to think about [the challenging topic].” I suspect then that it will be easier for your brain to let go of that topic.

There’s a great deal of power to writing something down. There’s even greater power to see that you will have time to deal with a certain issue. Both together really help quiet the brain.

Try it?

2 thoughts on “A Brain Trick to Stop Worry

  1. Great strategy for the Worriers becoming Warriors 🙂

    A framework that has helped me understand ‘worry’ is the distinction between ‘depression is in the past’ and ‘anxiety is in the future’. Most people are prone to one or the other (whether you’re a thinker T or a feeler F).

    Scheduling your problem solving, as you suggest, is a smart strategy. It allows you to stay in the present now – and park the worry/anxiety, knowing you’ll solve it before long. Once you’ve stared the problem down, worked through the options and chosen what’s right for you then the weight can lift. Some of my worries come from second guessing a decision. When that happens I try and clock it, remind myself to trust my choices – and move the heck on!

    1. Thank you for the perspective. It has taken me a long time to come up with this approach!

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