Set Aside 'Worry Time' As A Way To Decrease Stress and Anxiety

Do you have trouble putting your worries and anxieties aside as you go about your day? If you find that they’re always on your mind, you may want to consider an interesting technique that seems to help reduce the anxiety and stress that comes from constant worrying: setting aside a scheduled “worry time” each day.

MyHealthNews reports that a recent Dutch study found that compartmentalizing worry through the use of a technique called stimulus control was more effective at reducing anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms than standard treatments for anxiety.

There are four steps to the technique:

      1. Identify when you are worrying.
      2. Set aside a time and place to consider these worries.
      3. Postpone worrying until that time and place by catching yourself when you begin to worry and instead focusing on your current task.
      4. Use the designated “worry time” to try to solve the problems associated with the worrying.

The study suggests that even completing just the first step can help more than other anxiety treatments.

This study was small, but the results were significant and the studied technique, stimulus control, has been around for decades. The technique seems to make sense. While not worrying at all is unrealistic, postponing worry to a designated time seems achievable and would result in a day that is largely worry-free.

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