How to worry the right way

In this podcast (episode #538) and blog, I talk about the surprising benefits of worrying, and how to worry the “just right” way! This is a two-part series. For part 2, see here (episode #540).

There are multiple benefits to worry, if we learn how to manage our feeling in the moment. I call this the “Goldilocks” effect: when we know how to worry in just the right amounts, similar to the “just right” porridge in the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, we can use our feelings to our advantage.

When we worry in this way (which will look different for each of us!), we can help reduce feelings of disappointment and use worry as an emotional cushion to help regulate our responses to our circumstances. We can also learn how to use worry as a motivator to push us to complete a task or job and gain a sense of achievement. When we learn how to manage our worries, we can actually gain a sense of peace and control amidst the “messiness” of life and train ourselves to turn destructive worry into constructive worry.

Why is this important? We all know how worry can affect us—it feels like it is chewing our insides out when it becomes excessive or uncontrolled, which can have a major impact on our wellbeing. This is why it’s worth making the effort to learn how to manage feelings of worry in the moment.

To do this, I recommend using the Neurocycle mind management method I have developed and studied over the past three decades, which I discuss in detail in my book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess and my app Neurocycle.   

The Neurocycle is a way to harness your thinking power that I have developed and researched over the past three decades. It has 5 steps. The first step is to 1. gather awareness of how you feel mentally and physically and your perspective when you are worrying. The second step is to 2. reflect on how you feel. Why do you think you feel this way?  Then you 3. write down your reflections to help organize your thinking. The fourth step is to 4. recheck: think about what your thoughts and feelings are trying to tell you. What does it say about how you view the situation? What is your “antidote”— how will you work through how your worries are affecting you? Look for clues in your writing, then start to reframe/reconceptualize the way you are thinking about what happened and how you can improve the situation. Lastly, do your 5. active reach. This is a thought or action you need to practice daily to help you reconceptualize what you thought about in the previous step - that is, what you are going to do each day to give yourself the time and mental space needed to deal with what is bothering you and turn destructive worry into constructive worry. 

For more tips on managing worry, listen to my podcast (episode #538). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).         

This podcast is sponsored by:    

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Podcast Highlights

0:12 Worrying can be good for you!

2:10 How to turn destructive worry into constructive worry 

3:30 Why we should never suppress or ignore our worries

6:10 How to manage feelings of worry in the moment 

12:11 The “Goldilocks” principle of worry 

14:20 Probabilities, possibilities & constructive worry    

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.

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