Sunday, May 25, 2008

Take a Worry Break

Do you let your problems bother you throughout the day or into the night? Consider taking a worry break.  Schedule a 1/2 hr each day to focus on all your problems.  This way you know you have a time and place to do your worrying.  In Shed 10 Years in 10 Weeks, Dr. Julian Whitaker and Carol Colman suggest taking a worry break. 

How To Take a Worry Break
Whitaker and Colman write about how to take a worry break:

Find 30 minutes during the late afternoon to take a "worry break."  Sit down quietly.  Worry.  Do it intensely.  Think about what is bothering you and how you can make the situation better.  Some people find that actually writing down the problem and listing possible solutions can be beneficial.  If there is something you can do to resolve a problem, do it or at least formulate a plan of action.  Then put worrying aside until the next day.  If you being to worry when you get into bed, say to yourself, "No.  I've taken care of that already."  It sounds simple, but it can work if you let it.

Key Take Aways
Here's my key take aways:

  • Consolidate your problems rather than let them interfere throughout your day.
  • If you're going to worry, worry right.  Do it with rigor, get intense, and get results.
  • Forget about your problems for the rest of the day.

I really like the idea of a worry break.  I think it's similar to trying not to edit while you write, or trying not to critique while you brainstorm.  Problems can suck you down whether you're just trying to have fun or trying to focus on the task at hand.  How great is that, to know you have a time and place for your troubles?

My Related Posts


Vered said...

It's a great idea in theory... in reality, I'm not so sure I can turn my worries off at will. Thank you for an interesting thought!

J.D. Meier said...

Hey Vered

Are you going to test it? I'll be curious to hear about your results.

Here's what I found. Having a worry break gives me focus time to make some quick plans for some key problems. It also helps me defer the problems that pop up.

The most interesting thing is during my worry break, it forces me to ask prioritize -- what are my worst worries? This puts everything else in perspective.

Vered said...

yup, I think I will give it a try... it does sound promising. I do worry too much.

J.D. Meier said...

If it helps to know, here's exactly what I do for an effective worry break:
1. I write down everything I can think of. I don't analyze it, I just dumped.
2. When nothing else seemed worth writing down, I walk through my list.
3. I group things so I can divide and conquer.
4. I prioritize the issues.
5. I look for oppportunities to cut off problems at the branch vs. the leaves.

When I have an organized set of problems, I find I can more effectively tackle them.

Barbara Swafford said...


What an interesting concept. Used properly I can see how this could work.

Combine this with Eckert Tolle's "The Power Of Now" and it could be a win-win situation.

When I have worries I find it works best to write them down too. There's something to be said for that "from head to hand" practice.

J.D. Meier said...

Hey Barbara

You're the second person that mentioned "the power of now to me" -- I think I have some homework to do.

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi J.D.

"The Power of Now" is a great book. It teaches us how to live in the moment. A real eye opener.

I'll be watching for your review of it. :)