Reduce Worrying During Tough Times
Neil Fiore, PhD
Worrying is a sign that your brain needs a plan for survival.
Feed your hungry neurons with these steps of inner security
and you’ll lower the volume on the voices of your worrying mind.
1. Create a Plan—“if – then”
Answer the voices of “What if I lose my job?” with a plan that says
“This is what we will do if that happens then I’ll feel stressed, then
I’ll cry, then I’ll contemplate declaring bankruptcy, then I’ll file job applications at McDonalds, then I’ll study the fast-food retail business, expand my resume, and apply for a manager’s job. Then I’ll look for management jobs in other fields closer to my prior experience and education.”
2. Separate your Worth from your work.
Break the Worth = Work Puritan equation.
Don’t let your net worth determine how you feel about your worth
as a person. “Regardless of the feedback [notice: it’s
not criticism --only feedback-- when you have solid self-worth] you receive, your worth is always safe with me. I won’t make you feel bad.
3. THE ULTIMATE PLAN: Guarantee that you will not make yourself
feel bad, no matter what others think, no matter what happens.
Answer these questions:
1. What is the worst that could happen?
2. What would I do if the worst really happened?
3. How would I possible lessen the pain and get on with as much calm as possible if the worse did occur?
4. What alternatives would I have?
5. What can I do now to lessen the probability of this dreaded event occurring?
Tell the frightened, overwhelmed part of you: “Even if these things happen, your worth is safe with me.”
Avoid over-reacting to the weekly and daily ups and downs of the Stock Market but, also, do not become completely passive.
• Shift from worry to planning––Do the Work of Worrying
Write down ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your finances more efficiently. Making plans for how to cope will reduce your stress and worry.
Putting things down on paper and committing to a plan gets worry out of your gut and processes it through your higher brain.
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