Worry can impact your time, your wellbeing and your focus. If you are spending a couple of hours a day worrying and you are worrying most days, then you are probably worrying too much. If you spend a lot of time worrying about issues you can do little or nothing about, you are probably wasting precious time and energy on worry.
Knowing that you are worrying needlessly doesn’t mean you can easily stop. You are probably worrying about something you care about very much and that affects you (or someone you care about) greatly.
Some worry is helpful. It can solve problems. But if you have no solutions to your problem after about 20 minutes of worry, you are probably not going to get any, especially if you are worrying at night instead of sleeping.
It can affect your sleep
Worry can interrupt sleep. When you worry, your brain and body become more alert, making it difficult to sleep. Your problem-solving capacity is likely to be substantially reduced in the middle of the night. Solutions will come more easily when you are fully awake.
What can you do?
Some people resolve this issue by keeping a worry journal. They keep a list of all the worries that crop up for them; and then they schedule some worry time. This should be about 20 minutes of uninterrupted time that you can devote to finding solutions to your problems.
It doesn’t have to interrupt your day; it could be while you are using public transport to get to work; or waiting for your child to finish an after school activity; or while you are squeezing in that all important exercise.
If you find that this doesn’t work, it might help to schedule a counselling session with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Often, talking to someone who is not directly involved in the problem can find a solution. They could also give you some additional strategies to help you better manage your worry.
Everybody worries, and sometimes worry can help you find a solution to a problem. If worry has become a problem for you, talk to your EAP. To make an appointment call 1800 629 277 in Australia and 0800 327 669 in New Zealand or email firstname.lastname@example.org