Here continues a summary of my posts on how to recover as quickly as possible from more serious stress and exhaustion symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, in my daily work with people who have sought help for stress and exhaustion problems, I have been able to distinguish 3 building blocks of stress management:
1. Adjust your stress level
2. Manage your stress sources
3. Use healthy routines
This post continues with the second building block, 2 Manage your stress sources, here in relation to stressful thoughts, such as anxiety and rumination, as it is crucial to learn to steer one’s thoughts in order to reduce the stress level and create conditions for recovery.
Last weeks’ posts have contained the main principles of how to make a worry-hour work with the aim to steering one’s thinking.
This post continues with what you can do during the actual worry-hour in order to make worrying thoughts more manageable.
It is important that this hour is not too late in the evening, preferably no later than 6 pm, to ensure that it does not disturb your sleep with the stress hormones that will be produced.
During the worry hour you can write down the following for each theme that causes worry and anxiety:
1 The actual disturbing and troublesome thought, often the answer to “What if …”
2 The result / disaster you fear – i.e. the answer to “what would be the worst for you if that/X really happened…”
3 Decide if the thought is productive / helpful or unproductive / unhelpful, see last week’s post
4 Make an action plan including what you should do, i.e. what actions you could take for each thought as well as what you choose to do in each scenario
Then reflect on the process itself:
5 How much time you spent on the worry-theme in total
6 How you managed to get out of the thought / theme
7 How you feel after the thought / theme has left your attention.
More about what to do during the worrying hour next week.