This post continues on what to do during the worry hour that was introduced in last week’s post. Worry hour is a tool to handle anxiety and rumination, but also when stuck in unproductive problem solving, mourning a loss etc. by reducing the time spent on nonurgent unproductive or hurtful thoughts to maximum one scheduled hour per day.
This is of course impossible during acute crisis, then immediately seek professional help!, or when your stress level for other reasons are above 8, like having hot affects, see last post on feelings. This can be explained by an overactive sympathetic nervous system creating a locked position that just tumble the thoughts. Then you can get a relief by instead accepting the thoughts, but still try not to listen. Instead repeat to yourself. “These thoughts are just symptoms of acute stress/distress. I am not in the position to find a solution right now, but later when I am calmer.” Instead, try the stress management techniques for acute stress from Tuesday last week.
During the worry hour try to divide the thoughts/themes into whether they are productive/useful or unproductive/unhelpful.
Productive/useful thoughts are about things you have an impact on or are likely to happen so that it is beneficial for you to consider your alternatives.
Unproductive/unhelpful thought are about things/themes you have no control over or are unlikely, like worrying if a meteorite will crash into you from outer space as you read this, since this is both unlikely and nothing you will be able to act upon until it is too late. However, shielding the planet from meteorites is important for among others NASA, hence the theme is productive for them and they have developed a program and protocol of what to do if/when this happens, by e.g. monitoring the space. More about what to do during the worrying hour next week.
#worryhour #handleanxiety #handlerumination #worry