The concern: how does it affect us to worry excessively?
The current society pushes us to have a high amount of daily tasks to attend. Generally, we live the concern as an unpleasant process. The feeling of having a thought in your head that generates anxiety all the time can stop being adaptive, to become a process that limits us. In general, the habitual and intuitive reaction that we all have before the appearance of a concern is to try to remove it from the head as soon as possible.
Emotions that generate concerns
Concerns are attempts of our emotional system to warn us that a certain event is important. Therefore, when we make attempts to suppress these thoughts, we fail to process what our emotions want to tell us. The usual reaction of our body is to send us the worry again and again.
Surely you've ever had the feeling that a song you do not like "hits you" and you can not stop singing it. In general, our strategy in this situation is to try to remove the song from the head. But surely you will have verified that it does not usually have an effect. However, if we sing it two or three times, we see how little by little it is going away from our consciousness.
The hour of the worries, strategy to worry about us
A strategy that has proven much more effective than trying to suppress worry is doing just the opposite. Leave some time a day to attend to what our emotional brain wants to tell us.
The exercise consists of devote a few minutes a day to worry about us. In this way, we give ourselves the opportunity to process the emotions that our brain makes us feel. It is very therapeutic to do this exercise in writing. And it is that when we pass through the filter of the words the emotions and express them, their intensity, duration and frequency diminish.
It is also not necessary that we dedicate more than 15 minutes a day to this exercise. Of course, it is recommended that after doing so, schedule a pleasant activity so as not to be "stuck" in the concern.
In general, one of the guidelines for doing this exercise is to focus on the worst that can happen. Normally, the worst that can happen causes less anxiety than the anticipation of this situation. Also, once the worst possible situation is described, it is advisable to focus on the most probable situation in order to compare our reactions to both possible situations. In this way, we help our brain to reevaluate the threat, in order to adapt the emotional responses to the real demands of the environment.
It is likely that during the first weeks that you do this exercise, you will find something more anxious. It is totally normal. It is the result of the cognitive avoidance that you have been doing for so long. Towards the third week of its realization, the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety, fear, sadness or anger, usually descend to give way to emotions related to well-being.
You no longer have an excuse to continue spending time and energy worrying. The key is to occupy yourself, not worry.
Jesus Matos. Psychologist expert in management of sadness. Founder of the online platform In Mental Balance.