Make Time to Worry:

Managing Worry with the Worry Period

Worry is one of the most common features of anxiety. Worry, or thinking in circles about your problems, can consume most of your attention, leaving you drained of energy yet tense as a bow stretched to the breaking point.  Many of my clients have reported remarkable changes in their levels of worry by practising the technique I’m about to share with you, often leading to reduced anxiety, improved mood and enhanced productivity.

First, to understand why this technique works, we need to understand why we worry.  We tend to worry about things that feel important to us – never mind if you can tell yourself that what you’re worrying about isn’t important, it still feels like a big deal to you.  And whether this is a real problem or one that you think might happen, it still feels bad. So, worrying is your brain’s attempt to solve a problem that feels important to you.  That’s what brains do, they’re problem-solving machines.  Great isn’t it? Except when the problem can’t be solved by thinking about it! The brain then goes in circles, not giving up, trying in vain to find solutions.

So, simply telling your brain to stop worrying doesn’t work – the brain isn’t willing to give up on finding a solution to a problem it thinks is hurting you.  This is where the Worry Period technique comes in, giving the brain permission to “park” worries for later and to refocus on the task at hand.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, we need to decide on the actual worry period, a regular 15-minute timeslot, preferably at the end of the day, during which you can sit down undisturbed and give your brain the space to worry about whatever it wants to worry about.  Don’t have any distractions, just let the brain focus on its worries.  After the 15 minutes are up, make sure you have something to do to take your attention back to your normal day-to-day life, like preparing dinner.
  • The second step, now that you’ve decided on your worry period, is to practise “parking” your worries.  So, whenever you find yourself worrying during the day, train yourself to let it go by telling your brain: “thanks for flagging up this really important issue Brain, lets work on it later during the worry period.” Then make a quick note of the issue to remind yourself of it in the worry period, to help your brain feel safe to let it go for now.

So many of my clients have really benefited from applying this technique, and I hope you do too. I’d love to know how you get on with applying the Worry Period in your life. 

Contact me in confidence on: Tel: 07501300697 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember that you’re always welcome to reach out to me for further help, face-to-face or online.