There are a number of CBT techniques that are commonly used to help people challenge worry including: thought records, thought stopping, worry time, challenging the value of worry, problem solving, experiments to increase intolerance of uncertainty and cognitive exposure. Let’s take a look at them one at a time:
Worry Time: Worry time is another simple technique that many people find extremely helpful. If you find that you worry all of the time or nearly all of the time, try setting aside a regular time each day to do all of your worrying and then do ALL of your worrying during your Worry Time. So, for, example, if you decide that your Worry time is between 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm, then you have to do all of your worrying at that time. You set aside that time to worry each day and during that time you do nothing but worry. Your job during Worry Time is to worry as hard as you can. When Worry Time is over you get up and get back to doing something else. Distraction usually works to help people stop their worry time. If you find yourself worrying outside of your Worry Time your job is to delay or “put off” the worry until Worry Time. It is not as if you are not going to worry at all. You are just delaying the worry until later. Don’t make a list of things to worry about during Worry Time. The basic rule is if the worry is important you will remember it at Worry Time. If it isn’t important, you will forget it…but then but wasn’t important any way. Try this technique for a week and see how it works for you.
Many people who try this technique and actually set aside Worry Time each day find it very helpful.
What strategy stops you from worrying?