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Challenge your Mindset

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A strategy for coping with a mind of worry

worry

There are such a thing as ‘worriers’. It’s a personality type of people with minds more emotionally tuned. They feel things more, and while that can mean dizzying happiness, it can mean crippling worry [8 healthy ways to deal with worry]. For other people, the ‘warriors’ of the world who’d rather tackle problems head on, worriers focus too much on the problem, to the point of envisioning impending doom.

It can be difficult to cope with worriers, but it can be done. Here is a strategy for coping with a mind that worries:

Help them calm down

It’s best to approach someone mid-worry with calm: a calm face, voice and body language. Counteract the physical behaviours and try to bring them into your calm. Getting aggravated or angry with them because they are irrational doesn’t work. They will react to your approach rather than what you are saying because they are emotional thinkers. They intuit feelings rather than thoughts, so being calm encourages them to calm down, no matter what you say to get them there. It can be something as ridiculous as a funny memory, but whatever works to take their mind from the source of worry momentarily should be used.

Talk through the logic

Let them explain their thought processes rather than force your ideas on them. It comes easy for you to think logically, but you should remember it doesn’t come that easily to everyone. Be a gentle guide for their thoughts and calmly interject when they make a jump in logic. If they talk their way into a more logical conclusion, they’ll believe it more. One thing to avoid is using ‘worst case scenario’ models. It doesn’t help worriers to know how bad it can get and how it isn’t as bad as they think. Any sort of negative language [The reasons that you should avoid these negative words] just prolongs the worry, even if what you’re saying isn’t necessarily negative in your mind.

Remind them of how helpful worrying is

Now they are on track with what their situation is and how to deal with it, go for a simple sentence saying that worrying won’t help them, rather than say it’s ‘stupid’ or ‘useless’. This is how to bring worriers back to reality and give them perspective. The more ridiculous their worries, the better this reminder works. If their worry is more close to home and has a slight chance of coming true, it’s still good to try and encourage a proactive mindset. In this case, tell them that worrying will drain them of their energy and make them tired and worked up, while nothing gets better. This makes them want to use their energy to do something useful

Bring some light humour to the situation

Worry is closely linked to depression in that its breeds negative feelings, leaving little room for the positive. A small joke or a touch of humour and happiness to what you say is welcoming and encouraging to worriers. It’s good to get the balance so you don’t appear to think their worries are a joke. Anything you can do to make them smile is going to be a comfort to them.

Show that you care

Going back to the first step, worriers respond better to people who they know care about them. Check up on how they’re feeling and arrange to meet up with them regularly. Something as simple as being a good friend should just come naturally to you, but make sure you’re doing everything you can to be one. The more supported a worrier feels, the less they’ll worry. Don’t dismiss the worries or tell them to toughen up. This won’t necessarily get rid of the worry, but it will definitely upset them. Be kind and open.

This strategy requires patience. Don’t expect to completely rewire a worrier’s brain, but use this as a way to help you cope. Worriers will worry, and it’s about helping them manage these worries as effectively as you can. If you want to help them to get a bit of perspective they could visit our Video Moods series for some bite sized support. If, however, you feel this could be linked to something more serious, don’t rule out recommending medical advice. The key is to stay calm, caring and positive.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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