stop worrying

If you want to stop worrying about a problem it’s important to understand that the problem, whatever it is, is only part of the problem. The other part is the worry. When you stop worrying you reduce the problem by half immediately.

Here’s how this works. If you are struggling with a problem there’s a good chance that it won’t go away in a hurry, so you can afford to take a week off from worrying about it.

Starting now (or at some pre-appointed time in the next couple of days), do nothing whatsoever to solve the problem. This includes thinking about it. If it comes to mind – as it surely will – distract yourself by focussing on another topic or getting involved in a task.

Maybe coincidence, luck or fate will do the job for you and the problem will go away, or maybe it won’t, in which case all you get is a week off.

Tip 1:

This only works if you’ve been trying to fix a problem. If you’ve been ignoring it hoping it’ll go away, reverse the exercise and get on with it.

Tip 2:

If you are part of a couple and you both agree you have a problem, you could both agree to avoid discussing or thinking about it for a week. It might help to know that 68% of problems that couples argue about have no solution, according to John Gottmann.

A more traditional route

Problems are a part of Life. You can’t avoid them, but you don’t have to obsess about them. If you are stuck with a problem, whether it’s between you and another person, a habit you want to change, something work-related, or a practical issue like finding an apartment or changing your job, we all come up against issues that can challenge us, keep us awake at night, and generally spoil our waking days.

Problems may be unavoidable, but they don’t have to define you. If the ideas enough don’t appeal to you try the advice in my post What to Do If You Are Stuck With a Problem.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.


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