I love this one! Do you find that worrying can take up most of your day? If you’ve got something on your mind it can be really hard to concentrate on what you should be doing, no matter what you do it keeps popping up and causes more stress because you end up not completing the task in hand. A great solution for this is to ‘save’ your worry for later. Tell it you will devote 20 minutes to it at a later time in the day and actually put this in your diary or phone. When the time comes give your worry all of your attention, write it down, say it out loud or tell a friend. I guarantee this works! In the meantime, the worry will keep trying to rear it’s ugly head. Keep telling it you’ll give it air time later. It takes a bit of practice but you can train your mind to resist. You’ll be able to get on with your day with focus and even enjoyment and feel much calmer in the process.
This technique also works with sadness. When my Dad passed away I used to find myself crying at the most inappropriate times and places- at work, on the tube, walking to meet a friend and ending up with mascara all down my face. After a few weeks of this I decided to store up my grief for the evening when I was home and could let it all out and not feel embarrassed. Sometimes we don’t want to feel upset and using the ‘save’ technique it is possible to store it for a better time. Important note – I am not advocating not feeling our feelings here or trying to push them aside. It’s crucial to acknowledge and express how we feel but there are times when doing so can make us feel vulnerable and drained. If it’s just not a good time it may serve us better to postpone the feeling in order to be able to get on with our day. I also know that when a feeling is so raw it’s very hard to contain. Again, this takes some practice but what it does give you is a feeling of having a bit of control and power back whilst still taking the time to honor your sadness and give it your full attention. Give it a try – I’d love to hear how you get on with this.