I believe that introverts worry more than extroverts. Worry exists in the mind, and as introverts, we spend more of our time there.  Some worry is normal and needed as human beings.  It is the excessive worry that I am working to free myself from.  I think, and think a lot. Most of the time, this is a strength of mine.  In my thinking, I can come up with some great plans for both my personal and work life and also come up with some good contingency plans as well.  It is when my analytical mind goes into over-analytical mode and I start “what-if”-ing way too much that I can get very stressed out.

I had a stressful day yesterday. I had a flat tire on what was to be a very busy day at work, and I also had a couple of sick kids that needed to go to the doctor.  I definitely was filled with worry and I let it get the best of me.  Excessive worry is something I have still not conquered yet.  I found a great article on How to Stop Worrying at HELPGUIDE.ORG full of “self-help” tips.

Here is an excerpt from self-help tip #4: Challenge anxious thoughts:

Stop worry by questioning the worried thought:

  • What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
  • Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
  • What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen?
  • If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
  • Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
  • What would I say to a friend who had this worry?

I was worried that I was not going to make it to work on time. The truth was that I was not. I was going to be late. So I chose to look at this situation in a more realistic way. Instead of worrying, I sent off a couple of emails and made the necessary work arrangements.  I put on a very sad-looking spare tire, and I was worried that I might not make it to the tire shop.  As I thought about this further, the probability was that I actually would make it just fine.  The tire shop was very close to home.  And I was also worried that new tires were going to cost far more than I wanted to spend right now.  In reality these negative thoughts were not helpful.  It was going to cost money, but my worry was not going to change the cost or the fact that the tire had to be replaced.  Whatever it was going to cost,  I’d just have to work it out.

I was able to change my thoughts and everything worked out just fine. I got a couple new tires, I got the essential work done for the day, and we did get the kids to the doctor. In the end, I was able to spend less time worrying about my problems, and more time solving them, so ultimately, I had more productive day.

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