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A Great Technique to Calm Your Worries

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We often hear bromides like “90 percent of your worries never happen,” and “Worrying doesn’t change anything,” and yet we still worry.

I’m not going to tell you to stop worrying, but I am going to give you a technique to use that may just help you get through it.

I call it the “... and then what” technique. Here’s how it works.

When you are worried about something, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen? Then what?”

You will come up with an answer, and often it isn’t all that bad. Then ask yourself, “Okay, if THAT happens, then what?” and so on.

You may just find out that the entire sequence of events doesn’t result in anything to worry about after all. At the very least, you will discover that the consequences aren’t all that bad.

Let’s take a relatively minor example. The weather is very bad and you are worried that it will affect traffic. Have a conversation with yourself like this:

What’s the worst that could happen? The roads could be jammed.

Okay, then what? I will be late to work.

Okay, then what? My boss will be upset.

Okay, then what? I’ll tell him it was because of the weather.

Okay, then what? Hmmm ... probably nothing!!

Try it the next time you are fretting about something. You just might be surprised at how well it works!

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Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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