Don’t Stop Worrying! Just Do It Better!

“Stop worrying and relax!” is one of the most common pieces of advice people give and receive and maybe one of the most absurd. People don’t stop worrying just because we tell them to. But is worrying really such a bad thing?

According to a study published in Social & Personal Psychological Compass, when we worry about something terrible happening, however unpleasant, it prepares us for whatever follows, making the situation seem not so bad. In other words, people who worry will feel better about the results of a stressful situation, no matter the outcome.

MORE: 5 Steps to Stop Overthinking Your Life

To a certain degree, to be worried means to be motivated. For example, worrying about an exam might motivate you to study harder. But too much worrying can be counterproductive. It can become overwhelming and a delay against actually accomplishing anything.

Here are some tips to make worrying work for you

1. Assign some worrying time

By scheduling some time everyday to worry you limit the damage worrying can do to your life. Write down what worries you, make a to do list or try to solve the problem that is on your mind. By doing so, worrying won’t keep you awake at night.

MORE: Don’t Worry If You Worry A Lot. It Means You’re Smarter Than Average

2. Find the difference between productive and unproductive thoughts

It’s important to know whether what worries you is a real problem or threat or just a imaginary one. In other words, is thinking about a certain problem increases your chances of solving it or not?

MORE: The 5 Best Ways You Can Overcome Anxiety

3. Distance yourself from the problem

A good way not to become overwhelmed by worrying is to do something that you enjoy doing and with which you are comfortable. Go for a walk, read a book or cook your favorite meal and take your mind off your problems.

And most importantly, be kind to yourself! Please, share this!