The Worrier’s Guidelines


The Worrier’s Guidelines
Dr. Romance writes about how to be an effective worrier.

This exercise is especially effective when you can’t sleep or when you experience anxiety attacks. If you worry a lot, or obsessively think about future events and problems when you should be concentrating on other things, follow these simple steps:



1. Write it down. If you’re feeling anxious or worried, or you can’t stop thinking about some event that hasn’t happened yet, take a few moments to write down whatever is worrying you. If you can’t write it down, think it through carefully until you can clearly say what you’re worrying about. Clarifying your worries will stop the free-floating sensation of anxiety with no basis.

2. Evaluate. Think about the first item on your list. Ask yourself “Is there anything I can do about it now?” If you’re at home and worrying about the office, or if the problem won’t occur until next week or next year, you may not be able to do anything about it right now. Or, you may be worrying about a problem you can do something about, such as calling someone, or getting an estimate of costs, or making a doctor’s appointment to check out a worrisome symptom.


3. Do Something. If there is something you can do, do it. Sometimes, worry is a way to procrastinate. Often, worry is a way to keep a mental list going, as in “I’m worried that I’ll forget to bring the slides for the presentation tomorrow.”

—If you’re worrying about how your presentation will go at work tomorrow, go over your notes and lay out your clothes for the morning.
—If you’re worried about a health problem, look up the illness or injury on the Internet, or call your doctor and ask some questions.
—If you’re at work worrying and about cooking dinner when you get home, write down a menu or a list of ingredients.
—If you’re worried that you may be fired, update your resume and call some agencies. You don’t have to take another job, but if there’s a real problem you’ll be prepared.


Here’s an example: If you’re worried that the roof may leak the next time it rains, start making a list about what you can do about it. Your inner dialog may sound like this:
“The news said it was going to rain next week. I’m worried that the roof might leak.”:
“Call a roofing company and have them look at it.”
“I’m worried that a roofing company will charge me more than they should because I don’t know how much it should cost.”
“Call my brother, (or my neighbor, or my friend) who had his roof done, and ask him what it costs, and also if he liked the contractor he used.”

When you reach this “okay”, it’s time to make the call, or, if it’s too late at night, make a note to call the next day.


4. Distract Yourself. When you’ve done what you can, or made your lists or notes, then distract yourself: Get busy doing something else, or read, or take a walk or a bath.

Repeat the above steps every time you catch yourself worrying.

This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina


Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
Dr. Romance Blog:!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

A Stress Free Christmas? You Bet! Here's 3 Tips For Happier Times


Richard and I just indulged in our favorite December tradition—we watched our favorite Christmas movie (Scrooge! the musical starring Albert Finney) which kick-starts our holiday spirit every year. No matter what you observe: Ramadan, Kwaanza, Chanukah, Solstice or Christmas, this is a celebratory time of year. For some it's happiness and joy, for ... Read more

Better Intimacy, Better Sex


As a counselor, I get a lot of clients who are worried about intimacy and sex. Romance books are a lovely escape from reality, and can help reduce your stress from daily frustrations. And, you can even learn a few tricks to enhance your relationship. The danger comes in if you begin to believe in the fantasy, compare your real-life partner to a fictional ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: What is the right love to last a lifetime?


Dear Dr. Romance: I am writing this letter to you because I really want to know what is the right love to last a lifetime? I am frustrated right now. How couples especially married, last love into lifetime? I am in love with someone, but I don't know if that person feels the same way too. But in some way or in somehow, I know she feels in a small amount ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular