The Benefits of Worrying (250 words)

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

Often we do the things we do because of hidden payoffs. What’s a hidden payoff of worrying?

Worrying protects us from having to do problem solving.

Think about it…. 🙂

If I said “Would you prefer to spend the next 10 minutes worrying about something you commonly worry about? e.g. your weight.

Or

Would you prefer to spend the next 10 minutes taking a small problem solving action that would actually help improve the problem or make it less likely to occur?
e.g., making a healthy salad to take to work for lunch tomorrow?

Which would you choose?

Most people would pick sitting on their butt and worrying for 10 minutes. It’s familiar and in the short term it’s easier.

Honestly, if someone asked me this question, most of the time I would choose sitting on my butt and worrying. So I’m not saying there is anything wrong with YOU that would choose something that is easier over something that is harder. It’s a natural inclination.

But….. to get unstuck you need to sometimes choose the harder option. You don’t have to do it all the time (setting perfectionstic standards is likely to cause you to just give in and give up), but if you’re currently choosing non-avoidant problem solving action only 1/10 times, try to up this to 4/10 times. That’s a 400% improvement and you’re still choosing problem solving action less than half the time!

Note that I mean “doing” problem solving action, not thinking about doing problem solving action, but you don’t need to solve your whole problem all it once. It can be any small action.

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