Schedule a “worry window” (DW#712)

The first strategy that we will explore to wind down our buzzing brain may sound counter-intuitive at first, but please hang on.

Instead of allowing our brains to stress and worry about the next day or anything else that may be on our minds at the moment, we will schedule a time to worry.

So go ahead. Set your alarm for tomorrow during the day. From 4pm to 4.20pm, for example, plan on indulging every worry and anxiety that comes your way. If you cannot think of anything to worry about, try hard. You can kick start your worry session, says Stephanie Silberman, (author of The Insomnia Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need), by simply asking yourself, "What are the things that come to my mind when I’m lying in bed at night?"

If a worry doesn’t seem that big during your worry session, go ahead and amplify it in your mind. Your soul purpose during this "worry window" is to welcome and indulge your worries and anxieties about things that you cannot control.

Please do NOT try to distract yourself by doing chores or watching TV at this time. This is your worry window so ahead and worry. No multitasking please!

And once you are done, you are done, okay?

Later in the day or at other times, you find anxious thoughts creeping in, please be firm and tell yourself: "I’ve already addressed this during today’s worry window". If it is a new worry, go ahead and add a mental note to deal with it during your worry window the next day. After all, you get to do this every day!

The idea behind the worry window is to give your worries a home to live in and a time to visit. Very soon they will get the message that while they are welcome to visit at certain scheduled times during the day, they will NOT be allowed to run wild at other times, especially at bedtime.

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