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The Practice of Scheduled Worry Time

When we are in the grasp of worrying, our mind can obsess about anticipated difficult times in the future incessantly. It’s a painful and distressing state to be in… and it is so normal. Our mind is a great storyteller who tries to keep us safe by anticipating pain and conflict and by gaming out scenarios.

Yes, it is normal to worry.

Trying to struggle against the worrying mind often only makes to come back with renewed verve. It is more workable to learn to allow the thoughts that are already in our experience and to unhook from them gently.

The practice of Scheduled Worry Time is a great tool to help with this.

How to Practice Worry Time

Scheduled worry time gives the mind the permission and the promise that there will be a designated time to worry. By cultivating worry time and consistently following through with it, the mind can relax at other times during the day.

  • Choose a time during your day when you can make 15 mins time to worry consistently.
  • Schedule a daily alarm on your phone for that time and prepare a 15 mins timer.
  • It can help to choose a special alarm sound for the worry time.
  • Have a notebook or special worry diary ready for your practice.
  • At the designated time, commit to make time for your worrying mind.
  • Write down all worrying thoughts that come. Keep writing even if there is no thought right now, e.g., by writing “I’m writing down my thoughts.” repeatedly.
  • Practice to get in and out of the river of worrying thoughts: Every few minutes, take a moment to Drop Anchor to bring yourself back into the Here and Now.
  • Once the 15 mins worry time are complete, thank yourself for sticking to your commitment and remind yourself that your mind has this as a time and a place to worry.

During the day, when worrying thought arise gently unhook yourself from them by acknowledging them, thanking your mind, and reminding it kindly that there will be time for these thoughts during your promised worry time.

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