1. Confront your fears: There’s often a fear of the unknown, and trying to define that fear can help you to overcome it. By facing whatever it is, you may find you know what to do about the situation. You can begin to think about how you might cope with it, what you can do, and who might help you, if necessary.
2. Talk it over: Discussing things with others can help to throw up a possible course of action or solution, which you wouldn’t have been able to formulate on your own.
3. Write a list: Try writing a list of what’s troubling you. Use statements, rather than questions. Instead of, ‘What will happen if I don’t get there on time?’ say, ‘I am worried that I won’t get there on time’. This focuses on precisely what the fear is. Another constructive way to put your fears into perspective is to try writing down the reasons why something bad might not happen. This may help you to see more realistically which situations are worthy of worry and which are not.
4. Take action: There is often something you can do about a situation you feel anxious about. Consider each preoccupying thought, one by one, and then decide whether there is something that could be done
5. Try to establish control: Confine your problems to a certain time and place. For this to work, it’s important to be strict, and not to let them intrude on your thoughts at other times. It might be helpful to visualise a box to place them in, which you may open at a later date or time. Some people set aside something like 30 minutes a day for worrying, taking the phrase ‘I’ll worry about it later’ literally.
6. Relaxation and visualisation: Relaxation exercises often focus on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. This could involve imagining yourself in a pleasant setting, such as a beach, a nice room or a garden. You could visualise your worries as physical objects that can be discarded, such as stones or rocks you could heave into the distance.
7. Physical activity: Exercise is excellent because it can change the focus from your mind to your body. It relieves tension and uses up adrenalin.
8. Medication: If extreme worrying turns into a state of continuous anxiety, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants or minor tranquillisers. These should only be used for the briefest possible time, because they may have side effects and can be addictive. They can do nothing to change the root cause of your problem, but they can tide you over the worst of a crisis until a different form of help, such as counselling or psychotherapy, can be put in place.