Scheduling Worry Time Daily Helps Stop People Getting Stressed
Scheduling worry time every day to work through worries and woes may help put an end to the stress-out cycle, a new study by researchers in the Netherlands found.
When people with adjustment disorders, burnout or severe work problems used techniques to confine their worrying a single, scheduled 30- minute period each day, they were better able to cope with their problems.
The study made use of a technique, called "stimulus control," that researchers have studied for almost 30 years.
People can reduce worries by compartmentalizing worry — that is, setting aside a specific half-hour period each day to think about worries and consider solutions.
Deliberately avoiding thinking about those issues the rest of the day also helped people to ultimately reduce those worries, research has shown.
Tom Borkovec is a professor emeritus of psychology at Penn State University, who was not involved in the new research.
However, Borkovec was part of the group that developed stimulus control therapy for worry in the early 1980s.
He said, "When we're engaged in worry, it doesn't really help us for someone to tell us to stop worrying.”
"If you tell someone to postpone it for a while, we are able to actually do that,” Borkovec said.