• Dr. Rina De Klerk-Weyer

Dealing with worry, setbacks and change

Today's leaders and managers are constantly confronted with situations they feel uncertain about how to cope with, in order to create the best possible outcome. But very often if we give ourselves time-out to think about it and consider the different options, it is possible to turn the situation (problem) into a possibility or growth opportunity. Some of the challenges facing them are how to deal with constant change, setbacks and worry.

Most of us have experienced worry or concern. Some of us set a plan in motion to deal with it. Others seem to get stuck in a vicious circle of being concerned, then worried, then fearful and sometimes panicked! To be worried is not necessarily negative. What really matters is how we deal with it. We are genetically wired to think about and anticipate the future, mostly in order to protect ourselves. This means that worry may serve a purpose. It can motivate us to change our circumstances because it is related to our unfulfilled needs.

You often tend to worry when you feel vulnerable and when you feel you have no

control over your circumstances. The continued worry, if not addressed, may lead to serious health problems, for example experiencing frequent bouts of colds and flu, strokes and skin problems. Your whole body and immune system are negatively affected by excessive worry. Worry also restricts your growth and possibilities, because you are afraid to take risks and are unwilling to do new things (for example, when you are afraid to apply for a new job), it also drains your energy, because it vests in the subconscious, even though you are busy with something else. Psychologist Doctor E Hallowell designed a five-step plan on how to deal with worry. It's very simple, but extremely effective.

1. Never worry alone. Talk to someone to gain perspective and distance.

2. Get the facts. We often worry because we have little or no information, or because we have misunderstood certain information.

3. Make a plan. Take action on your worry to increase your control over the situation, then you will feel less vulnerable. Decide what to do and to do it.

4. Practice brain maintenance. Get enough sleep (seven to nine hours per night), eat a balanced diet (breakfast with protein is important) and exercise (which has a very positive effect on your body and your mood). Pray and/or meditate it helps you to focus and regain perspective.

5. Let it go. After you have done what you can, let it go. Holding onto your worries makes you sick.

Other useful tips to make your worry more manageable are the following:

  • Make sure your self-talk is positive (don't talk about yourself as weak or bad) .

  • Maintain a good support-system interact with other people close to you.

  • Enjoy and look for humour in situations.

  • Avoid self-medication (for example alcohol or food).

  • Get enough sunshine and fresh air.

  • Listen to music, sing, whistle or smile.

  • Touch and massage are important.

  • Limit your on-line time and watching negative TV news.

  • Write it down this creates distance and gives you clarity of the problem.

  • Do what is right, and then you don't have to worry about the consequences of negative behaviour.

  • Hire experts to help you (for example with your finances).

Remember that most worries never come to pass and that change and setbacks are growth opportunities.

When we are faced with change we either have to do what we can in order to deal with it, or we have to let go of that which we cannot change. Sometimes to let go of that which we cannot change can be very difficult, but it is possible if you apply a few basic rules.

The first of which are to accept that you cannot change the reality.The next step is to ask yourself what you can learn from this situation.Then try to think about it in a different way, in order to change the emotional impact.You can also ask yourself what are the skills that you have that can help you to cope with this reality and maybe what other skills do you need to develop in order to deal with another situation in the future in a better way.

Sometimes we follow this process almost automatically, but other times we need to consciously think about the different steps in order to be able to let go and move on. Remember until you accept the reality, you won't move on. But the moment you do, a whole new future lies ahead of you.

#lifestyle #decisionmaking

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