Monthly Archives: June 2015

Why write “a worry list”?


A few weeks ago, I was in a rather bad place. I was stressed out and worried constantly about way too many things. Some of them could be easily solved, but other gave me a headache each time I thought of them. All those things kept whirling around in my head, giving me no peace.

As a consequence I had problems falling asleep in the evening, woke up many times during the night and sometimes when I woke up to pee, I would lay awake for 1-1,5 hours in the middle of the night, unable to fall asleep again.

Then one morning I woke up at 5:30, and after tossing and turning for about an hour, I finally realised I had to do something proactive to get my mind in order.

I got dressed, grabbed some paper and a pen and started to write down all my worries. In no particular order, I wrote everything that was bothering me, in one way or another. And just by doing that, my mind immediately started to quiet down.

Afterwards I looked at my list, with about 10-12 items on it, and circled the things that were within my control to do something about. Next I came up with some possible solutions to the situation, or some concrete things I could act on in the nearest future. Some of them I could resolve within the day, some later. The things I realised weren’t within my control, I decided it wouldn’t do me any good to ruminate more over them for now. Instead I would concentrate on the “problems” (or tasks at hand) I could do something about.

I really hadn’t had any expectations regarding this little experiment of mine, but later that same day I realised I felt like a huge burden had been lifted of my shoulders. No longer was  I a victim of my own mind, but I had oversight over my problems, and could do something concrete in order to work on them. It was a really good feeling, and I decided to use this method again the next time my mind was acting like a monkey, running around from tree to tree without any goal whatsoever.

There’s nothing new under the sun and most likely some of you are already using this method for “worry management”, or some other equally effective way of dealing with worries. If that’s the case, it sure would be nice to hear from you, so please leave a comment 🙂