Stop the Negative Fantasy
Don't let worry get in your way

by Rachelle Disbennet-Lee, PhD.

Worry is one of those things that will pull you down and stop you in your tracks quicker than most anything else. Most things you worry about don't happen, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone from spending time and energy worrying. Worrying ruins the present by bringing in anticipation of possibly negative future events. When you worry you are actually doing something referred to as "negative fantasy." You are fantasizing not about the good that can happen, but the bad.

It is easy to say stop worrying, but much harder to actually stop. If worrying has become a habit, it can be difficult to break. One suggestion I give my clients is to set aside time each day to worry. This might seem counterproductive, but actually it helps by getting the worry out of the way. My clients have also reported that by actually setting time aside for worry they have seen how worthless it is. Just sitting there worrying is a waste of time and most people end up doing this exercise only a couple of times until they realize that worrying is fruitless.

To stop worrying, you first have to become aware you are worrying. Every time you catch yourself worrying do something that will bring your awareness back to the present. You could wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you catch yourself worrying. You could place a check mark on a worry list or just say out loud, "Stop worrying!" Anything that will interrupt what you are doing and bring your awareness to the forefront will work.

When you find yourself worrying about a future event, say to yourself, "If this event happens, I would do this." By actually coming up with a plan for what you are worrying about, you defuse the worry. It is helpful to plan for the future. It is fruitless to worry about it. Trying to stop worry most likely won't work unless you replace it with something else. Instead of worrying, work on being proactive about what you are thinking. Create solutions and take action to avoid the situation completely. Part of worrying is the feeling of being helpless. If you create a plan of action, you will be prepared for what might happen and won't have to spend time worrying about it.

Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching.  For a free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to 
Coach Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD, 2007


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