More threads by Daniel E.

Daniel E.
What? Me Worry!?! Mastering Your Worries
Centre for Clinical Interventions

This InfoPax is designed to provide you with some information about chronic worrying and generalised anxiety disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your worrying and anxiety. It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities. Modules:

  • Module 2: Overview of Worrying
    This module provides an overview of what worrying is, what triggers worrying, and what keeps it going. PDF document: 261kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 3: Negative Beliefs about Worrying (Part 1)
    This module explores some negative beliefs you might have about worrying and discusses ways of changing such beliefs. It focuses on one particular belief - that "Worrying is uncontrollable." PDF document: 297kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 6: Challenging Worries
    This module explores an active way of dealing with the specific worries you have by challenging head on. PDF document: 224kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 7: Letting Go of Worries
    This module explores a different way of dealing with your specific worries. It describes the steps toward letting go of your worries. PDF document: 244kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 8: Accepting Uncertainty
    This module aims to examine the need for certainty, look at how this keeps worrying going, describe ways of challenging this, and discuss how to ultimately accept uncertainty in life. PDF document: 200kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 9: Problem-Solving
    Worrying and problem-solving are two very different things. This module describes some valuable strategies for being able to effectively solve problems that you encounter in your day-to-day life. PDF document: 275kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 10: Relaxation
    This module describes how you can reduce your anxiety by gaining control of your breathing and learning relaxation techniques. PDF document: 292kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

  • Module 11: Self Management
    This final module describes how to maintain the gains and continue the progress you have made throughout the previous modules. PDF document: 304kb. Updated 31 January 2005.

Daniel E.
An excerpt from the module on accepting uncertainty:

If your attitude to life is that you need certainty and predictability, then you might often engage in worrying because you think it might help you achieve this.

Worrying gives you the illusion of certainty, as it prepares you for the worst, so there are no surprises.
Certainty is an impossible thing to achieve in life, and worrying only gives you a ‘fake’ sense of certainty.
After all, even Benjamin Franklin was heard to have said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

As part of treating your worry, you need to address your need for certainty.

You can challenge your need for certainty by asking:

  • Can I ever really achieve certainty?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of demanding certainty?
  • Do I predict bad things when I’m uncertain? Could good things just as likely happen?
  • What is the probability of what I predict happening?
  • Are there times I can tolerate uncertainty? What do I do then?
  • How do others tolerate uncertainty? Can I learn from them?
You can let go of your intolerance of uncertainty and learn to accept uncertainty by:

  • Being aware of your need for certainty
  • Not responding to this need by worrying, by instead observing and describing your need.
  • Making the decision to let go of this need and instead accept uncertainty
  • Being focused on the present (i.e., breathing, bodily sensations, surroundings) to help achieve acceptance
  • Refocussing your mind on the present moment, when it wonders back to needing certainty.
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