Worry and Stress

Thinking about Worry

I write about my own relationship with worry in my essay on Learning to Worry (Better)

If you need help sorting out when your worry is useful and when it is unhelpful, check out this decision tree for worry managment.

Not Thinking About Worry

A simple way to clear your head, especially if you need to be at your best in front of audience, is to hum a tune. Researcher Sian Beilock  found that "when you're worried about doing well in a game, or giving a memorized speech in front of others, the best thing to do is to distract yourself with a little tune before you start so you don't become focused on all the details of what you've done so many times before."

Many people use television as way to zone out or put their brain in neutral. It can give you a break from the stress but can leave you feeling fuzzy afterwards. For a different experience, try focused doodling. Click here for instructions and examples.

Stress Management

Kaiser Permanente has a lot of information available in their “Mind & Body Health” section. In particular, Kaiser has a large selection of guided visualization podcasts

The Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (http://www.csecenter.org ) offers a free introduction to meditation every month. They also offer morning and afternoon meditation times and a labyrinth for walking meditation. They are located at 1146 University Avenue, San Jose, CA.

Journal Writing

Good news - just 10 minutes of writing can reduce stress, increase working memory and improve performance. Research by Sian Beilock at the University of Chicago showed that anxious students given a chance to journal about their fears before an exam performed better.

 James Pennebaker did breakthrough research of the positive effects of writing on your health. His directions are here.

General Resources for Self-Help

There are a wealth of self-help resources at GetSelfHelp ranging from relaxation recordings to worksheets for dealing with depression, anxiety and more.


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