Constructive worry is a method for managing the tendency to worry during the quiet time at night when sleep is supposed to be taking over. The goal of this exercise is to create time earlier in the day when you can proactively anticipate and address the worrisome thoughts which take over at night. It takes a few sessions of practice for this technique to work.
- Find a quiet time at least 2 hours before your desired bedtime to complete the exercise. It should take less than 15 minutes.
- Write down a concern which has been on your mind lately.
- Write down whether the concern seems realistic or not.
- Write down the next step you would do to address the concern, or, if there is no solution, write that down.
- Fold the concerns list in half and place in a drawer.
- If you start to worry about these concerns at bedtime, remind yourself that you have already addressed them. If you worry about a new concern, remind yourself that you can address it during your constructive worry time tomorrow.
- Continue to practice constructive worry daily during periods of increased stress or anxiety, stop the practice when it is no longer needed.