Harness Stress

One of the most unhelpful responses to someone’s worry

November 1, 2021
min read

As a coach and as a human who worries from time to time, I find that one of the most unhelpful responses to someone’s worry is often:

“Don’t worry! There’s nothing to worry about.”

Despite our best intentions, often telling someone who is worried that they shouldn’t worry is a bit like pouring gas on a burning fire.

Why? Because without wanting to do so, you are likely:

(a) invalidating their worry without understanding what’s behind it;

(b) not helping them process their worry, so they can overcome it.

A quote to keep in mind

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”

– Sigmund Freud

How to lean into our worries constructively

Worries can be seen as mere signals 🚩which indicate to us that something needs to change – either our actions or our way of thinking. Instead of ignoring them or ruminating on them, leaning constructively into them can be more helpful.

Here are a few questions which you might find useful when helping yourself or someone else process a worry:

💡 What are the thoughts going through your mind?

💡 What’s at stake here that you care deeply about?

💡 What are the things within your control?

As you go through your week, try to be mindful of how you’re responding to your own worries and those of people around you 😉.

Author Portrait
Written by
Mica Vaipan

Performance & wellbeing coach, entrepreneur. Formerly startup founder, tech startup COO and investment banker.

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