Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

From the outside, I look like a woman who has it all. I’m 27 years old, I just finished my graduate studies, I’m newly engaged and am working in my first professional job. My problem is anxiety. I’ve never tolerated uncertainty well, and now that I’m making many important decisions, I worry about everything. The weird thing is that I don’t worry about big things, like whether I’ve chosen the right man or the right career. I worry about smaller things, like whether my boss will like a report I turned in, whether I took my car to the right mechanic, what to cook when my future mother-in-law comes to visit and on and on. Worries like that often keep me awake at night.

I went to a therapist, and he wanted to put me on anti-anxiety medication, but that also worries me.

Is there anything else I can do?


Dear B.D.,

I want you to try a game. Let’s call it “Worry Wednesday.” Get an envelope, a pen and a lot of small slips of paper. Every time you have a worry, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in your “Worry Wednesday” envelope for safekeeping. Then move on to something else. If you have the same worry twice. Take another slip of paper, write it down again and tuck it into the envelope, too.

You can only open your “Worry Wednesday” envelope once a week — on Wednesday, of course. That’s when you’ll read each slip of paper. I think you’ll see that a lot of your worries appear smaller when you revisit them, and many of them will have taken care of themselves.

Based on the level of worries you’re expressing, this little coping strategy may be all you need.

Here’s to putting yourself at ease.


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