Wellbeing Day: The Managing Worry Workshop

Woo-woo Wellbeing Day! As a newbie to Octopus Group, I was excited to hear that OG Wellbeing Day was returning. We are talking smoothies, massages, healthy snacks and what I am going to share my takeaways about – the Managing Worry Workshop.

To be honest, I was a little sceptical – yeah right, like a workshop can help manage my worry, as if its all that simple! However, after a green monster smoothie and a shoulder rub, I was feeling free of body and mind and ready to listen.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a hippy-dippy, kale eating aficionado – I have been converted. And I am going to share with you some helpful tips that I found genuinely useful, and I hope you do too:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff: A valuable lesson I took from the managing worry workshop comes from a proverb from the Dalai Lama. “If a problem is fixable, then you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.”

I know, I know – as if it’s that easy. And you can roll your eyes all you want, but in truth, this is something we can all take and implement it in to our working, and every-day lives –  By focusing on the tasks you CAN achieve in the day, and not fretting about the things out of your control. That stressful report that needs to be done before the deadline? Stop worrying and get it done. Your spokesperson suddenly getting ill? There’s nothing you can do, these things happen – so stop worrying!

  • Schedule your worrying: Not all worrying is bad, in fact it can be healthy to worry – worrying can boost productivity and get you motivated i.e. worrying about failing your driving test can give you the needed boost to start practicing or worrying about your health can drive you to start exercising and eating better. But the dark side of worrying is where you cannot stop thinking about the thing that is bothering you. And you end up spending more time worrying than doing anything productive!

So here is a tip from me to you – schedule your worry time. Pick an hour out of your day and allow yourself to give in to your worries, but that’s it. This means you won’t spend your day pointlessly worrying, and instead face your worry in a productive, time-effective way.

  • Deep breathes: My final managing worry workshop top tip is – focus on your breathing. When you are worried or anxious, normal breathing is inhibited. This sends danger signals to your brain which triggers your mind and body in to a state of anxiety. Alternate nostril breathing helps regulate your breath and calm your body.

You can practice alternate nostril breathing by sitting comfortably, placing your thumb over your left nostril, taking a deep breath and holding it for four seconds, then exhaling slowly. Then close your right nostril and inhale through your left, holding it for four seconds, then exhaling slowly. Repeat this action for as long as required, until you feel the cloud of worry begin to lift and you feel more at peace.

We all worry, it’s a natural human behaviour, but it is important that we do not let the worry get on top of us in our day to day lives. I know these simple tips will help me manage my worry going forward, and I hope that they can be of use to you too.