• Helen Burt Iain McCormick

Reduce your worry


As an executive coach I am often asked by clients how they can better deal with worry. Many of my clients recognise that their worry is unhelpful and often irrational, so they are very interested in reducing or even eliminating it.


It is probably impossible for most people to eliminate worrying but it can be significantly reduced and put in a better perspective. Often I suggest clients keep a worry log each day for seven days. A simple approach is to create a note on your phone and write down:

  • The situation - who what where and when

  • The worry - what were the thoughts and sensations

  • The prediction - what might happen

  • The intensity - 0-10

  • Later answer: Did the worst thing happen? Was this under my control? Did the worry help?

Worry logs have helped many people - however there is some useful research that suggests if you write your worry journal in the third person it can help you to get psychological distance from the event. So I would write: ‘Iain is worried about an up coming workshop and if the client team will take the need for change seriously.’ Compared to a first person statement ‘I am worried about an up coming workshop and if the client team will take the need for change seriously.’

Try if you think you worry too much and see if it helps.


Iain McCormick - 021 575449


Photo credit: Nik Shuliahin


Ayduk O, Kross E. From a distance: implications of spontaneous self-distancing for adaptive self-reflection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 98: 809-29.

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