Worry is one of the biggest mental health battles we face. If you want to cut down on needless worry, this CNN article points out a simple but effective process that will help immediately and get even stronger over time.

Here are some excerpts:

“…all that useless worry is detrimental to our overall mental and physical well-being. It can misinform decision-making, raise stress levels, keep us up at night and erode our happiness.”

“Begin by writing down all the major things you’re currently worried about. It’s not pleasant to ruminate on them, but the fact is that your brain is constantly thinking about them anyway. Just because a worry is subconscious doesn’t shield you from its negative effects.”

“Then, take your final list of 10, put it somewhere private and make a note in your calendar to check in on those worries in six months.When time is up, record how many on the list came to fruition. Create a new Top 10 Worries list, and check those in another six months. Repeat the experiment until you have a better understanding of how often the things you worry about don’t happen. And for those concerns that do come to fruition, you may see the needlessness of some of those worries, as well.”

“By clearing your mind of needless worry, you can hone in on the real concerns you might be able stop. And even if you can’t stop them, there’s value in occupying your mind with action over fear. As actress Angela Lansbury put it, “better to be busy than to be busy worrying.”

“Convincing yourself that you worry too much about unlikely outcomes or about things beyond your control is one way to retrain your brain to worry less and worry smarter.”

Read the full article.