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Defeat Worry with the Smart 3s

What bad habit may be the worst for your health and happiness? Dr. Edward Hallowell of Harvard Medical School says the worst habit is worrying. He suggests using smart 3s to fight it:

Make a list of 3 steps you can take in the next week to ease your mind, like: 1-Make an appointment for a physical; 2-Take your car in for an evaluation; 3-Write that long-overdue letter. When you're finished, make another three-item list.

Take 3 steps to get things under control, such as: 1-Pay all bills the first of the month; 2-Get a file box or cabinet for all those papers; 3-Put paper and pencil out for "must remembers."

Work out 3 times a week. Hallowell says working out helps the brain to relax and focus.

Practice 3-step EPR on a problem: Next time worry strikes, try this: 1-Evaluate: (I never had this pain before. It's sharp and near my heart. I don't know what it means.) 2-Plan: (It could be serious, so I'd better get expert help.) 3-Remediate: (Take action. Call the doctor and make an appointment.) Treat worry as a warning signal, not as a problem in itself.

Find 3 things to be thankful for each day. Look for the good in your life. Remind yourself how lucky you and your family are. Remember the little things too -- a card from a friend, a good lunch or dinner, the flower that just bloomed by your door.



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