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Dealing with worries

Last modified on 30-01-2023 13:29
Negative thoughts and worries can be very annoying. How do you calm that storm in your head?
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Plan your worries

You will often worry without realising it. It’s a good idea to write your annoying thought or worry down as a keyword. You should then schedule a specific time each day to devote to the list of worries that you’ve written down. That way you don’t spend all day thinking about your worries. Don’t do this just before you go to bed.

Empty your mind of worries

By writing your worries down, you will clear them from your mind. Also, they are less likely to lead a life of their own in your mind if they are written down in black and white on

paper. You can then look at them from a distance and ask yourself:

  • Is the thought true?
  • - Is this thought helping me?
  • - What would I advise a good friend to do if they told me this?
  • - What is the worst thing that could happen and how would I deal with it? 

You should then transform the negative thought into a more positive thought and repeat it regularly.

Get moving

If your body is relaxed you will be far less likely to worry. Playing sports helps clear your head and is therefore a good way of helping you to stop worrying. Make sure you choose an activity that you enjoy!

Focus on the here and now

Worries generally relate to things from the past or things that might happen in the future. This means that you are not living in the moment. Focusing on the present is a good way of preventing worries. Focus on your breathing and on feeling your feet on the ground. Or try to really taste what you are eating. Meditating for a few minutes every day can also help calm your mind.

Share your worries

Often, talking to someone about your worries can really help. A good friend may be able to help you see the situation from a new or more positive perspective. And you’ll also realise that you’re not the only one who worries. Make sure you choose people who are good at putting things into perspective!

Training courses and workshops

The UvA provides additional support for various topics through information meetings, workshops, training courses and groups. You can learn more about these by clicking on training courses and workshops.

Useful apps


If you have a query about worrying, please contact the Student Psychologists Office. 


UvA's psychologists

You can turn to the UvA’s student psychologists for help with study-related problems or personal issues interfering with your studies. You do not need a referral from your GP. For an overview of our workshops and groups go to Psychological guidance on the Training, workshops and groups page.

Contact details