Everyone worries during their life. When it spurs you to take action to solve problems, worrying can even be helpful. However, if you are preoccupied with worst-case scenarios, and have a
chronic case of the “what-ifs,” worry quickly becomes a problem.
Unrelenting fears and anxious thoughts can be paralyzing. They
can deplete your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels
through the roof, and interfere with your daily life. However,
chronic worrying and anxiety is a mental habit that you can break
You can learn how to train your brain to stay calm and
look at your life from a more balanced, less fearful perspective.
Worries, anxieties, and doubts are a part of normal life. It is entirely natural to worry about an upcoming job interview, unpaid bill, or a first date.
However, “normal” worry will become excessive when
it is uncontrollable and persistent. When you worry about different
things every day and can’t get anxious thoughts out of your head,
when your worry starts to interfere with your daily life, that’s when
it becomes a problem.
Constant worrying, always expecting the worst, and negative
thinking can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. It
can leave you feeling jumpy and restless, result in insomnia,
cause headaches, muscle tension, and stomach issues, and can
make it extremely difficult to focus at school or work.
It can cause
you to take your negative feelings out on others, self-medicate
with drugs or alcohol, or try to distract yourself by zoning out in
front of screens. Chronic worrying can also point to General Anxiety Disorder, (GAD), which is a common anxiety disorder that involves nervousness, tension, and a general feeling of unease that
affects your entire life.
Reasons You Might Worry Excessively
If you are someone who suffers from worries and chronic anxiety,
the chances are good that you tend to look at the world around
you in a way that make it seem more threatening than it really is.
For example, you may exaggerate the possibility that things will
turn out badly, which causes you to jump to the worst-case scenarios immediately, or you may treat every anxious thought as though it were the reality.
Your anxiety may also discredit your
own ability to handle your problems, assuming that you’ll fall apart
at the first time of trouble. These pessimistic, irrational attitudes
are known as cognitive distortions.
Why It’s So Difficult to Stop Worrying
While cognitive distortions aren’t based on reality, they can be
challenging to give up because they’ve become a part of a lifelong
pattern of thinking that has become so automatic that you aren’t
even completely aware of it.
You may think that by worrying you
will eventually help you discover a solution to a problem or keep
you from being surprised by experiences in the future. You might
think that worrying protects you or even equate your worry about
being responsible or caring.
However, if you want to stop anxiety and worry for good, then you will need to learn how to give up the
belief that your worrying serves a positive purpose. When you can
realize that your anxiety is the problem and not the solution, you
can start to turn off the anxious thoughts and begin to regain control of your mind.
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