Are you overwhelmed with worry? Do you find yourself constantly asking “what if?” Do worst-case-scenario thoughts keep you up at night? Does persistent anxiety makes you feel troubled and unable to concentrate?
If you find it very difficult to stop worrying, you are not alone. According to Psychology Today, uncontrollable worrying affects almost 1 in 10 people. Excessive worrying can negatively affect your mood, productivity and social life. If chronic worry is affecting your ability to function at work, at home, or at school, it may be time to reach out for help.
Questions to ask yourself if you are a worrier – how much worry is normal?
Most people feel anxious from time to time. Life is stressful. However, when chronic worry interferes with your daily activities, you may need to take steps to regain control. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have a choice?
- Is this concern imminent? Do I have time to think about this later?
- Can I go about my life right now, since I don’t need to deal with this immediately?
- How can I put this aside for later, until I get more information?
Steps that you can take to control your worrying
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage your worrying. Here are a few simple tips:
- Call a friend. Speaking about your problems can help you get them off your chest. Your friend can also put your fears in perspective and help you assess if you have time to get more information.
- Gathering more facts and information can be a great worry reducer. Developing a plan for dealing with your challenge can soften or eliminate anxiety. Defining a time frame for when you need a solution can help you put your concerns in perspective. For example, if you are anticipating a future expense, don’t let your worry paralyze you today. There is still time to come up with a solution.
- Mindfulness encourages you to acknowledge your worries instead of struggling against them. Mindfulness training has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety. (Dr. Geizhals often includes mindfulness training as part of therapy.)
- Physical activity produces endorphins which reduces stress and worry.
- Focus on the non-problem areas of your life. Negative moods fuel worrying. Focus on the positives and find ways to lift your mood.
When you just can’t get anxiety under control
If you find that worrying is causing you emotional distress and is negatively impacting your daily functioning, treatment is often effective. A psychologist can help you develop strategies and resources to stay calm and free you from negative thought patterns. For many people, talk therapy (psychotherapy), lifestyle changes, learning coping skills, relaxation techniques, and other strategies can help. Living with persistent anxiety disorder can be difficult for you and for your family. Reach out today – Dr. Geizhals can help you come up with strategies to manage your worrying and identify the sources of your anxiety.
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