Since most of our worries never happen, why do some of us spend so much time worrying?
Worry generally makes you not feel very good, and people who worry tend to be much slower at making decisions. Apparently, the main reason that people worry is due to an intolerance of change or uncertainty.
Since none of us can predict what’s going to happen in our lives, worriers tend to dwell on what MIGHT happen. Unfortunately, excessive worrying can cause restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and disturbed sleep. Worrying can cause people to focus too much attention on themselves. When over focused on their lives, people inaccurately “read-in” hidden meanings to everyday situations. They can be paralyzed by uncertainty, fearing that the worst will certainly happen.
On one hand, worriers may make very quick decisions without thinking, but more commonly, they’ll deliberate so long that they’ll never come to a conclusion. When it gets out of control, worry can result in ongoing anxiety that can cause problems socially and at work.
With that in mind, what can you do to prevent excessive worrying?
First, keep a diary about what worries you the most. Every few weeks, open your diary and read about what worried you in the past. You may chuckle to find out that most all of your worries were unfounded.
Secondly, while writing down your worries, keep a list of what you CAN and CANNOT do about your situations. Take action on what you CAN control, and accept what you cannot.
Finally, try to get your mind off your worries. Exercise, have fun and socialize with other people to divert you from your problems.
A little bit of worry is good for all of us…it makes us think about our life’s problems and motivates us to do something about them. However, it’s best to pull in the reins on uncontrollable worry.—Jay Fawver, M.D. (published in Northern Indiana Health Cares)
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