Don't Worry Blog: Worry (page 2)

How to worry

Learning to spot the onset of worry can help you regain control. Persistent worrying is a habit that you can learn to overcome quite quickly.
read article 49

How to control worrying

Chronic worriers probably try loads of ways to control their worrying. But somehow they don't work. The worries keep coming. Clearly these techniques are not working.

What is going on here then? What about trying hard not to think about the worry? I think most of us have tried this. But the more you try not to think about something, paradoxically, the more it is in the forefront of your mind. Your mind keeps coming back to it again and again. Frustrating and depressing. The thing is, if you try actively not to think about something, you have to think about it in order not to think about it. Mmm. So that method is not going to work.

Worry and anxious arousal - what is the difference?

You won't stop worrying while you think it helps you somehow. Anxious arousal and worry are related but not the same. Anxious arousal is physiological. It is the body's normal reaction to the perception of immediate danger - which can be real or imagined. Worry is psychological and is often just a habit. So, anxious arousal, being physiological, can be stopped physiologically with relaxation, which is the opposite of anxious arousal.

The fight-or-flight response is useful on rare occasions of real danger. Animals respond to external stimuli - a predator, a loud noise which might mean danger. People tend to respond to internal stimuli - imagined dangers and to socially-conditioned psychological triggers such as 'What will people think of me?' etc.

Worrying is never useful. It handicaps and diminishes us. The more it triggers the fight or flight with imagined threats, the more it prevents clear thinking (which is probably our greatest survival asset).

Does worry help you to understand your problems?

Does worry help you to understand your problems?
read article 17

Most of our worry predictions don't come true

We can learn from this experience.

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Worry is correlated with obesity

This interesting graph shows how worrying is closely linked to obesity. In China, where obesity rates are low, worrying is also low. In the UK, worry rates are high, and obesity is high too. The US comes out tops. This chart is from Ipsos Public Affairs, Global Advisor. Worrying makes you ill in a number of other ways, not just obesity. It lowers your immune system too.

Correlation between worry and obesity

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