Worry and Anxiety

Worry and Anxiety

Worry and Anxiety

What if… what if this… what if that…” is the usual thought process of someone who is an extreme worrier. These worriers are often described as having “what if disease.”

General Anxiety Disorder

Many people are not consciously aware of the often overwhelming consequences of extreme worrying. GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder can be one of the prices of over-worrying. Labelling this does not fully explain the consequence or significance of over-worrying: such as lowered emotional and physical health. People can literally make themselves sick, or even worse, worry themselves into a heart attack or stroke.

The positive and negative effects of worry

Like any emotion created by our thoughts, there may be both a positive and a negative outcome of worry. The positive form of worry may motivate us to behave in a responsible manner. For example, if a person has a concern about being on time, that concern can motivate the person to leave in plenty of time and they may arrive before the agreed time. This form of “worry” encourages us to be prepared. The big difference between healthy concern and unhealthy concern is that a healthy concern does not trigger feelings of anxiety, nervousness or uneasiness.

Unhelpful and negative worrying encourages feelings of anxiety, uneasiness or nervousness. With that simple thought in mind, “what if this,” or “what if that,” then moves into our body. There are no nerve endings in the brain, so the only place we feel emotion is in our body. The result is tense muscles, which may lead to a feeling of uneasiness; fast breathing, heart palpitations, sweaty palms and even an upset tummy.

Worry and Anxiety Solutions

One way out of this is to allow yourself a worry period each day possible 15 to 20 minutes.  It’s really useful to make a note of any worries/what if concerns you experience during the day.  When you visit them in your “worry period” you may discover that some of them are no longer valid; others suddenly appear trivial and what is left needs to be thought through until you find a solution.  Write it down, get it out of your head.

Another idea is to learn to control your own thoughts using the technique of “thought replacement.” The idea is to replace worrying thoughts with a positive solution, or a plan. With enough repetition, the positive thoughts can replace the worrying thoughts less anxiety leading to less anxiety.

Another question to ask yourself is: “What is the worst thing that could happen”?  Once you are aware of the worst challenge it with the best thing that could happen.  Remember you are not a clairvoyant so you cannot really predict either way.  Ask yourself is there any evidence for the best or the worst outcome.  Seek a more balanced thought process, e.g. “I cannot predict what may happen if it’s the worst thing how would I cope, maybe I should seek help from someone more experienced”.  If the best happens what then, will I celebrate or just accept it and use it as a blueprint for the future?

Example: A person may worry they will be made redundant from their job. A positive thought process may be: “If I am made redundant, I’ll get some severance pay to tide me over and I can always find something to do in the meantime until I find a suitable replacement. Alternatively, I can think of it as an opportunity and retrain and do something I have always wanted to do. Often people realize that the worst is not as bad as they originally thought.

If you are a “worry bugs” you will probably benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy combined with Hypnotherapy to teach you new ways of thought processing.

We Can Help

Whether it is through Hypnotherapy, CBT, Mindfulness or any of or combination of the different therapies we practise, we can help you overcome anxiety. We always start with a 20-minute free initial consultation Call us on 01908 265410 or email leigh@setyourmindfree.co.uk 

Worry and Anxiety

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