Chronic Worrying: Are you a chronic worrier?

Chronic worrying about the future, what others think, work, your children, money, death and yourself doesn’t make you feel good, so why do you do it?  In fact, worrying goes against one of the basic principles of psychology.   Because one of the fundamental beliefs in psychology is that what happens  “after” you do something is directly related to you repeating the same behavior. As a result, if you do something that makes you feel good, you’re  more than likely to do it again. While, if you do something that makes you feel bad, you’ll avoid repeating the behavior. It makes sense right?  But not when it comes to chronic worrying. And that’s what makes the act of worrying so difficult to understand. If thinking about things that upset us makes us feel bad, why do people repeat the action and become chronic worriers? There’s no sense in worrying about things you can’t change, like the weather, what people think about you or that the sun has only 2 billion years of life left; (yes, some people worry about that)!   

7 Chronic Worrying Facts You Should Know

  • Nearly all chronic worriers admit that their constant worrying is pointless.  

  • And, deep down they believe that their worrying reduces the chance of bad things happening. 

  •  In addition,they feel guilty if something goes wrong and they hadn’t worried about it earlier. 

  • Chronic worriers tend to use worrying so that they can avoid thinking about more disturbing things. 

  • They can’t tolerate uncertainties and  become anxious whenever  they don’t know the outcome of a situation.

  •  Also, chronic worriers have difficulty in making decisions.

  • Finally, figuring out all the , “what ifs”, chronic worriers experience stress and anxiety over problems that don’t even exist.

Chronic Worrying: The Quiz or “If I’m not worried, I must be dead”

Once you complete the quiz you’ll know your:

1.Reasons for Worrying

2.Tolerance, (how you handle) Uncertainty

Take the Worry Quiz and Check your results below.  

The Worry Quiz

Scoring Table

Worrying-Quiz-Scoring

 

If your score was well above the 85th percentile on either scale, you probably experience a great deal of distress because of your worrying. However,  you can manage your chronic worrying if you learn to use a few cognitive behavioral techniques.

Chronic Worrying: Helpful Tips

 

  • First, know your enemy. And take note of how often you complain the uncertainty of situations. Because once you have a sense of the extent of the problem, you can finally begin to take steps to change it.

  •  Secondly, you have to accept the idea that the items on the, “Tolerance for Uncertainty” scale represent irrational beliefs.  So, read the items, and think of more productive statements that could replace the items. For example, rather than accepting item 23, for instance, which states that “Uncertainty makes life intolerable, ” try telling yourself the opposite is true, that uncertainty makes life exciting.

  • Third, keep in mind that while you may feel more stress during uncertain times, you don’t have to love uncertainty in order to deal with it more effectively.

  • Fourth, whenever you worry the first thing to do is, as yourself if the problem is  really worth worrying about. It might be helpful to discuss your concerns with a trusted friend. Talk about your concerns and accept your friend’s guidance as to what problems are really worth worrying about.

  • In addition, keep in mind that worrying is not all bad. Because, worrying can motivate you to try harder. And, as a result, find a better solution to your problem. So even if you scored as high as the 85th percentile, it does not necessarily mean that you have a problem.

  • Most of all, remember that the key is to figure out if your worrying is useless or productive. Especially if you find that you worry almost every day, you’re worrying needlessly. As a result, the attempt to change your view of your world will be well worth your effort.

     

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