Are you worrying too much?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Lesley Downs Dip. Psychotherapeutic Counselling. MBACP (Registered)
14th February, 2014
I read an article recently that said that worrying was like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but achieves nothing!
At a recent networking meeting I asked for a show of hands as to who worried on a daily basis, most people put their hands up, which is fine – worrying is natural, we all do it sometimes. But some people, like ‘Mr Worry’, become addicted to worrying and that’s not good for their health. It can make them anxious, cause sleepless nights and affect their productiveness in both their business and personal lives.
Some people are natural worriers, and even when most things are going well, they become focussed or worried about the one thing that isn’t going so well. Some people spend their time thinking about ‘what if’ questions, worrying about what might happen at some point in the future. Then there are the people who feel that they can never make a decision, they worry that they will say the wrong thing or perhaps wear the wrong outfit and look out of place. And then they begin to worry that they are worrying too much!
Worry can help or hinder us, it can be useful if it makes us pay direct attention to something or be better prepared, or perhaps when it is turned into a plan of action. But worry without action, does nothing and is pointless. It can spoil our enjoyment of life, waste our time, keep us focussed on problems and unable to move forward.
Take the worry test below to see how you’re doing. Ask yourself the questions:
- What am I worrying about?
- Is there anything I can do about it?
- If the answer to the second question is NO, stop worrying and try to distract yourself.
- If the answer to the second question is YES, work out what you could do or need to do, make a list/create an action plan.
- Then ask yourself if there is something that you can do right now?
- If the answer is YES, do it, you’ll feel better and you will be able to stop worrying.
- If the answer is NO, plan when you will be able to do something, put it in your diary, and then try and stop worrying.
Keeping our worries in our heads can often make them seem worse, and then they can start to feel overwhelming. Talking things through with a professional who is totally independent and not emotionally involved in the situation, can make things clearer and more manageable.
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