Worrying means spending a lot of time thinking about negative possibilities. A certain amount of worrying is a healthy response to life, it can help to guide or motivate. Sometimes worry can become overwhelming and unhealthy making us too anxious to be able to act in a useful and rational way. People who over-worry often:

  • Find it difficult to concentrate
  • Feel helpless and unable to cope
  • Lose confidence
  • Experience disturbed sleep and eating patterns
  • Develop obsessional behaviours
  • Get headaches, stomach upsets (‘butterflies’)
  • Feel emotionally drained

Moving out of Worry

Breaking the cycle of worry is important. By keeping a record of your worries and recognising how you behave physically when you worry (you may tense your jaw or bite your nails) and emotionally (you may stop relating to people or feel worthless) you can begin to take control over your worry. Relaxation exercises can help manage the anxiety of worrying. It may be useful to share worries with an ally who can help you to define your worry, do a ‘reality check’ (‘how likely is that to happen, in reality?’) and encourage your thinking to move from negative to positive. Often worrying is a habit, a ‘way of being’, so it can be helpful to work out when you first started worrying and why you may have taken on that ‘role’ and got into the cycle of worry.

Getting Support