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Thread: I worry too much

  1. #1
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    I worry too much

    Hi everyone,

    Iím wondering if anyone else is going through something similar. I think I worry way too much, and I am always having these scenarios in my head, expecting the worst outcome. Iíd like to be more light-hearted and adopt a carefree attitude, but I always end up worrying about silly things. Iím always afraid that something might go wrong, it seems I just canít wait and see how things evolve without being stressed. My friends and coworkers usually donít notice this, they think I am highly responsible, but except for my family, no one knows how much I worry. The thing is I donít talk about fears, I just keep everything inside, and worry quietly.
    To give you an example, I order a book from Amazon, and then I just worry about the delivery, I am afraid that my parcel will get lost, and if I canít track it down, I get really stressed. Or I am worried I will forget to pay my rent, even though that never happened, and I always pay on time. Iíd like to worry less about things, and do my everyday tasks without being anxious, but this feeling that I could have forgotten to do something, or could have made a mistake, is just too strong.
    The other thing is that if Iím doing well, and Iím happy, letís say for one week, I begin to worry that something will go wrong because Iím too happy. Itís like I canít believe I could be simply happy, my mind is in this alert state, expecting something bad.
    Being a constant worrier is not something I want to be forever, is there a way to change my mindset?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Make an appointment with a doctor for a check up and a referral to a therapist. That's the best way to sort things out and get things under control. Read up on mental health and what you can do to get help with this: [Register to see the link]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    That sounds like anxiety and I know those feelings all too well. I am, by nature, an anxious person. Take Wiseman's advice and speak with a therapist or start actively engaging with your anxiety and start reading more into your triggers for anxiety. You cannot change who you are but you can learn to watch for triggers and proactively learn how to handle your anxious thoughts.

    I personally have never seen a therapist or counsellor but my husband has recognized when I tend to become agitated. He is patient and has a habit of giving me space when I need it and pulling out the triggers and helping me recognize them after the anxiety has passed. He doesn't always understand why I'm worried or anxious or why I exist in that state for longer periods than probably the average person but he is probably the most critical part in helping me understand what triggers my anxiety and gives me a lot of perspective when it comes to seeing other sides of a story or angles so that I am able to fill in the blanks after the anxiety has passed. I normally retreat and shut down during an anxious state (unable to speak) but lately have been able to communicate more and recognize immediately when something has triggered intense worry so that I can function through it unnoticed by most people except him. You should speak to someone about this if it's starting to drain you, turn you into someone you don't recognize or if it's affecting your work performance or relationships with others.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I've found it most helpful to train myself to recognize the difference between which situations worry can actually help me to create a backup plan, versus the situations where worry can offer no value toward an outcome that I want.

    Worry is self torture before the fact: if an outcome turns out fine, you've put yourself through the experience for zero payoff, and if an outcome turns out bad, you've tortured yourself twice.

    So in cases where I can create a backup plan for bad outcomes, I do that, then I let go of worry because I have a plan in place. In cases where my worry adds NO VALUE, I let go and allow the things I cannot control to run their course while I focus, instead, on something productive.

    If you need tools or techniques to practice letting go, see a therapist or research some methods on your own. Then try out those techniques by first walking through the question of whether worry can help you create a backup plan, or not. When not, employ the techniques to let go.

    Like anything else, worry is a habit that can be changed. It's a decision.

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  6. #5
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    In addition to what others have suggested, the way I see it:

    Sometimes we imagine all these possibilities instead of simply accepting what is in front of ourselves. Then, we self-sabotage our own well being. Perhaps we feel that we don't deserve it (whatever that it is).

    Well, there are things (situations, etc) in life we can control. There are things in life we cannot control.

    Worrying about things that we cannot control is unproductive. Why? Because what happens to those things isn't up to us and therefore, we won't be able to determine the outcome. In other words, we need to let go and trust that, ultimately, the outcome will be okay.

    Also, we need to trust that we are doing things to the best of our ability and so are others. We need to trust as well that things aren't always going to be perfect and that it's okay to make mistakes.

    Perfection is a myth. We are all a work in progress. That's okay, too.

    Lastly, life is a roller-coaster filled with good and bad times. We enjoy the good times and accept that bad stuff happens at times. In the long run we will be okay.
    Last edited by greendots; 06-06-2019 at 09:34 PM.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by greendots
    Worrying about things that we cannot control is unproductive. Why? Because what happens to those things isn't up to us and therefore, we won't be able to determine the outcome.
    I like this, because it clarifies that we cannot worry things into submission. Worry has zero impact on outcomes, and recognizing this is what has helped me to break the habit. There may be traces of false belief that worry represents some kind of loyalty to an outcome that will somehow be rewarded if we're vigilant enough. Disabusing ourselves of that idea opens a path of liberation.

    Some people are simply high anxiety spinners. While the idea that we can simply will that away may be counterproductive, because it adds guilt to an inability to just calm the hell down, it doesn't preclude anyone from investing in good research and developing good rituals or techniques to replace lousy habits with better ones.

    Gaining clarity about worry being a choice can earn us a degree of self control. We each decide where we will place our focus. We can claim that this decision is beyond our control, but that's self deceptive. While we may need help to learn HOW to retrain our focus, or we may need treatment to calm chemical obstacles, we ultimately own control over the choice to seek that kind of help and work it, or not.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I'm a worry wart, too. I'm the type of person who looks at every angle to the extreme.

    I've found what helps the mindset is learning gratitude. Instead of fretting over every nitpicking thing, I've learned to let a lot stresses go. It's cathartic.

    Be grateful for everything good in your life and focus on that. I'm gravitating to changing how I think and hope it will help you, too.

    You change your mindset by changing how you think. Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember people and man's best friend are dying of cancer. Focus on the power of positive thinking.

  9. #8
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    Thank you guys, I think I definitely need to let go of this vision of me being always perfect, I hate making mistakes and this does not help me to worry less. I can't afford a therapist at the moment, but I'll research some techniques and try to change my mindset.

    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    I like this, because it clarifies that we cannot worry things into submission. Worry has zero impact on outcomes, and recognizing this is what has helped me to break the habit. There may be traces of false belief that worry represents some kind of loyalty to an outcome that will somehow be rewarded if we're vigilant enough. Disabusing ourselves of that idea opens a path of liberation.
    This is exactly what I am going through, I always believed that if I don't worry enough, it means I am not 'ready' for the outcome, or not responsible to handle the consequences. This has really opened my eyes and I now realize that I should not worry this much.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    A certain amount of worry and stress are beneficial. If you didn't have either of these bills wouldn't get paid, things wouldn't get done and you wouldn't have a conscience. So the trick is to harness, redirect and focus these emotions rather than very simplistic "worry is bad and stress is bad" black and white thinking.

    "Don't worry be happy" is a jingle not a reality. Animals in nature worry. Where's my next meal? Where are the predators? Can I get a mate? When will he get off the couch and take me for a walk? , etc. What if your doctors or parents never "worried"? So don't fight it, harness it.

    Trying to fight it in itself creates anxiety that you are not chill and cool etc. But it's media bs that you have to be this way. When you fight against yourself you make things harder. The trick is to be aware and use your mind to focus and turn idle worry into action that is productive.
    Last edited by Wiseman2; 06-07-2019 at 11:43 AM.

  11. #10
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    I have anxiety and used to worry about all kinds of things.

    I've been able to manage it by telling myself:
    1. I can't possibly control everything and that's OK
    2. I imagine the worst possible outcome and then tell myself what the result would be. Amazon loses my shipment? They send another one! I forget to turn off the stove burner? Then the smoke alarm goes off, the neighbor calls 911, the firefighters arrive and put out the fire and my insurance covers the damage. I forget to clock in at work? I contact HR and they fix it. I forget to pay my rent? I pay the $50 late fee. None of those things are horrible, unrecoverable disasters.
    3. Remind myself that my worry is usually an intrusive thought and I can dismiss it whenever I want to.
    4. Laugh at myself. I can be ridiculous sometimes and that's OK too.

    If you have crippling anxiety see a therapist. I bet if you research you'd find a way to attend therapy. Work insurance benefits? Local college or university offers discounted counseling by therapists in training? Government programs?

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