Worry is the act of repeatedly thinking about what could go wrong. The thoughts associated with worrying are often repetitive. When a person worries obsessively, they do not have control over the thoughts that come into their mind. Some people worry from time to time, while others struggle with rumination more than once in a while. When worry becomes excessive, it’s crucial to see a mental health professional so they can determine if there is an underlying mental illness. Here you will find articles about what causes people to worry and how to handle these repetitive thoughts. Worrying doesn’t solve problems, but coping with the worries can help you feel better. Read through these articles and find tangible solutions to your anxious thoughts.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
Everybody worries. It is a natural part of life. When we’re invested in someone or something, we tend to think about that person or thing quite a bit. In some cases, this means that we’ll worry about them. When worrying becomes so intense that it disrupts our life, however, it is time to check in with ourselves. Excessive worrying can be a part of anxiety or a sign that something in your life has gone awry. It can harm your mental and physical health, so it’s essential to reduce your stressors as much as you can. Worrying about rational things, such as your family’s safety and if you have access to food, water, and shelter, is one thing.
If you’re experiencing constant worry or stress in a way that does not feel “normal,” however, it may be time to explore the reason why. People that worry excessively may be living with a chronic anxiety disorder. Anxiety can make people worry about things that are unlikely to happen, or about things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t matter what someone else tells you. If you’re convinced that something terrible is going to happen, you will continue to worry.
Worrying is a part of anxiety, but they are not the same thing. When people worry, they think that they are planning for the worst case scenario. Your brain tricks you into thinking that worrying is productive when, in reality, it isn’t. You can prepare for a disaster, but ruminating on the topic will not stop it from happening. If it’s a situation that is out of your control, it is out of your control, and it’s likely that you can’t do anything to change it. If someone is hyper-fixated on the worst case scenario all of the time, they might be living with a chronic anxiety disorder, such as GAD. This is one of many potential symptoms of an anxiety disorder, so it is essential to recognize the signs that you’re experiencing and go to a medical professional for a proper diagnosis if you feel that you may be living with one of these conditions.
People worry for a multitude of reasons. We often worry when we care about someone or something as a show of concern. Some people find it irritating when others worry about them. They want to be left alone. You have probably heard someone say things like “stop worrying about me,” or “you don’t need to worry about me,” but for most of us, it is not that easy. It’d be great if we could snap our fingers and not experience nervousness or worry, but unfortunately, that is not how it works. We might wonder why we can’t stop worrying or feel that we’re at a loss when we try to stop. There are techniques to deal with worrying, and one of the best ways to do it is to go to a counselor. Whether you live with an anxiety disorder or not, it can be helpful to see a counselor or therapist to work through the things that are causing you to worry. A common and effective form of treatment for these issues is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT.)
Worrying can make you emotionally and physically exhausted, and you may not even know why. There is help available to support you through worrying and help you stop obsessing on the small things. Anxiety and worry are treatable through therapy and counseling. One of the best forms of treatment for anxiety is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is an excellent form of treatment for chronic worriers because it gives people tangible skills to draw upon when they start to worry.
In CBT, you can talk about ways to manage your ruminating thoughts and identify the things that cause you to worry. BetterHelp has a variety of mental health professionals that can help you find the source of your chronic anxiety or worrying. They can help you learn techniques to use when your mind just won’t seem to stop. Search the network of online counselors and therapists on BetterHelp, who are trained to work with anxiety and can help you manage your worrying.