Worry and doubt are a part of life and all people are doing it. It is normal to worry and feel anxious from time to time, but worrying can be persistent and become a permanent and uncontrollable part of life. People who worry excessively can constantly think of worst-case scenarios and „what ifs”. It is also typical to wait for the worst and prepare for it.
Constant worrying and negative thinking can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
Constant worry can also be a symptom of anxiety disorder.
Excessive worrying can be caused by a person’s beliefs about worrying. There can be both positive and negative beliefs about worrying.
Negative Beliefs: You may believe that worrying is bad for you. You think it will drive you crazy and is bad for your mental and physical health. You may fear that you will lose control over your worries and that it will never end. You start to worry about your worrying.
Positive Beliefs: You may believe that worrying helps you avoid bad things, prepares you for the worst, prevents problems, and helps to find solutions. You may think that worrying is a responsible thing to do and a good way to avoid negative events and making mistakes.
It can be difficult to stop worrying if a person thinks that it leads to solutions and fulfills positive goals. If a person realizes that worrying is a problem, not a solution, they can start gaining control again.
1. Create a daily worry period. Choose a time and place for worrying. It should be the same time and place every day, but not just before bed. During your worry period, you can worry about anything. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.
If anxious thoughts come during the day, write them down quickly and come back to them on your worry period. Remind yourself that you have a worry period when you can deal with these thoughts, and you don’t have to think about it right now.
At your worry period, review the list of worries and see if you still need to think about them. Stick to the time allowed for worrying!
2. Distinguish between worries that you can address and those that you can’t. Some of our worries are objective and we can do something about them. In this case, look for possible solutions and take action. However, oftentimes, the things people worry about are associated with unpredictability. The things that people worry about are something that can’t be controlled in any way. By worrying about all that could go wrong and worst-case scenarios, they try to control life and prepare themselves for everything. The problem is that it doesn’t work. Worry does not make life any more predictable. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things that you have in the present moment.
3. Interrupt the worry cycle with an activity. Go for a walk or a run. Physical activity helps to manage anxiety and worry.
4. Relaxation and breathing exercises can also help. You can find different relaxation techniques here: https://peaasi.ee/en/lodvestusharjutused/
You can also find different techniques on Youtube. Try to use the ones that help you the most.
Here are some examples in English:
Worrying can also lead to anxiety. You can read more about it in our information sheet about anxiety.