Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom

For some reason in the last 2 weeks I’ve had an influx of people coming see me who were ‘full of worry’, for some their worries were a good thing in that the worry they had about their health had correctly brought them to my consultation room, however for a few their worrying had got out of control and this article is about spotting the signs that worry may be starting to impact on your life.

This article is not about the worried well, it’s about real people with real worries, the problem is that worry can take over peoples live’s and for some people I’m convinced that they do a very good job of worrying themselves into an early grave, whilst others with problems that can be fixed end up stuck in their illnesses because they spend so much time worrying away their energy that they should instead be using to get themselves better.

I’ve compiled a short list of some of the ‘signs of worry’ that I’ve noticed in the last few weeks, in later articles about this subject I’m going to write about why worry happens and then hope to write about what you can do to help yourself before things spiral out of control, so click here to subscribe to our future articles.

Now have a look at the list of the ‘signs of worry’ I’ve compiled below and see if these signs apply to yourself or to others around you;    

7 Signs of Worry.

1. Do you always find something to worry about?
2. Do you worry about what has already happened, and replay these worries again and again?
3. Do you find yourself imagining and making up scenarios to worry about?
4. Do you take on other people’s problems and worries?
5. Do you still feel worried even when you don’t know what you are worried about?
6. Do you always thinking about the worst possible thing that might happen?
7. Do you worry about things you can’t do anything about.

If you have answered ‘Yes’ to any of the questions above you may be thinking OK I’m a bit of a worrier, perhaps you always have been, or perhaps you’re going through a time in your life when you have got some real issues to worry about, and yes we all worry from time to time but the issue is not if we worry it’s about how this worry could be effecting your behaviour;    

7 Common Behaviours of a Worrier.

1. They go overboard trying to do all they can, to make things perfect.
2. They worry about things you can’t do anything about.
3. They obsess about being in control.
4. They can’t handle uncertainty very well, new places and new people are a real challenge.
5. They start to developing compulsive rituals to try and keep yourself safe.
6. They spend most of your time trying to avoid the worst-case scenario instead of concentrating on what they really need to do.
7. They never really get to start anything due to worry.  

Our behaviours tend to follow our thoughts, so if you do worry a lot you may find that some of the behaviours listed above are also typical in your life, you should see worry as a drain in your motivation, positive energy and resolve, worry effects people by changing their focus to what’s wrong and prevents them from doing what they really need to do.   

The 7 Effects of Too much worry on your life.

1. You find that people around you are always trying to reassure you.
2. You spend your time talking about your problems with people who also seem to spend time talking about their problems too.
3. You forever feel like you’re on a downward spiral.
4. Your life never seems good enough and you feel held back and frustrated.
5. You have never really achieved what you could have done.
6. You can’t let go, you always feel stressed and you have sleepless nights.
7. You start to feel physically and mentally unwell.

Worry attracts worry and people who are worriers naturally attract other worriers, worry effects peoples self confidence, they don’t take opportunity, they dwell on whats wrong instead of making things right, in time a worrier gets frustrated, and then stress, insomnia and anxiety creep into their lives and this starts to take it’s toll for the worse.

In my research for this article, the medical literature on worry is very vague, ‘Worry’ itself is not a real diagnosis yet interesting ‘Worried well’ is (ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Z71.1), instead worry seems to be classified as a sign or a symptom of something else and excessive worry is part of the diagnostic criteria for many serious mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder and OCD, additionally some physical illnesses especially those that have a psychological component like IBS, fybromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue are clearly made worse by excessive worry.

 I see worry worry as more than just a sign, I see it as a problem in its own right, it causes more than just stress and insomnia, I see some people self medicate to numb their worries and with this addiction to food, drugs, pain-killers, sleeping tablets and alcohol are only a step away, I also see others so full of worry that they are simply unable to help themselves.

There’s time when worry serves a purpose, there are times when it serves no purpose at all, there are times when fatigue, lack of energy and poor motivation are caused by worry alone, perhaps the most important lessen is that we don’t lose today by worrying about tomorrow.

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