Are You A Worrier?

Posted on February 10, 2017

Photo: flickr

A certain amount of worrying is a normal part of life, especially these days with barely a moment passing without a disconcerting headline landing in your news feed. But for some people, their worrying reaches pathological levels. They just can’t stop wondering “What if …?”. It becomes distressing and feels out of control. Are you one of them?

To put it formally, excessive worrying is also part of condition like panic disorder, such individuals might be diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. There are cognitive and emotional factors that contribute to prolonged bouts of worry and there are some approaches to help anxious clients get a hold of their excessive worrying.

Pathological worriers tend to be highly vigilant to any sources of threat and danger, if there is an ambiguity whether a situation is threatening or not, they will perceive it as being dangerous. If a mother is a worrier, and she has yet to hear from her daughter, she will simply contemplate that she is in trouble rather than being busy.

One of the main belief the worriers hold is that they think worrying is actually a good thing. It helps them in preventing something bad from happening and prep them in advanced to solve problems when bad situations occur.

They tend to cultivate a perfectionist approach in worrying – to keep worrying till the problem is solved. In order to teach pathological worriers to change their approach, they need to learn how to stop worrying once they had enough of it. It shows result in preventing them from getting stuck in such long worry bouts.

Problem worriers also are more inclined to experience negative moods, which encourage a more analytical thinking style. This leads to an overly zealous, perfectionist worry style that seems impossible to satisfy and creates more distress and anxiety.

Professional help should be sought for if worrying has affect your quality of life. Simple take-aways to breaking out occasional uncontrolled worry bouts – try combatting low mood instead of dwelling into it. If you are able to lift your mood by, for instance, taking regular walks, evidence has suggested benefits to less prolonged worrying.

For therapeutic approach, attentional training programmes (including ‘cognitive bias modification’) are likely to help prevent worry bouts from starting in the first place. Therapist can also engage anxious clients’ explicit beliefs on worrying, such as it can prevent bad things from happening. In addition, mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches can help alleviate clients’ distress about worrying.

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Source material from British Psychological Society

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