An internet search revealed that there are 1227 books on worry. 24 DVDs and 3,700,000 CDs! It would appear that the subject of this year’s National Stress Awareness Day is of interest to many people.
Almost everybody worries, it can be a useful response to life, preventing us from being reckless and stimulating us to take control of a difficult situation. However some people worry a lot more than others, and sometimes to the point where worry becomes a problem in itself.
Worry is a learned/conditioned behaviour and many people spend a lot of time thinking about negative possibilities, mulling them over and developing exaggerated situations and options. Starting thoughts and sentences with “what if”, “maybe” are all part and parcel of the worrier.
There are different types of worry too;
- FUTURE – frequently focusing on fears for the future…… things that very probably won’t happen,
- PRESENT – concerns and worries about situations you feel powerless to change,
- PAST – concern about something that has already happened when there is often little you can do to alter it.
Worry can stimulate the Fight or Flight response which is the body’s response to real or imagined danger and whilst effective in the short term, ‘Fight or Flight’ becomes damaging in the medium to long term.
The result is:
- disturbed sleep and eating patterns
- feeling of inability to cope
- loss of confidence
- difficulty in concentrating and making decisions
- stomach upsets, feeling sick, butterflies
- emotional distress
- depleted immune system
- feeling de-energised
This is one mental activity we can certainly do without!