worryIt’s a good thing that almost all of us worry.  Think of it as a built-in alarm device. When it’s used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little, or too much of it, can be harmful.

Conditions Associated with Worry

There are many treatable conditions associated with worry.  For some people, it’s simply a habit or an entrenched way of dealing with life’s conflicts. But for others it is a symptom of an underlying condition which may be amenable to psycho-therapeutic and/or medication intervention, such as:

  • Depression
  • Panic Disorder and Social Phobia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Tips for Managing Worry

  • Find connectedness
  • Seek advice and reassurance
  • Understand the difference between good worry and unproductive worry
  • Try to do the right thing
  • Sleep and eat properly
  • Exercise
  • Avoid substance abuse
  • Add structure to your life
  • Minimize catastrophic thinking
  • Keep a pad by your bed and make note of a problem
  • Limit your exposure to the news
  • Keep yourself financially secure
  • Learn the value of judicious complaining
  • Learn how to let go of worries
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff

A Constructive Strategy for Learning to Manage Worry

  • Embrace the problem
  • Think positively and plan constructively
  • Find reassurance and support
  • Psychotherapy

 

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