Worried? You’re Not Alone, nor is worry necessarily bad.
While it is normal to have worries, sometimes we prefer to keep them to ourselves, especially if those worries become obsessive. Still, that is what a great many of us do as well. It would do well for us to realize why some things worry us but others don’t. We humans are a mixture of our physical makeup and of what has gone around us. In fact, our brains are a combination of “primitive” and “modern”. Here, we quote authorities, both physical health professionals as well as fellow mental health pros: “Emotion constitutes a major influence for determining human behaviors. It is thought that emotions are predictable and are rooted in different areas in our brains, depending on what emotion it evokes”. (Physiological psychology, 17 experts are referenced in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
“Increasingly, people are beginning to realize that asking how much heredity or environment influence a particular trait is not the right approach. The reality is that there is not simple way to disentangle the multitude of forces that exist. These influences include genetic factors that interact with one another, environmental factors that interact such as social experiences and overall culture, as well as how both hereditary and environmental influences intermingle”.(Cherry, K. A. (2009). What is nature versus nurture? Retrieved from psychology.about.com/od/nindex/g/nature-nurture.htm)
So much for experts. Here is Roni’s story:
“I’m a worrier. Deadlines, my children, all the time they spend online — you name it, it’s on my list of worries. I even worry when I’m not worried. What am I forgetting to worry about?
Turns out I’m not alone. Two out of five Americans say they worry every day, according to a new white paper released by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Among the findings in the “Worry Less Report” Millennials worry about money. Single people worry about housing (and money). Women worry more than men do and often about interpersonal relationships. The good news: Everyone worries less as they get older”. (RONI CARYN RABIN, NY Times, May 9, 2016, 2:30PM)
“People have a love-hate relationship with worry,” Said Michelle Newman, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University, who was not involved in the writing of the report. “They think at some level that it helps them”.
“The belief that worrying somehow helps to prevent bad things from happening is more common than you might think. Researchers say the notion is reinforced by the fact that we tend to worry about rare events, like plane crashes, and are reassured when they don’t happen, but we worry less about common events, like car accidents”.
“But that doesn’t mean all worrying is futile. “Some worry is actually good for you,” said Simon A. Rego, the author of the new report and a cognitive behavioral psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders and analyzed decades of research on worrying for the paper. “It’s what we call productive or instructive worry, that can help us take steps to solve a problem.”
So what can be done about us worriers? Read on:
- Brush your teeth:
“Everyone should be brushing their teeth twice a day, bookending the day,” says Dr. Fern White, a dentist in Australia who practices mindful dentistry. “If you do so mindfully, you can also be ‘brushing your brain.’”
Apply the toothpaste to your toothbrush.
Begin to brush. Breathe through your nose, slowly and deliberately.
Relax your neck and jaw.
Loosen your grip on the toothbrush. Feel the bristles moving over your teeth and the gums.
Taste the toothpaste.
As you rinse, breathe deeply through your nose. Notice your clean teeth. Feel gratitude for your teeth and all that they allow you to do — chewing, smiling, speaking.
Mindful brushing, says Dr. White, gives your brain a chance to rest and “sets a peaceful tone for the day ahead or the night ahead.”
(How to Be Mindful While Brushing Your Teeth, Meditation for Real Life by DAVID GELLES SEPT. 21, 2016)
- Having a stressful event at work?
Try the power stance. Stand in front of a mirror (away from prying eyes of course) and stand like superman/superwoman; legs spread wide, hands on hips, straighten up, stare steely-eyed at your mirror. “I can do this!”
- At day’s end, time for bed, can’t turn off your brain?
Read Barbara’s story:
To the Editor:
“I am 78 years old. Our local public radio station (KCUR) broadcasts the BBC from midnight until 5 a.m. It is usually preceded by several hours of classical music. I put on earbuds attached to my radio when I go to bed. The BBC programming puts me right to sleep, and if I wake up, I listen until it lulls me back. I have done this for at least 20 years.
As a child, and for years after, I designed detailed, imaginary houses to distract me from my own busy, anxious mind. It is preoccupation with my real or imagined worries that keeps me awake.
I sleep well and average seven hours a night. My insomniac husband of 57 years still has to find a solution for himself”.
(BARBARA GATSCHET, nytimes.com/2016/09/26/opinion/my-dream-for-a-good-nights-sleep)
Still obsessed with unwanted worry? Here is where Counseling on Demand comes in.
Together we can assess the situation and work on a solution.
We are online at CounselingonDemand.com.
We are only a click away.