Are You A Chronic Worrier? Look For These Signs (How To Stop Chronic Worrying)
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
Do you worry about your future? Do you worry about the results of your tests? Do you worry about what you’ll wear for tomorrow’s meeting? Do you worry even when you’re not sure if there is something to be worried about? Well, have you considered that you could be a chronic worrier who even worries about being worried?
Trust me, everyone worries about one or two things in a day but when you experience chronic worrying, it can be a sign of an underlying mental health condition.
Chronic worrying is a condition that makes a person feels extremely anxious even when there’s no clear reason to worry.
Chronic worrying can happen to anyone so you’re not alone. However, if your excessive worrying is taking over your life and the ability to make smart decisions, then there are ways you can learn to quit worrying.
Before we move ahead, let’s take a look at what is chronic worrying, its symptoms, the mental health disorder related to chronic worrying, and how you can stop it.
What Does Chronic Worrying Mean?
Chronic worrying is when you can’t manage your worries and anxieties over being worried. When you experience chronic worry, you find it challenging to let go of your worries and anxious thoughts.
For instance, if you’re a chronic worrier, then you may find yourself thinking about the ‘what-if’ scenarios and imagining the worst-case scenarios first.
Other aspects you can’t stop chronic worrying about can include:
- Professional life
- General life
If you are a chronic worrier, then you can also find yourself being hyperaware of your surrounding and always keeping an eye out for the other shoe to drop, making it harder to relax fully.
Chronic worrying symptoms can look a lot like the symptoms of anxiety disorders and can include:
- Feeling extremely nervous
- Feeling a sense of impending doom
- Increased heart rate
- Sweating and trembling
- Feeling fatigued
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep troubles
- Unable to control worrying
- Urge to avoid things that trigger anxious thoughts
While worrying about your future and what life is going to bring in next is not as threatening as it sounds, it can still keep you from enjoying life and being in the present moment.
Possible Linked Mental Health Disorders
While chronic worrying isn’t in itself a separate disorder, it can be often linked with three commonly diagnosed mental health disorders including:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder and chronic worrying can be linked with each other as one of the symptoms of GAD is chronic worrying.
Excessive worries and nervousness about stressful and threatening situations can be a few characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder. When someone struggles with GAD, they are more than likely to experience over-worrying for months on end.
GAD is one of the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders and other symptoms of this disorder can include:
- Feelings restless
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep troubles
- Experiencing phantom pains
- Shortness of breath
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Another disorder that can be linked with chronic worrying can be OCD as intrusive or unwanted thoughts are one of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, these are often followed by compulsions. Compulsions are what someone might use to quiet their chronic worrying.
If you or your loved one are struggling with these symptoms, along with being unable to stop chronic worrying, then you can speak with a professional therapist for further diagnosis and treatment.
3. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
The symptoms of MDD can also be linked to chronic worrying and can additionally include symptoms such as:
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Feelings of sadness
- Sleep troubles
- Phantom pains and aches
How To Quit Chronic Worrying?
Don’t worry, if you’re a chronic worrier, then with some practice and repetition, you can quit excessive worrying. Chronic worrying treatment can include:
With approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), you can learn to challenge your negative thoughts and change your thinking and behavioral patterns. You can find individual therapy or group therapy to help you learn new and healthy coping skills.
2. Lifestyle Changes
By making significant lifestyle changes, you can learn to stop (or at least reduce) chronic worrying. You can try to:
- Meditate– When you practice mindfulness meditation, you learn to not only quiet your thoughts but also learn to live in the present moment and enjoy “now” rather than ponder over the past or worry about the future.
- Deep Breathing– Another way to reduce chronic worrying is to practice deep breathing exercises. These exercises are a good way to calm your mind and body during stressful moments.
- Yoga– Combining deep breathing with yoga poses can also be a great way to calm your mind and forget about all your worries.
- Changing Diet– Did you know that consuming caffeine can also increase your jitters and anxiety? Well, cutting back on caffeine and caffeinated foods and beverages can be a good way to avoid being a jittery mess.
- Getting Sleep– When you keep worrying about one thing or the other, it can make getting sleep difficult. To avoid this, you need to fix your sleep habits and get enough sleep to make sure your mind is refreshed and ready to tackle anxious thoughts.
If you’re chronic worrying is taking over your life and making it infinitely harder to focus on your daily routine, then a professional may prescribe medications along with therapy to help you quit excessive worrying. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help.
Just make sure you consult with your doctor before starting any medication as many medications may have side effects that may worsen your condition.
Worrying over one thing or the other is not uncommon but when it takes over your life, it can be bothersome. When you or someone you love is unable to escape chronic worrying, getting therapy or making substantial lifestyle changes can help. Chronic worrying isn’t anything one