“Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” – Van Wilder
With everything that life bombards us with nowadays, worry can easily take over if we allow it. We have to think about bills, raising our children well, keeping the house clean, going to work each day, and other things that keep our minds running on overdrive. A little worrying and stress won’t hurt you, because everyone deals with challenges at one point or another. When it becomes a daily habit, however, an incessant nagging that won’t go away, it should raise some red flags.
Worry can catapult you into either a sea of doom, or a land of opportunities, depending how you use it. Worry is a tool that we can utilize to better our lives, but many people allow worry to dictate their every waking moment, which is incredibly unhealthy.
Here are 5 signs you might worry too much:
1. You can’t ever relax.
Obviously, we all will deal with stressful situations in our lives at some point. Stress can help us make a tough decision, and allow us to transform into better people. However, when this stress creeps up during seemingly small occurrences and disrupts your daily life, this is a clear indicator of chronic worry, or generalized anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 3.1% of the population, or 6.8 million adults, suffer from this disorder.
If you find that you have persistent anxious thoughts that disrupt your daily life, this points to excessive worry and anxiety. Here’s what to do when you worry too much: take some deep breaths, ask yourself if this is worth losing your peace over, and bring your awareness back to the present moment.
Anxiety creeps up on us when we allow our minds to wander too far into the future, so using our breath to anchor us in the present can do wonders to dispel worry. If you’d like some more pointers on how to eliminate anxiety, read our article here.
2. You have trouble falling asleep.
Many people who worry too much also have trouble getting decent sleep. Worry can cause your thoughts to race uncontrollably, which therefore makes it very difficult to relax into sleep. According to researchers at Duke University, “…insomnia may predispose people to anxiety and depression, just as anxiety and depression may predispose people to insomnia.”
Racing thoughts and anxiety can overtake your mind so much that it keeps you up at night, which can really take a toll on your health in the long term. If you’d like to read about a natural way to fall asleep easier at night, read our article about it here.
3. You use food, alcohol, or drugs to suppress your worry.
Another sign that you worry too much is using a substance to deal with your emotions. Suppressing your feelings with drugs, alcohol or food might feel good in the short-term, but it can do a lot of damage to your mental and physical health in the long-term.
Here’s what to do when you worry too much: instead of reaching for that processed snack or bottle of beer, try putting on some relaxing music, and go to your room to just gather your thoughts and center your awareness. Read, write, draw, or take a hot bath in order to calm your nerves in a healthy way; your mind and body will very much appreciate it!
4. You always think of the worst case scenario.
Naturally, humans scan our immediate environment for threats to our safety. We have an inborn ability and need to do this in order to survive, but in our modern world, this can sometimes pose as a nuisance and hazard to our own mental health. For instance, if your mom or dad is driving on the highway, you might think of every bad thing that could happen to them while driving. Of course, we want our loved ones to remain safe, but obsessing over events that likely won’t occur only takes away our inner peace.
Any time you catch yourself having unreasonable thoughts, try to replace them with more uplifting ones, and if you want, send out positive wishes and thoughts to those who you feel might need them.
5. You have recurring health problems.
Worry causes inflammation within the body, which leads to all sorts of ailments, including high blood pressure, anxiety, sore muscles, stiff joints, a weakened immune system, and much more. If you find that you get sick quite frequently, first check in with your mind. All disease begins in the mind, after all, so if you have a scattered, frantic mind, this energy will start to travel into the body.
Always make sure to give yourself time for meditation, yoga, or some other practice you find relaxing in order to keep your mind centered, healthy, and performing at its best