The Habit Of Worrying | Orlando Therapist Shares Insights on Generalized Anxiety
A great deal of research has shown us that we all like to be able to predict and control our situations. We like certainty. It makes us feel comfortable, more secure and less anxious. In a way, this makes sense. If we can somehow predict what the future or might happen next, we can prepare ourselves and thus ensure a good outcome.
However, we simply cannot always foresee what will happen. And often, we also do not have really have control, even over things that matter to us a great deal. In all actuality, even though we can make certain efforts, we can’t entirely control many things. For example, we cannot completely control:
- the well-being and health of loved ones
- what others think of us
- how others feel about us
- how others behave
- what other people do
Yet worrying about these very things causes a great deal of anxiety for many individuals. Accepting the uncertainty that we cannot always be in control makes many of us anxious and as a way to decrease this anxiety, we worry. We believe that worry helps us to be more prepared, solve problems and avoid bad outcomes. Yet worrying only creates an illusion of control and for many, worrying becomes a habit. Even after we recognize that worrying isn’t effective, once the habit of worrying is created, it is difficult to stop.
Worrying less is not as simple as just realizing that worrying isn’t helpful. As with other habits, it takes more than just insight. If insight were enough, people would exercise regularly, eat healthily and spend less time watching tv or on their devices. As with all habits, we must be determined, make an effort and practice continually to break the habit of worrying.
People with the habit of worrying tend to predict the worst outcome and believe that they will not be able to handle anxiety and stress. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques that are aimed to break the habit of worry include:
- Learning how to tell the difference between productive and unproductive worry.
- Learning to accept limitations of uncertainty, imperfection and lack of complete control.
- Learning to challenge worried thoughts and automatic assumptions.
- Examining core beliefs about one’s self and others.
- Taking a look at one’s fear of failure.
Up until about 15 years ago, treatment for chronic worrying had limited success. However, because of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, today the outcome is very promising. At GroundWork Counseling, therapists trained in evidence-based CBT techniques can help you to break the habit of worrying, reduce your anxiety and help you to live a better life.
“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne (French philosopher)
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