There are plenty of things in life to worry about but in the vast majority of cases they are either unlikely to occur or they take on a significance they don’t deserve. So how do you know if you worry more than most people? Some people readily describe themselves as chronic worriers, they worry about everything and everyone, pretty much all their waking hours. Others wonder about whether they worry more than might be considered normal. So let’s find out if your worries are excessive. Which, if any, of the following describe you:
You often feel keyed up or edgy, but you’re also tired and restless.
You’re something of a checker. You check the work you’ve done several times. Maybe you text or contact someone several times to make sure they are alright?
You look back over your day and consider what you’ve done to be much less productive than most people.
You find decision making difficult and when you make a decision you worry about whether it was the right one.
You find yourself looking or asking for reassurance from others, often and repeatedly.
You regard yourself as something of a worrier because you can’t seem to stop.
You sometimes annoy other people. They get impatient with your worries and often tell you to sort yourself out, or seek help, or words to that effect.
You feel that worrying helps you avoid bad things, or find solutions to problems.
You feel a sense of impending doom and you sense your worrying is making you ill.
You find relief in overeating, or drinking alcohol, or smoking, or self-medicating by other means.
If you associate yourself with just a few or all of these issues you almost certainly suffer from excessive worrying. Because of this you will know that it is affecting your life and even those around you.
Chronic worrying can result in a host of stress-related health problems, which left untreated, may result in depression. For this reason it’s important that you take action. This might include talking to your doctor, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, increasing your levels of exercise and learning how to relax. A cognitive therapist may also be able to help you work up strategies to control your worries more effectively.
Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a chartered psychologist and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s clinical background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author of various self-help books and is co-founder of positivityguides.net.