Reviewed by our psychologist : Samantha Saxton
We all worry. Some of us worry that we’re worrying too much. So, what exactly is chronic worrying? What does that even mean? Why do we keep repeating the same thoughts over and over again? In this article, you’ll find the answers to all these questions.
- What Is Chronic Worrying?
- Why Do I Worry?
- Chronic Worrying as an Anxiety Disorder
- How to Stop Chronic Worrying
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What Is Chronic Worrying?
Chronic worrying is a mental process which causes repetitive thoughts or makes you perpetually overthink certain scenarios. Whether it’s past experiences, concerns about the future, or anxiety related to awkward encounters; there’s a wide range of things that can trigger it.
While you’re worrying, you’re usually trying to find a solution to your problem. You want to make the best possible choice. But chronic worrying actually makes it really difficult to work out what you should do. You never come up with a solution, which means you remain trapped in a cycle of repetitive thinking. This overthinking can even lead to insomnia.
Why Do I Worry?
Worrying gives you a sense of control. You’re essentially trying to avoid uncomfortable emotions. Things you don’t want to deal with. Instead of examining a particular emotion, you overthink and keep replaying certain scenarios in your mind.
Worrying also makes you feel like you’re tackling your problems. You might keep asking yourself, “What if?”, for example, “What if I fail my driving test?”. You’re worrying to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. This gives you a sense of control over the situation.
However, when you’re trying to make the best choice or find a solution to your problem, a “what if” thought can really stop your brain in its tracks. It actually shatters your sense of control. You keep thinking about all the ways you’re not fully in command of a particular situation. These repetitive thoughts develop into chronic worrying.
You might also worry about:
- An important meeting at work
- An exam you need to pass
- The best way you can help others
- Making decisions
Causes of Chronic Worrying
Chronic worrying can be caused by a range of different circumstances and the way you handle them. It’s often the result of stress and burnout brought on by overworking. Chronic worrying could also be caused by a fear of failure, daydreaming, or a particularly unpleasant event. Perpetually overthinking can lead you to hold on to negative thoughts and emotions. You’re particularly likely to experience this if you’re currently suffering from a lot of stress.
Stress isn’t necessarily the cause of chronic worrying, but it’s often a contributing factor when you’re experiencing unpleasant thoughts and emotions.
It’s important to establish the cause of your chronic worrying. This can help you to get it under control and, ultimately, reduce the amount of time you spend worrying. Sometimes it’s pretty difficult to determine a single cause because it’s actually the result of several different factors. So, do you want to know what chronic worrying is and what causes it? Try to figure out when you experience (excessive) stress and how you handle it in the moment.
Our psychologists can help you to determine the cause. We’ll help you to get your chronic worrying under control, so that moving forward you’ll be better at managing it.
Chronic Worrying as an Anxiety Disorder
In some cases, you may find yourself worrying to an unusually intense degree. Do you experience extreme levels of anxiety in your daily life, even when not faced with an immediate threat? Do you worry excessively and suffer from heart palpations, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, and a choking sensation? Chronic worrying is often associated with generalized anxiety disorder.
If you suspect this may be the case for you, we’d recommend getting in touch with your primary care practitioner. You can also chat with one of our psychologists. They can give you tips to help you manage your anxiety symptoms and offer you general advice.
How to Stop Chronic Worrying
Do you feel like you worry too often and that you’re struggling to break the habit? Why not try our handy tips to stop chronic worrying or speak to one of our psychologists? Breaking this habit will help you sleep better and concentrate on other tasks. Often, all you need to do is make some small lifestyle adjustments.
Do you need professional assistance to help break your habit of chronic worrying? Our psychologists are happy to provide further support. Contact them on +3120 214 3928.