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Excessive Worrying

We all worry about bad things that could happen to some extent. Things that we cannot control, such as: falling ill, accidents happening, losing our job (which could mean losing everything), financial troubles (we cannot just get money when we need it) and being attacked.

To make things worse we are bombarded daily by reports of real-life negative events in the news programmes and newspapers. Indeed, most times events are only deemed newsworthy if they are bad. Being alive means being available for bad (and good) things to happen to us regularly.


Worry stems from that role of anxiety involved in planning and preparing for forthcoming events that we are wary about. An appropriate amount of planning is adaptive and conducive to survival, worry is not.

Planning reflects attempts to be in control.

Armies plan and plan for possible future events to have some idea of what to do if they arise.

To man, planning does indeed instil a sense of knowledge and competence in the face of unforeseen events.

Planning turns to worry for one reason – the attempts at control aren't working.

We cannot control the future so we plan, but the planning is not real control; it doesn't help the future and it doesn't make us feel any better or safer. It is illusory, only secondary control and it doesn't work.

So we plan more, feel worse and plan more.

It is now no longer planning for it offers no sense of control.

... It is worry.

... We are no longer planning what to do, just worrying about what might happen.

But we cannot stop it because we feel it is the answer, the way to get control and stop potential bad things happening.


(Adapted from the free eBook: Anxiety Symptoms: What's Happening and Why )

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"to be anxious or uneasy especially about something uncertain or potentially dangerous"

(Collins English Dictionary)


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