How do you know when worrying turns to Anxiety?

Are you an excessive worrier?
Are you an excessive worrier?

Worrying is an everyday emotion.

Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralysing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

However excessive worrying thoughts can cascade into a panic symptom and a regular reoccurrence of panic symptoms can turn into panic disorder.

How worry affects your brain

Worrying also has an effect on our brains. Excessive worry disturbs your peace of mind making it harder for you to concentrate on one task at a time. Negative emotions start to interfere in your everyday normal life I.e. occupation, social life, how you interact with your family, mood swings, and the way you feel.

This means it may also be difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Not being able to turn your mind off can cause insomnia. Once you are suffering from insomnia, many worriers start to worry about that as well making their symptoms even worse.

If you cannot get to sleep after 20-25 minutes and this happens more than 3-4 time per week it may be time to check if your bedroom is a good environment for sleeping i.e. how much light in filtering in or the volume of noise from other rooms and or from outside. Other factors to review could include your caffeine intake during the day, diet, lack of exercising… All these factors can affect sleep and your anxiety levels.

Excessive worry could even lead into depression. If you start to worry about everyone and everything day and night, feel that life is unfair and justice does not exist or you become paranoid that people will betray you, these could be the first warning signs of depression.

Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.

If you start to feel like this then it’s a good time to get professional help

Although excessive worrying and high anxiety can cause an imbalance in your body, there are many options you have that can re-establish harmony of mind, body, and spirit.

Our blog is for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need help for an emotional or behavioural problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

About the editor, Amelia Cambrell

My name is Amelia and I'm a Senior Psychologist at Counselling in Melbourne. I have over 18-years of experience in the mental health space. I am very driven to get the best outcomes for my clients which can be long lasting by using a range of modalities such as CBT. There is nothing more satisfying than helping adolescents, adults and couples who are feeling confused, frustrated, stuck or overwhelmed, to find more clarity, confidence and happiness in their lives.

Find out more about Amelia Cambrell

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