There are many things about the brain and the mind that we still don’t know, or at least that we don’t know for certain.
One question is “Why are some people chronic worriers?” Is there something in their genes-a “worry gene,” perhaps-that runs in the family? Or is it something else?
The nightmare for them is this: What if a cure for chronic worry can never be found?
We hope that one day we’ll come up with the real source of the “worrier state.”
Science believes that when people live with high levels of anxiety (i.e., those who are chronic worriers), constantly look for and expect the worst (including danger), and live in constant fear of everything, the result is a life that isn’t so easy.
Everyone knows that being a worrier isn’t good for many reasons. Nobody wants to be a worrier, and those who are worriers often attempt to switch to a “non-worrier” state and, unfortunately, are unsuccessful.
Chronic worriers are prone to many illnesses, live under constant stress, are unable to concentrate properly, and have impulsive tendencies and problems with memory. More importantly, they waste their brainpower with unnecessary worrying.
Obviously, life comes with no guarantees: There are bad moments every now and then. For a chronic worrier, however, life is all about bad moments. They believe (wrongly) that if they expect the worst, they’ll never be disappointed.
This thought process is definitely the greatest barrier to living a good life and robs the worrier’s life of meaning, peace, and joy.
What can the worrier do to rid themselves of chronic worry?
They can change the way they think.
It’s easy to say and hard to do. However, if you’re a worrier, what other choice do you have? For a start, you can follow these suggestions:
• Ask for professional help if needed.
• Pay close attention to your diet. What you eat influences your mood and brain function, more so than you may believe.
• Exercise regularly. Exercise helps the brain to function well and assists in combatting those “moody days” that tend to arise frequently in a worrier’s life.
• Learn and use relaxation response exercise. It’s the perfect way to calm a busy mind. (I personally took a course on this technique and found that it works very well.)
• Try an 8-week course on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). These types of classes are very helpful.
• Incorporate meditation into your routine. Do a bit of research and choose the type of meditation that works best for you.
• Consider hypnosis. Some people find it a helpful strategy for coping with a “worrier mind.”
• Think about trying the emotional freedom technique (EFT). Many have found it to be a good way to change a worrisome state of mind.
• Acknowledge the importance of having good social support from your spouse, other family members, friends, and colleagues.