Is constant worry holding you back and keeping you mired in negative feelings and thought patterns? You might be someone who worries about little things. You might be someone who worries about big things. Or you might be someone who simply worries about everything.
Occasionally, worry is useful when it reminds you to be attentive to a situation that needs some extra caution. If you are always worried, however, it can keep you stuck and not moving forward in your life.
For myself, in particular, I know that I need to step back and realize that certain things are outside of my control and there is no point in worrying about them. In fact, constant worrying can have a very real negative impact on both your mental and physical well-being.
What Happens if You Always Worry
Over time, constant worry can affect every area of your life: physical, emotional, and even financial. It might manifest as chronic anxiety, insomnia, or even changes in your digestive system.
Once worry gets to this level it can degrade your health overall and affect every system in your body. When worrying has become this kind of constant problem, it can negatively impact your behaviors.
In some people, this level of worry can even lead to the development of addiction to alcohol, drugs, or other harmful behaviors as they search (unproductively) for a way to end the bad feeling.
Is Constant Worrying Bad For Your Body?
It might be a surprise to you that your emotions can affect your body. But think about what happens when you see something scary in a movie or on television. You might find yourself tensing up, making a fist, or even holding your breath.
This is a small example of how concern about a situation can lead to a physical reaction. Now magnify that a few times and you have a sense of what happens when you constantly experience worry and how it affects your body.
When you imagine something terrible happening over and over, your mind actually perceives this as something happening in reality. This thought pattern causes real physiological changes in your body as it prepares the fight or flight response in reaction to your chronic worry.
Over time, this will leave you to feel more afraid and anxious, and the cycle continues until something happens to stop it.
How to Stop Worrying About Everything
The practice of mindfulness can give you freedom from chronic worrying. It begins when you take a pause, take time to truly notice and acknowledge what you’re feeling, and then take a moment to determine what is real and what is simply a passing emotion.
Often, if you’re willing to be very honest with yourself, you’ll discover that much of what you’re worrying about is something that has never happened and is never actually likely to happen.
After you’ve discerned what truly needs your attention and concern, you can use the clarity of mind that mindful practices help cultivate to determine what actions you can take about the events that are likely to happen.
Mindfulness will help you focus appropriately on potential scenarios and come up with effective plans of action that can be carried out to help you prepare.
Once you’re prepared, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you are ready for whatever uncertainties life throws your way – and stop worrying.