A little bit of worry is a natural healthy thing. It’s a normal human emotion that keeps us safe, healthy and behaving properly. For example, we might worry about food, money and shelter, worry about being in dangerous situations, worry about the health of our family or about how people might react if we behave in a negative way.
As with all things there can be too much of a good thing. It’s possible for worry to grow to a point where it actually does more harm than good. When this happens we refer to it as chronic worry or anxiety and it can be a debilitating and life changing condition for many people.
In today’s modern society there are many new stimuli that our brains aren’t always equipped to cope with. Media and body image, complex social groups, financial worries, drugs and alcohol, busy commutes, education, work – can all lead to worry.
There’s no sure fire way to tell when your worry becomes a more serious problem but one key question is this:
Does your worry lead to considerable distress or dysfunction?
If the answer is yes you might want to consider whether you can relate to any of the following symptoms of anxiety disorders or chronic worry.
Avoiding doing things that trigger anxiety – this could include going out alone, seeing friends, visiting busy places or traveling. When people avoid worrying situations it can deprive them of the chance to face their fears and learn that they are actually safe which, in turn, can increase worry.
Difficulty falling asleep – is your mind racing when you lie in bed? If you’re too focused on stress and worry, the chemicals your body is producing in its fight or flight response prevent you from falling asleep peacefully.
Inability to concentrate or complete tasks – a mind filled with worry finds it hard to focus on one task for a prolonged period of time. This can make work or family life very difficult and simple tasks become huge challenges.
Loss of libido – a strong libido requires us to feel happy, relaxed and secure. Preoccupation with worry and stress may prevent you from fully connecting with the people you love. Sometimes we are so worried about losing them we become unable to fully enjoy and appreciate our time with them.
Other people may begin to notice a range of behaviour changes which could lead to arguments and further anxiety. If you’re unsure try and have a calm, reflective conversation with your family and friends about how they see your behaviour.
Forgetfulness – when your mind is busy formulating a stress response it’s hard for it to properly store and recall other information so you might find yourself getting more forgetful or absent minded.
Neglectful of your health – you may find that you no longer spend the same amount of time taking care of yourself – sleeping, eating well, exercising and resting.
Muscle tension – persistent tightness in any of your muscles including your back, your neck, or your jaw is often caused by worry and anxiety as our body tenses for a fight or flight response. This tension can also lead to headaches and other problems if it continues long term.
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms almost every day for 6 months you could well be suffering from an anxiety disorder and would benefit from hypnotherapy treatment for anxiety.
Hypnotherapy tackles the underlying causes of worry, whether they are painful memories, conditioned responses or fear, and builds resilience, confidence and powerful techniques to handle worry. Together we can get your worry and anxiety under control so you can enjoy a healthy life free of excessive worry.
Please do get in touch to learn more about how I could help.