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Aibu to ask-why do worriers worry and how can I stop it?

(24 Posts)
graceadlerdesigns Tue 17-Oct-17 18:46:34

I have always been an anxious person but in recent weeks it has gone haywire and I have been doing my best to relax but it has made me think- some people seem to be naturally anxious/ worried and some people seem very optimistic or able to see positives all the time. I wonder what makes us that way? Has anyone been able to change their out look to a more positive, open way of thinking?

My parents are extremely cautious and my DM get terrible anxiety. Is it my upbringing? I have had CBT years ago but struggle to implement the techniques I learned.

So not to drip feed- I am pregnant and been referred for a possible melanoma under my toe nail and my dh has been undergoing various tests for health reasons. I understand these are cause for worry but I fear my reaction is disproportionate.

formerbabe Tue 17-Oct-17 18:47:53

Watching with interest. I worry over everything and if I'm not worrying, I start worrying about why I'm not worrying confused

Floellabumbags Tue 17-Oct-17 18:50:55

Anxiety is a normal reaction to abnormal events. You've a lot going on, be kind to yourself flowers

I'm an advocate of hypnotherapy because it's something you can practise at home and it gives you tools for coping when you're overwhelmed.

Candlelight234 Tue 17-Oct-17 18:51:37

Tell me when you find out! I always have something on my worry list and sometimes and can't put my finger on why, just a general feeling of 'worry'.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Tue 17-Oct-17 18:57:25

I’m the opposite. I tend not to really worry, even about serious things. If I find myself worrying I tell myself it’s pointless to worry (either I can do something to change the situation, in which case I should do that, or I can’t do anything, in which case it is pointless to worry). But I recognise that it is rarely that easy.

I’m not sure why I don’t worry really. For a brief period in my childhood I was highly anxious, but I don’t know what caused that to start or stop.

I hope all your worries prove to be unfounded flowers

Herbcake Tue 17-Oct-17 19:01:39

Yep, I almost feel like I have to have something to worry about and if I don't, I look for something.

I'd love to know if there's a way to change but I fear its just how some brains are wired.

nodogsinthebedroom Tue 17-Oct-17 19:04:53

Following for an answer.. I've started waking in a blind panic at 2am every morning worrying about work
. It's not helpful worry and just makes me tired and less productive the next day. sad

peachypips Tue 17-Oct-17 19:06:00

I think it's the way we are wired def. I don't worry about anything ever. I literally don't care about stuff and I always only see the positive. And I have done nothing to make myself like this, it's just how I am.

This has its negatives too!

CBT is very effective for people with general life worries (not GAD).

Penguin27 Tue 17-Oct-17 19:09:22

Watching with interest - I’m a worrier too!

To those that have said if there’s nothing to worry about, you find yourself worrying about that (“What am I missing?!”) - it’s definitely a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Timefortea99 Tue 17-Oct-17 19:10:58

Following with interest.....and hope that somebody has the answer on how to stop it. Sometimes I am successful and say I will worry about that, but not now, not at this moment, I am having a good time so I will push it to one side and worry about it later. Sometimes that is enough to stop the worry. Other times there is no pushing the worry aside. At the moment I am worried about a colleague I dislike and who dislikes me - and stands every chance of becoming my boss. I have taken that worry to bed, it has kept me company in the early hours, it has been with me at weekends, and it even came on holiday with me. Stupid, but there you are.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 17-Oct-17 19:12:43

When you have the answer please let me know.

flowers for you because it's horrible.

ShowMeMySilverLining Tue 17-Oct-17 19:13:23

Same problems. I can trace my excessive worrying back to a traumatic event, but even before that I was generally anxious. Time for some more CBT I think.

Trb17 Tue 17-Oct-17 19:13:50

J.K. Rowling. “Newt Scamander : "My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”

I don’t know the answer but I tell my DD this quote often as she’s a terrible worrier. Once told me she was worried she didn’t have anything to worry about!

Anxiety really gets to her, yet I’m not a day to day worrier myself.

I wish I could switch it off for her.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 17-Oct-17 19:16:03

I wish I could switch it off for her.

My DH says the same to me.

Sometimes it's almost like the more you don't want to do it the worse it gets iyswim

KityGlitr Tue 17-Oct-17 19:45:52

Might be worth going for an assessment at your local iapt, can google them and self refer usually. Worrying is one sign of generalised anxiety disorder. You may get on better with a different therapist or may be the right time now compared to then.

For everyone, check this out. It's based on cbt which is the gold standard talking therapy for gad/excessive worry. It's a fantastic programme you can work through at your own pace www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=46

Moomintroll85 Tue 17-Oct-17 20:17:11

I can be a terrible worrier and have in the past made myself ill with stress but I think I am slowly improving.

A few things I find helpful when I start worrying is to ask myself:
Will the thing I'm worrying about matter a year/month/week from now?
Is anyone else worrying about this/being kept awake thinking about it?

If the answer is no then it can help me rationalise my way out of worrying. So I can ask myself why should I be stressing about something that won't matter in a month or why should I care so much when my colleagues/boss don't give a crap, etc.
Admittedly this works for more minor worries and for me it tended to be work related stresses and anxieties.

I find that trying to supress or ignore worries just doesn't work. It's almost as if I have to acknowledge the worry, accept it and just let it be before trying to let go of it, or even just to think about it a little less.

I think you may be right about upbringing playing a big part. My mum is such a stressful and anxious person and I watch her hover and fuss over my DS and she freaks out if he so much as looks like he might trip over. I'm starting to think this may be where I got it from if she was like this when I was a kid!

Also I like the Mark Twain quote that goes something like 'most of the things I spent my life worrying about never happened'.

All the best with your pregnancy and hope all the health worries are unfounded.

graceadlerdesigns Tue 17-Oct-17 21:56:41

whatwould I totally understand the logic of not worrying. My dermatology appt is on Friday and I literally have no idea if anything is wrong until then, so there is zero point in worrying until I know there is something to worry about... and yet I still do it! Doh!

The JK Rowling quote is very true. It is very hard going especially when it physically manifests itself- I have had the shakes, palpitations and hyperventilating in recent weeks plus terrible sleep patterns.

Kity thank you for the link. I will get in touch with iapt- mymidwife mentioned it to me the other day.

Piglet I agree. The more I tell myself to calm down the worse I can get. It's almost like I can't deal with the pressure of the logic... my dm was really pissed off at me the other day and I understand it must be exasperating but when she said 'oh just forget about it and focus on something else' I was desperate to say something sarcastic back but it probably isn't worth it.

I really don't want my ds and baby to pick up on this anxiety. I want them to be outgoing and resilient

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Tue 17-Oct-17 22:05:42

I'm not a worrier at all, I think your circumstances are totally normal to be anxious about and I would be too.

Keep in mind 10, 10, 10. Will this thing I'm worrying about matter in ten days? Ten months? Ten years? (Not relevant to your current situation)

What might be though, is thinking about whether you can influence the outcome of the thing you are worrying about. If not - then try and put it to the back of your mind. If you can - then take action.

I found this the most helpful technique to get over being a worrier - my mum is a terrible worrier and I didn't want to be like her (in the nicest possible way!). I'm very laid back now. I just don't worry about things I can't change or influence.

(PS this isn't an immediate technique but I can help calm nerves).

Good luck with your appointment.

MorbidBibliomancy Tue 17-Oct-17 23:24:30

I have GAD. What worked for me was getting the right combination of medications, along with an excellent therapist that tailored CBT to fit me personally rather than just talking me through worksheets for weeks on end.

Similar to PP's, the 'breakthrough' moment for me came about three quarters of my way through my therapy. I was waiting for my train to work and it was cancelled. My brain went in to overdrive worrying about the fact that I would be late in, etc. But then that little voice I'd been working on in therapy kicked in and said 'Will worrying make the train appear?' And no, of course it wouldn't. I couldn't make the train show up just by worrying, so worrying wasn't a useful thing to do. The useful things I could do were looking up an alternate route, and calling my boss to let him know. The rest was out of my hands. Telling myself to calm down wouldn't work, but distracting myself with taking whatever small actions were in my control did, even if that action was something as tiny as getting myself a cup of tea.

I know that sort of sounds like I'm advocating for a, 'Just don't worry and everything will be fine!' mindset. Which I know is easier said than done and was never a helpful platitude for me. It wasn't that I just decided to stop worrying. It was more the fact that I realised that my worrying came from a feeling of not being in control, so I focused on what I could realistically do then and there, and practiced disregarding the rest until it became second nature.

I still worry. I still have GAD. But I can tame it somewhat now, and I have a better understanding of what's going on in my brain when I get caught up in a worry spiral.

There's no one size fits all approach. Trying different options until you find one that works for you personally is absolutely fine. Little steps all add up in the end. IAPT is what I used to find the therapist I mentioned at the beginning of my post, so I'd definitely recommend that.

Shoxfordian Wed 18-Oct-17 07:52:33

I don't worry about anything

I really believe you shouldn't worry about things you can't change

Cakefortea1 Wed 18-Oct-17 08:09:58

Hi, read with interest re iapt but can't find an equivalent in Scotland. Does anyone know if this exists.

I am becoming more & more anxious every day to the point I don't sleep. I am anxious about my job but the rational part of me says not to but I'm reading little signs and making them into big issues. I'm off work now until next week and instead of feeling relaxed I'm worried about being away from my job and they think they can do without me 😕

Vitalogy Wed 18-Oct-17 08:17:27

I find listening to Eckhart Tolle helpful.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5EuiaOlA8c

buggerthebotox Wed 18-Oct-17 08:43:43

I worry about work too, to the point of feeling ill. I made a mistake once through carelessness and that seems to have triggered the worry. I feel completely inadequate at work and dread returning. I'm only doing voluntary work at the moment and I'm anxious about that too. I'm worried that people think I'm useless. sad.

I could never relax away from work either. If I took a holiday, I'd be dreading something happening whilst I was away.

I've never had much confidence and worry all the time about what people think about me. I'm rather "try hard" and a people pleaser. I also feel responsible for other people's well-being, even if they are pisstakers.

Strangely, there are things which don't bother me. I'm a laid back parent in many ways and not at all nervous of travelling or coping alone.

I wish I could stop it. My mother was a worrier, and my grandfather had a nervous breakdown over work many moons ago. Must run in the family.....hmm

Apileofballyhoo Wed 18-Oct-17 09:01:28

I've heard an analogy about the brain connections being similar to the way drops of water will follow the first drop until they have a channel... The brain connections will take the path of least resistance. So I think worrying is something learned in childhood that becomes automatic.

But you can change the default setting by deliberately controlling your thoughts - using some of the techniques given above, like will this still be important in 10 days, 10 years etc, are other people lying awake about this? Distracting yourself is really important. Writing and reading are good ways to focus your brain on something else. Physical movement rids the body of adrenaline - stress causes us to have too much and we are not fleeing or fighting so we need to get rid of it in other ways.

I suppose the aim is to constantly interrupt yourself from worrying and then the default mode will become not worrying.

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