It is normal to worry from time to time. Worry can prompt us into action; going to the doctor with an unexplained physical symptom for example. Once action has been taken, worry subsides.
Excessive worry means that the worry in our minds is loud, persistent and overwhelming. This type of worry is usually triggered by feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
Attention maybe focused on our thoughts/fears of what might happen in the future. In CBT this is called ‘what if…...’ thinking. 'What if' thinking usually ends in catastrophe, for example,
' What if my boss finds out I made that mistake at work and I end up loosing my job, house and family?'
Our minds can be so focused on worrying about the 'what if' thinking we end up exhausted and miserable. We can feel as though the 'What if' thinking and worry is endless and uncontrollable. Or that if we don't worry about what might happen, we won't be able to cope with the situation if it arises.
Worry can be a way of trying to make things certain; to make sure that there will be always be a definite way of dealing with the worst that can happen. The trouble is the more time and energy we spend trying to make things certain, the more uncertainty we find; there is usually another 'what if.'
CBT works with the anxiety, worry, what ifs and other elements of excessive worrying to change the impact this way of thinking and being has on people’s lives.
We can work collaboratively to understand excessive worry and effect change in your life.
Symptoms of Excessive Worrying include:
- Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that's out of proportion to the impact of the event
- Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
- Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind "goes blank"
- Worrying about excessively worrying
- Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
- Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
- Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
- a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- muscle aches and tension
- trembling or shaking
- dry mouth
- excessive sweating
- shortness of breath
- stomach ache
- feeling sick
- pins and needles
- difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)