Do You Worry Too Much?

Some people worry far more than they have to, and in turn they do very little to effectively resolve their worries. For these people, much of their stress takes the form of excessive worry. This inordinate and often useless worrying can rob people of much of life’s joy and interfere with their day-to-day functioning.

Everybody worries at some time or another. In fact, worrying can be a good thing. You should worry about some things in your life. Worrying is healthy and appropriate when it motivates you and leads you to attempt to resolve a problem in a productive, adaptive manner. If you’re worried about an exam, you may study harder. If you’re worried about your health, you’ll probably go see a doctor.

If, however, a person’s worrying becomes chronic, it can result in a wide variety of stress-related conditions and disorders. Controlling and managing your worries becomes an essential part of managing your stress.

Figure out how to identify your worries and understand why you worry the way you do. You also discover better ways of managing and minimizing much of your worry.

Here is a brief, ten-item self-assessment that helps you determine whether you’re worrying too much. Simply indicate to what extent each of the statements below describes you (“not at all like me,” “a little like me,” or “a lot like me”).

  1. Worrying is a major source of stress in my life.

  2. After I start worrying, I find it difficult to stop.

  3. People who know me well tell me that I worry too much.

  4. I have trouble getting to sleep or falling back to sleep because of my worrying.

  5. I often think of worst-case scenarios when I worry about a problem.

  6. I frequently become anxious and worry about things that could happen but usually don’t.

  7. I have a great deal of difficulty coping with uncertainty.

  8. I worry more than I should about small stuff.

  9. When I worry, I usually just upset myself more, rather than try to resolve my worry.

  10. Sometimes I literally worry myself to the point of sickness.

Answering more than three of these statements with “a lot like me” suggests that your worrying is excessive and may be contributing greatly to your overall stress level.

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