Worry ‘Tastes’ Good - Deepstash

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Why We Worry (and How to Stop) | Nick Wignall

Worry ‘Tastes’ Good

  1. Worry feels good because it gives us something (rather than nothing) to do. And this makes us feel a little less helpless and out of control.
  2. Like the body craves calories, the mind craves control. When faced with a fearful situation that we can’t actually do anything about, we give ourselves the illusion of control (and relief from helplessness) by engaging worry.

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Anxiety is rewarding

Each time we worry and nothing bad happens, our mind connects worry with preventing harm:

Worry → nothing bad happens.

And the takeaway is, "It's a good thing I worried."&nbs...

Beliefs about worry
  • If I worry, I'll never have a bad surprise.
  • It's safer if I worry. We believe that the act of worrying itself somehow lowers the likelihood of a dreaded outcome. 
  • I show I care by worrying. We need to distinguish between caring about a situation and worrying needlessly and fruitlessly about it. 
  • Worrying motivates me. We need to differentiate between unproductive worry and productive concern and problem solving.
  • Worrying helps me solve problems. Extreme worry is more likely to interfere with problem-solving. 
Tools to assist us with worry
  • Calm the nervous system with guided muscle relaxation, meditation, and exercise. 
  • Notice when you're worrying and any beliefs that reinforce worry.  Awareness of the process gives us more choice in how we respond.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Most of the things we care about in life involve uncertainty. It takes considerable practice to begin to embrace it.
  • Live in the present. Practice focusing your attention on the present in everyday activities like taking a shower, walking, or talking with a friend, as well as in more formal practices like meditation or yoga.
  • When we face our fears head-on, they tend to diminish. Deliberately accept what you're afraid of: "It's possible I'll miss my flight." 
Worrying about the future

Worrying is the mental habit of trying to solve a problem that either can’t be solved or isn’t really a problem. 

It gives us the illusion of control. Worrying about i...

Isolating yourself

When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.

You don’t need coping strategies when you’re sad discouraged, or helpless. You need people. You need support. You need someone to give you a hug and listen carefully to your story.

Keeping quiet

Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.

But there’s a middle road between being passive and aggressive: You can be assertive. It means standing up for your own wants, needs, and values, in an honest and respectful way.

Stressing about sleep

Before a stressful work event, we tend to worry about what will happen if we don’t sleep well:

  • We worry that we’ll be physically tired.
  • We worry that ...
Sleep mistakes

... we make when it comes to sleeping well before a big day:

  • We try too hard to sleep and we end up making it harder to fall asleep.
  • We overestimate the negative consequences of poor sleep.
Sleep restriction

It's a technique for improving the quality of your sleep by using the power of Sleep Drive (the body’s natural need for sleep). Sleep Drive is built during the day: the longer you’re awake the stronger your need for sleep. 

Sleep Restriction temporarily restricts the quantity of your sleep so that you’re awake longer and therefore build up more Sleep Drive.