“What if things go wrong? What if something bad happens? What if I say or do the wrong thing? What if “this” happens? Yeah, but what if “that”happens? What if I make a mistake?”
Many have asked me to write about worry. Yes, we all worry sometimes. In fact, our brains are hard-wired for “good worry” to alert us to possible dangers. Think about it…without a certain amount of “good worry” would you call the doctor for your annual checkup or wear your seat belt? But if you spend too much time worrying about too many things, it can interfere with your well-being.
“Do I worry too much? What if what I’m worrying about is worth worrying over?”
Usually, the need to ask these types of questions means you may very well be worrying too much.
About 85% of the time people’s worries never materialize, according to a study published in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.
Overthinking and overanalyzing too many things or asking yourself too many “What If” questions is what turns “good worry” into anxiety, stress, headaches, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, digestive problems, sleeplessness and more. Excessive worry is actually a symptom of underlying anxiety.
Ask Different Questions:
If you are stuck in too many “What If” questions, it’s time to start asking yourself new questions to counter the worry thoughts.
- What are the odds of this really happening (or being true)?
- What else could be equally likely (or true)?
- What is the worst that could happen? What is so bad about that? What would I do if the worst happened?
- Am I looking at the whole picture?
- Am I being fully objective?
- Who can I trust to share this with so I can get another perspective?
Pay attention to the automatic thoughts going through your mind. Part of the solution to reducing worry may lie in changing the questions!