Why do I feel worried for no reason. I lived in fear of having to talk to strangers. I started to experience anxiety attacks, a racing heart, and feelings of nausea so intense that I avoided socializing in public places like bars and restaurants. For an entire year, I was unable to work at all.
When I decided to try working again, I took on a part-time role with zero responsibility and as little stress as possible to accommodate my anxiety disorder.
It took years of medication, therapy, and finding new healthy habits, but I can now say that I’m symptom-free almost every day.
Now I run my own freelance writing business. After being so afraid of public spaces, I now have the confidence to network with complete strangers, interview others live on the internet, and share my own personal video content on a daily basis.
I regularly speak on podcasts and Instagram Live broadcasts, and attend events in places I’ve never been before because I’ve finally got my anxiety under control.
Being held back for so long has made me even more determined to test my boundaries and reach my goals in spite of my anxiety.
Worries, doubts, and anxieties are a normal part of life. It’s natural to worry about an unpaid bill, an upcoming job interview, or a first date. But “normal” worry becomes excessive when it’s persistent and uncontrollable. You worry every day about “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, you can’t get anxious thoughts out of your head, and it interferes with your daily life.
Constant worrying, negative thinking, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. It can sap your emotional strength, leave you feeling restless and jumpy, cause insomnia, headaches, stomach problems, and muscle tension, and make it difficult to concentrate at work or school. You may take your negative feelings out on the people closest to you, self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, or try to distract yourself by zoning out in front of screens. Chronic worrying can also be a major symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), a common anxiety disorder that involves tension, nervousness, and a general feeling of unease that colors your whole life.
If you’re plagued by exaggerated worry and tension, there are steps you can take to turn off anxious thoughts. Chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more balanced, less fearful perspective.
Constant worrying can take a heavy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop. For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—that you hold about worrying:
Negative beliefs about worry. You may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop. While negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging.
Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Maybe you tell yourself that if you keep worrying about a problem long enough, you’ll eventually be able to figure it out? Or perhaps you’re convinced that worrying is a responsible thing to do or the only way to ensure you don’t overlook something? It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind