Is Worry Normal?

Is Worry Normal?

Is Worry Normal

Recently a client said to me,

“Why do I worry and stress about everything?” “Is this normal?” “What is wrong with me?”

It is normal; in fact I would say most women I know these days struggle with worry.  Whether worrying about the to-do list, what’s for dinner or how you are raising your kids.  Worry has become normalized in our society.  So is worry normal?, I would say no, has it become normalized? the answer has become an resounding yes.

In my opinion, the more important questions around worry are:

“Is Worry Healthy? and How is it Serving Me?”

Is Worry Healthy?

The Answer:  A Resounding NO worry can manifest in all kinds of physical responses: headaches, digestive problem, neck pain, fatigue, insomnia  dizziness. It can also manifest by hurting our quality of life keeping us cut off from our daily lives, keeping us disengaged and keeping us in a constant state of panic. So on a spiritual, physical and emotional realm worry is extremely unhealthy!  So why do we keep worrying?  That is where question #2 comes in.

How is Worry Serving Me?

The Answer:  Is complicated. This question is really getting at the why of the worry.  It allows you to see the flip side.  Any thing you do that is ultimately unhealthy is “giving to” you in some way.  Eating the donut tastes good and gives an initial sugar rush.  Smoking cigarettes gives a rush of nicotine. For every unhealthy habit there is a good side and a bad side.  There is the myth and the reality:

Myth #1: Control. Worry gives us the illusion of control.  The unconscious belief is “If am worrying about who will take care of my kids if I die, then I won’t die before they are 18”  “If I worry about if one of my kids will get cancer than they won’t get cancer”
Reality: I am ultimately not in control.  Life is for the most part out of my control. And learning to live with that is HARD.

Myth#2: Taking Action. Worry makes us feel like we are DOING something. We might not be able to protect our kids 100% of the time  but if we are worrying about them we are DOING something to protect them.
Reality: Frequently there is nothing we can do.  Worry won’t keep our loved one with cancer alive.  Worry won’t make your parenting skills perfect.  Worry won’t keep everyone safe and protected.  Worry is not an action, it has no results. Basically worry is an absolute waste of time.

Myth #3: The Energizer Bunny Worry makes us FEEL empowered and energized.  We get more done when we worry because our energy is sped up and we are in fight or flight mode.  So we feel like we are getting more done.
Reality:  That frantic energy is usually so frantic we don’t do anything WELL.  We might get a lot done but most of the time we are disengaged, disconnected and completely discombobulated.  It is no way to live.

Honestly, when you can get to the heart of the myths you can catch yourself in these ‘lies’ and you can remind yourself.  At the end of the day, worry is a totally useless action.

What are some myths you have around worry?  How does worry affect your life?