March 5th, Limiting BeliefsSelf Confidence Today, more than ever, it seems there are valid reasons to worry. Some of them are the ever increasing costs in everyday life, insecurity in the workforce, security of the country, and the increasing crime rate.
Bad things are bound to happen, and the natural human reaction is to think about the negative consequences that could potentially arise. Unlike fear, which has a more pin-pointable source like a spider on the wallpeople worry over "an amorphous, future uncertain threat -- something bad that might happen.
Neuroticism seems to be tied to worrying, for instance, as is general intolerance of uncertainty, Moser says. And while everyone worries from time to time, it is possible to worry so much that it starts to have a noticeable impact on your daily life.
They focus on the present. Perhaps one of the biggest differences between worriers and non-worriers is the ability to stay in the present, and not get bogged down by things that have yet to happen.
Purdon calls it a "worry chain" -- the idea that one worry will spur a "what if," which spurs another worry and another "what if," and so on. Whereas when worriers become anxious, their "intentional focus narrows to threat cues.
They can get themselves very anxious very quickly. Because staying in the present is so fundamental to squashing worry, practicing mindfulness can help you to steer focus away from a hypothetical issue that could develop down the road.
And therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy CBT and acceptance and commitment therapy, can also help worriers stop the negative cycle, since they focus "on the idea of not wrestling and disconfirming the worries, but getting people to focus on their life and values and focus on the present moment so they can make decisions," Moser adds.
Their brains actually function differently in a worry-inducing event. Moser recently had a study come out in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, showing that the brains of worriers and non-worriers actually work differently in a stressful event.
Then, the participants looked at negative images -- such as a woman having a knife held to her throat by a masked man -- as their brain activity was monitored and recorded. While worriers have a hard time making decisions -- they take a long time because they can become crippled by all the potential negative outcomes -- non-worriers are more willing to test out solutions to a problem even if a bad outcome is possible, Moser says.
They have a sense of perspective.
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Non-worriers are able to distance themselves from a situation in order to gain perspective. However, worriers can increase their perspective, Moser explains. One method for doing this is thinking of all the worst possible scenarios, and then evaluating how likely each of them is to really happen.
If a worrier is concerned about losing her job, she may jump to the worst-case scenario, which is that she will end up living under a bridge, homeless and alone. But Moser says that talking a worrier through a scenario like this helps her understand how unlikely that outcome is to happen.
Moser suggests another simple strategy to gain perspective: Using your own name instead of "I" when referring to your emotions.
But "if you talk about yourself in the third person, you can take better perspective," Moser says.
They get to the root of their worry. So, she recommends using a strategy called the "worry chair. They have confidence they can handle whatever comes at them. They have the ability to see positive outcomes in seemingly bleak situations. Take the graphic image Moser used in his Journal of Abnormal Psychology study, described earlier.
If you were to look at an image of a woman being held at knifepoint by a masked man, what do you think the next immediate outcome would be? A worrier would likely only think of the worst-case scenario, while a non-worrier would have the capacity to think, "That woman is in distress, but maybe she breaks away from her assailant and runs to safety," Moser explains.
Non-worriers are able to see that there could be a positive outcome to a negative event. They ask themselves the right questions. And is it imminent? They know how to perceive their negative emotions.
Meanwhile, people who have a healthier psychological outlook tend to look at negative emotions as a sign that whatever is causing those emotions -- whether it be relationships, or work, or bills -- needs attention. They use emotions to make informed decisions.If you worry and nothing’s wrong, you’ve wasted precious time over nothing.
If you worry and something is wrong, you’ve still wasted precious time. Every time we use the present to stress about the future, we’re choosing to sacrifice joy today to . "I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough." -Albert Einstein.
Stop worrying about the future because sometimes the worst is not as bad as you think. Our minds play this weird game of attaching strings of thought with one another. One thought leads to another and then to somewhere else and then to another place entirely.
"It is with the submarine that the initiative and full freedom of the seas rests. The aircraft carrier, whatever realistic scenario of action is drawn--that of operations in great waters or of amphibious support close to shore--will be exposed to a wider range of threat than the submarine must face.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Einstein: I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. In the words were printed in “Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook: A Treasury of the Wisdom of the Ages”, and once again Einstein was credited.