“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb
What is a worry?
Worrying is the way the brain tries to protect you from uncertain future events by helping you anticipate what you need to do. The reason worrying is so troublesome is that the events have not happened and indeed may not happen but that does not stop you from exploring them in minute detail.
Worrying in children
Worrying that has become a problem often has its’ roots in early childhood. It is natural for children to worry, they are often experiencing new things and learning how life works, this may make them feel hesitant and anxious. This becomes a problem according to Young Minds when it gets in the way of life, slows down their growth and learning or their ability to build relationships. Parents are a great source of comfort from the worrying, try encouraging your child to talk things through and help them see how they can worry less. Often children worry about things that adults are in charge of and letting your child know you are looking out for them and not to worry is key. The huge bag of worries is a great resource for starting that conversation.
Consider getting your child some support if they are:
- Feeling scared, panicky, embarrassed or ashamed a lot of the time.
- Not having the confidence to try new things, face challenges or even carry on as normal
- Finding it hard to concentrate, or having problems with sleeping or eating.
- Having angry outbursts where the person gets very angry very quickly and feels ‘out of control’.
- Worries or negative thoughts going round and round the person’s head, or thinking that bad things are going to happen all the time.
Worrying is a contagious exercise and before you know it, having started off worrying about one thing, you can end worrying about everything. This seems more intense at night time when you are trying to turn off the mind tapes and get some much needed rest.
– Be clear what you are worrying about.
– Is this something within your control – will worrying about it change the outcome?
– Learn to let go, initially you may have to settle for just distracting yourself from your worried, by working on what you need to be concerned about and letting go off the rest, you will feel the difference
Are you falling into one of these cognitive traps?
We can often find ourselves worrying because of the rules that we have in our mental life, are you giving yourself to higher a standard to live up to?
– Personalising – Assuming responsibility for everything regardless of whether things are within your control or not.
– All or nothing thinking – if I am not perfect then I have completely failed
– Jumping to conclusions – Making negative assumptions without any evidence. Acting like a mind reader, she did not speak to me in that meeting, she must hate me.
– Overgeneralising – having one negative experience and rolling that out to all other experiences – I was not successful at that, so I will fail at everything
– Diminishing the positive – coming up with reasons why positives don’t count – I was just lucky
– Filtering – focusing on the negatives and ignoring the positives, noticing all the things that go wrong and none of those that went right
– Catastrophising- Expecting the worst case scenario and planning for that
– Following the should or should not brigade – being dominated by what you think others do or don’t want you to do
– Labelling – Giving yourself a hard time based on our mistakes
If you feel that your worrying is having a negative impact on your life and would like to learn some strategies to change then do give us a call at the Arden Centre: 01926 298780.