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September 14, 2008

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Dr. Beverly Potter

Wonder what a “worrywart” is and if you truly are one?

The job of worry is to anticipate danger before it arises and identify possible perils, to come up with ways to lessen the risks, and to rehearse what you plan to do. Worrywarts get stuck in identifying danger as they immerse themselves in the dread associated with the threat, which may be real or, more likely, imagined. They spin out an endless loop of melodrama, blowing everything out of proportion. "What if I have a heart attack?" "What if there is an earthquake?" "What if someone breaks in when I'm asleep?"
While worrywarts insist worrying is helpful, little is solved. Stuck in thinking ruts, they stop living in the here and now--the present moment. Worrywarting is torment--a kind of self-imposed purgatory that makes you feel bad, stresses you out, and wastes precious moments of your life.
Worse yet, worry begets more worry, setting into motion a vicious circle of frightening thoughts and anxious response. It is self-perpetuating, pushing into greater anxiety and more worry. Allowed to continue unchecked, chronic worry can evolve into panic attacks and, in extreme cases, agoraphobia, which is a paralyzing fear of having a panic attack, especially in public. It can be so severe that, in the worst cases, the sufferer can't leave home.
For how to stop worrywarting and start worrying smart, visit my site.

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