We all worry at some point and often see it a hinderance or wholly negative aspect of life. While it can be negative in a lot of ways, there are also positive aspects of worry. Humans worry for a reason. The problems occur if the worry is too frequent or severe. Then we may benefit from therapy or other mental health treatment options. Still, there are certainly some good things about worry that can be beneficial to looking at your own worrisome thoughts and actions.
Worry is often described using only the negative attributes like nervousness, dread, and fear. Let’s look at some of the positive effects of good stress, or eustress as it is called.
Worry Warns Us of Danger
While we may feel that our worries and anxieties are doing nothing good at all, these feelings are part of our warning system that helps to bring awareness about a threatening situation. Sometimes excessive stress allows us to see that we need to change things or take action in order to make things right.
Worry, stress, and anxiety are part of the overall warning system and can cause us to be more alert. This can help us avoid danger. The danger does not have to be physical danger either. It can protect us from emotional or psychological harm as well. If you feel anxious, try to frame it as a feeling that is trying to warn you. See what your worry is trying to tell you about your situation or the events preceding the anxious thoughts.
Worry Motivates Us
Anxiety and worry can help to spring us into action. They can motivate us to make necessary changes in our life. Sometimes we procrastinate or avoid difficult decisions. However, when we do so, it can be a catalyst for worry. This worry tells us we need to take action and complete the things that we have been putting off.
In fact, there is research that shows that our anxiety may actually give us a competitive edge or improve our performance. Some level of worry may even boost memory and cognition. Our anxiety may influence our decisions towards success. Anxiety and worry can make us pay attention to detail and strive to do better in our task completion. While excessive or distraction worry is likely to have an opposite effect, some amount may be beneficial to our work and responsibilities.
Worry Encourages Us to Be Empathetic
If we regularly deal with worry, stress, and anxiety, we are more likely to have an empathetic perspective. We can understand the difficulties and problems that other people face. Our personal struggles may help us be better friends because we are more accepting of personal challenges that everyone faces.
We may also be more focused on our behavior in social situations. This may help us show more concern and love towards our friends and family. We may also be more likely to lend a hand when another person is overwhelmed by the challenges that life offers.
Worry Helps Us Solve Problems
When we are worrisome and anxious, we are more likely to carefully consider our decisions and the outcomes of each potential solution. This can help us look at a situation with cautious hesitance that can lead to a better decision.
You may even find that the worry allows you to focus on the problem at hand. This is because anxiety and worry make us more alert because it is meant to coincide with the fight or flight response and react to potential threats and danger. This sense of alertness and focus can help us be productive when faced with a problem.
When Worry Becomes Too Much
While there are some beneficial aspects of worry, if it gets too severe it can hinder our ability to function and impact our wellbeing. If that is the case, then it is best to take action in order to reduce anxiety levels.
One tip is to set a time each day where you are allowed to worry without judgment. This can help you put your worries out of your mind except during that time of the day. Then you will be able to focus and function properly the rest of the day. This worry time also allows our mind to process our worries without adding to them with judgement.
You may also find it helpful to take a few minutes to breath and become mindful. Practicing mindfulness each day can help you reduce your overall worry and anxiety levels. There are also breathing exercises that a lot of people find to be very effective for reducing worry.
Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can also help you recognize triggers or thought processes that contribute to your anxiety. Then, you can learn to address the underlying causes and ignore the unnecessary reactions and exponential worries.
It is also a good idea to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes healthy eating, sufficient sleep, and regular exercise. You may also want to avoid alcohol and caffeine and to limit your sugar intake. These things can contribute to anxiety and poor mood.
Finally, if you still feel like you cannot get your worry and anxiety under control, talk to a friend, family member, or mental health professional. This can help a lot and may help you to process the worries. A therapist can help you learn how to cope using cognitive behavioral therapy as well.
When you are worrying, it may be helpful to remember that there is a reason for it. Not only that, but the reason that you are worrying could actually be a good thing. This can cause you to reframe your worry and stop being afraid of the anxious thoughts. In turn, this could actually help to reduce the thoughts that are causing worry, dread, and fear. Also, read about anxiety vs panic attack