Some concerns are quite normal, but not all.
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Are you still thinking about whether you will be ill, whether your husband wants to keep the job or whether it will soon break a war?
We worry about sick – and women are bad. The thoughts can be so bad that they go beyond quality of life and health. So how in the world can we stop worrying so badly?
You know for sure. That much of what you walk around and worry about is totally unthinkable. And should the worry be a reality, then it probably has not helped you think you’re sick ahead of time.
So what’s really the point of worrying? Does it solve any problems in your life?
Fear – no solution
Many think worry is a form of problem solving, says psychologist and doctoral candidate Jonas Vaag.
– But it’s usually not.
The psychologist goes to the cartoon world to describe the simplest possible:
– When the inventor Petter Smart takes on the thinking hat, he is working on problem solving. He is curious, wants to solve a problem and is focused on the solution. When Uncle Screw walks in restless circles around his fortune design, on the other hand, it is because he is afraid that Magica from Tryll will steal it. He worries that something catastrophic will happen and buries in the worrying process.
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The focus of attention is directed solely to the fear scenario that the design of light can disappear – and the outside world is struggling to get in touch with him.
Concern processes can go beyond your own quality of life in addition to relationships with others.
If you spend too much time worrying, you can miss out on good experiences with other people. Instead of enjoying the moments, worry about them.
– It does not necessarily mean worry is dangerous, says Vaag.
– But it’s wise to have a conscious relationship to when you start walking in a circle, so you can work out the ability to get out of the circle or leave to go into it.
Natural to be carefree
The psychologist says he is good at meeting a person who is totally carefree. It’s natural.
– It is not possible to escape from discomfort. Life serves us pain, insecurity, sadness and unforeseen events that we will carry with us to a greater or lesser degree. For example, if you have experienced an unforeseen death in your immediate family, it will be natural to be afraid that others in the family will fall away too.
If you have experienced a serious illness, it will be natural to be afraid that the same will happen again.
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– Life is here and now and most things can be done
– It is natural to feel unease and shock in the heart the first time the child goes out alone. It’s not unusual to sit awake until late at night to wait for the teenager in the house to come home. It is therefore easy to put an equation between concern and consideration. But it’s not that simple. If you look at the concern as an activity, then it’s primarily something you do on your own. Consideration, however, we can show through action. It means the same as being present for someone you love, says Vaag.
– I do not think it’s possible not to worry at all, “says psychologist Harald Holthe.
It’s common for people to worry a bit every day – or at least every week.
– Those who have a worry, on the other hand, are aware that they worry too much. They know that the worries are harmful to them, that they go beyond health and time use and everyday life in general. Yet, they do not feel they are able to control the concerns, Holthe says.
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Why is the brain equipped with this ability to worry? In some cases, may it be advisable to worry?
– If you assume that there is a difference between problem solving, caring and worry, the latter being an anxious activity where you get stuck in mind, it’s easier to say that worrying processes are not appropriate, says Vaag.
The unrest and concern’s function is to stimulate change, for example, that you decide to be careful about wearing a seat belt or contacting a friend you are worried about.
However, if you get stuck in the worrying process, you do not make a change or try another way to solve the situation. The worrying process makes you passive rather than active.
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It does not help thinking that “one should not worry so much”. Instead, you need to change the way you relate to unpleasant thoughts and feelings – the one that initiates the worrying processes.
– When you stay in concern processes, it’s often about controlling your concerns. Either by escaping from them, argue against them or attempt to suppress them. By gradually letting go of this mental control of the concerns, or observing them a little away, you can achieve a more flexible relationship with them, says Vaag, and encourages the following mental exercise:
– Make sure you are at the bus stop. At the stop there will be more buses passing by. Each of them has different concern destinations. At the stop you have a choice. You notice that the buses are there – and can choose if you want to join or not. You are not trying to control the buses. You do not go out of the street and tempt them to disappear. You also do not try to make them change your destination. You let them drive on when they feel like it. Some buses may run into the bus pocket and thrive on you. You’ve been with earlier so why do not you want to join now? Through exercise you can become more aware of what you want to join.
Expose your concerns
Holthe says it’s not advisable to worry, since concern has nothing to do with problem solving to do.
– Concern is closely linked to fear. It is an attempt at mental problem solving, where it is very uncertain what the outcome will be and there is also a great opportunity for a negative result. Then it’s trickers to work to worry less.
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For example, you can work out postponing your concerns at a later time if you start a worrying process that you know will not lead to anything: think that you should only postpone it rather than get rid of it completely. That way you push your concern away, hopefully for good.
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If you find that the concerns are overtaking, there are literature that may be helpful. A good book about anxiety is “Cramped Rooms and Open Places” by Torkil Berge and Arne Repål.
For more help, there are private and public psychologists specializing in anxiety treatment and you can be referred by your GP for treatment with reimbursement.
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