*This article was originally published in the 2019 issue of VERGE Lifestyle & Urban Culture magazine.
Chronic worry is becoming increasingly more widespread. According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans are feeling more worried, stressed and angry than ever. Despite the many conveniences that most of us seem to enjoy and have access to in life, many people still feel overwhelmed with worry and feelings of depression.
“...learn the lesson of surrender - not giving up, but letting go.”
-Francine Ward, Esteemable Acts
According to the poll, both wealthy and poor Americans experienced worry alike. Americans were also reportedly among the most stressed in the world. In fact, the author states that Americans are more stressed now (as of 2018) than they were during the recession years, with 45 percent reportedly feeling “worried a lot” and “more than 22 percent reportedly feeling “angry a lot.”
Chronic worry is experienced when people think about their problems excessively. People who worry often think negatively while dwelling on their problems rather than the solutions. Worry is also linked to anxiety or uncertainty about a situation over which you feel you lack control. Excessive worry can cause you to get stuck in life and create misery; it can also make you ill.
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Chronic worry can severely affect your mental, physical, and emotional health and prevent you from enjoying your life. In his book, How Not to Worry, Paul McGee, international keynote speaker and performance coach, notes that everyone worries, and that worrying about the challenges you face in life are unavoidable. Worry becomes an issue only when it becomes excessive.
Chronic worry can lead to anxiety disorders, which is among the most common mental illness affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. And although the condition is highly treatable, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that only about 36 percent of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive the proper treatment.
The Problem With Worry
Worry, stress and anxiety are connected. It’s what McGee refers to as the “unholy trinity.” Because of the subtle connection between worry, stress and anxiety, these afflictions are often confused with one another, and can even feed off of each other, which is why some people may worry without realizing it. McGee explains, “Worry is a form of thinking, anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling or emotion, and stress is the body’s physical response to a perceived threat.” For the most part, worry can be the cause of anxiety and physical stress, or worry can be brought on from experiencing some physical form of stress or anxiety first.
Reasons why we worry
People worry about things that are important to them. It could involve any number issues related to family, health, finances, relationships and work. People may also worry about something that happened in the past, or something currently happening in the present, or something that could happen in the future. However, the main reason why people worry is because of fear - the fear of being out of control.
Photograph by Jacob Lund
|Read the full article, "How to Release and Let Go!" in the back issue of VERGE Lifestyle & Urban Culture magazine. Click here to download the issue now and become inspired!|