When we get into the habit of worrying, it causes extraordinary mental and physical stress. Worrying refers to patterns of anxious, intrusive thoughts that can result in debilitating fears about life. The mind tends to imagine or anticipate events because it craves certainty in a precarious, unpredictable, and stressful world. Since time immemorial, humans have worried about perceived and actual threats, and this innate fear response helped us survive.
But in modern times, we no longer agonize about being chased by lions or raided by a nearby tribe. Instead, our anxieties have shifted to mental threats, such as paying our bills on time and achieving a work-life balance.
The world has never been physically safer, but unfortunately, our ancient brains can’t always differentiate between tangible and imagined dangers. Therefore, negative thoughts can disturb our peace and distort our perception of reality. In other words, we create many problems that don’t exist due to a fear of the unknown.
Of course, it’s inevitable to experience stress and grief in life, such as from significant events like divorce or the death of a loved one. Experiencing acute anguish and suffering from an unexpected situation is normal, especially when it involves family.
But when anxiety becomes chronic, it’s much more insidious and difficult to detect. If you have a heightened fear response, you may not notice until it causes significant mental or physical health issues. Research shows that perpetual anxiety and worry can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, and numerous other ailments.
However, understanding the science behind worrying can help alleviate stress and improve overall well-being.