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mramsey's avatar

Why do some people worry more than others?

Asked by mramsey (786 points ) September 22nd, 2009

I am a worry wart. I have the tendency to think the worst thing must have or will happen. If a situation isn’t playing out like I think it should, my mind starts overworking and I think up crazy scenarios.
For example, if my grandma doesn’t answer her phone or my boyfriend forgets to call and let me know he’s home safely..oh my something terrible has happened!
Why do some people worry more, while some are laid back?
Do you tend to be a worry wart?
How do you put your mind at ease?

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14 Answers

shego's avatar

@mramsey I am a fellow worrier, but I think like that all the time, but what I have discovered that helps me, is reassuring myself that everything is going to be fine. If I didn’t do that, I might have been in the state ran mental hospital by now. All you have to do is believe it’s fine.

augustlan's avatar

I am also a worrier. I have general anxiety and suffer from panic attacks, so ‘worry’ might be a bit of an understatement. Therapy and drugs helped with the worst of it, and long experience has helped with the minor stuff. I don’t know why we are this way, but it does seem to be hardwired. One of my children was born anxious, and still deals with it daily.

seventeen123's avatar

I tend to worry quite a bit more than I would like to.
I think it all has to do with parents. My parents (my mom anyway) is the biggest worry wart in the whole world. I think it comes from her.
I put my mind at ease only through telling myself to stop thinking.
Haha, kinda bad, but at the same time the worrying disappears!

jonsblond's avatar

I worry a lot. So does my mother. I think @seventeen123 is right. Parents have a great influence on how you react to certain situations. Luckily I have friends that remind me that when doors close, others open. someone just said this to me right before I found this question. :)

brinibear's avatar

I think it just depends on the current situation that your in. I for one, worry. I make myself sick at times. But it is also because I am a manic depressive person. But I found my ways of calming down through trial and error. I talk to myself, so I know it’s fine. It is weird, but you should try it. If I’m outside, I look up to the sky, and think everything is ok.

kellylet's avatar

When I was in high school I read a book called- The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burn (?) He has exercises where you write what the situation is and your thoughts about it. Next he has you identify what type of thoughts they are (fortune-telling, mind reading IDK the rest) It took me a while to get it but it’s pretty helpful. The lesson of the book- Sometimes it just helps to stop and realize that the story you are creating isn’t real and you are overreacting.

live_rose's avatar

I have general anxiety disorder (social anxiety disorder as well but that’s a bit more common and people kind of laugh it off as being shy) but anyways I worry about I kid you not roughly 88% of the things I do on any given day. Give my a situation and i can tell you off the bat how anxious i’ll be and why. My mom asks me a lot what I think happened to make me this way . . . she think something horrific happened in my childhood scared me for life and now I’m all kinds of messed up. But I can’t place it. Nothing happened I live a dull boring worry-full life. I think some people’s brains are wired that way.

markyy's avatar

My brother turned out like my father. Worry free, not a care in the world. Basically this means no thinking ahead, and living in the ‘now’. You want those pants? buy them even if it means you won’t be able to pay your bills at the end of the month.

Of course I had to turn out like my mother. I have to think about everything, feel guilty, be the careful one, worry constantly about what others might think of me. Sometimes I truly envy them, and even feel that they have a much better shot to achieve true happiness. Ignorance is bliss.

The thing is, I wouldn’t switch with him any time of the day, so yes it bothers me but thats exactly what makes me who I am. I hope that didn’t sound too hateful. He is still the same person I stood up for when we were kids, and who stood up for me (being 3 years younger).

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I worry a lot, but I think it comes from the ability to project into the future and anticipate what could happen. We discuss Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs at work quite frequently, and some of my worrying stems from a need for certainty. I like to know, and be prepared.

What seems to help is when people tell me that they’ve thought through something, and have a plan. Once I know that, I am perfectly happy to let them manage that sequence of events. In other instances I ask people to “help me manage my need for meaningless worry by calling/letting me know when something is started/finished/planned so I will not have to nag.” That works, too.

I had to work really hard on accepting that life happens, and I cannot control events, but only my reaction to them. I cannot know everything all the time. I can only know what I will do in a given situation, and plan for that. I have also worked on budgeting what I worry about, and try to rationalize if something is worth worrying about, or would I rather not waste perfectly good worry on A and instead worry about B. That helps me think of worry as a choice, and I can therefore control it because I’m actively choosing it.

Judi's avatar

I could be a worrier but I make a deliberate effort to not worry unless I can do something to change the outcome.
Worrying about things I can do nothing about is a waste of time and energy. I remember the Serinity Prayer.
God, grant me the serinity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

mattbrowne's avatar

A mixture of genes and upbringing.

wundayatta's avatar

@mattbrowne is correct, in my opinion. I would amend his statement in a minor way. I would say it’s a mixture of genes and environment (since some things that trigger anxiety disorders might happen when you’re an adult).

nwade2010's avatar

I along with most of you worry on a daily basis, the sucky part is I’m only 17 years old :/ – I can’t recall a day in my entire life that I haven’t felt anxious or worried. I think it has to do with the environment that people grow up in, and the way they react to certain situations. My mother had a massive heart attack when I was in 3rd grade and that scared me soo bad! I thought I was going to lose my mom (my bestfriend) thankfully she made it through the heart attack. She had to change her diet, she couldn’t eat any fried foods, nothing fatty or anything with trans fat in it. So when I was in 3rd grade I became a “health freak” I ate just like my mom and I still do to this day.

I think people who suffer from anxiety are just “hardwired”.. we have more wires up in our brain then people who aren’t as anxious. I am a very pessimistic person, I think the worst is going to come out of every situation.

But I just have to step back and breathe and tell myself that God is in control.
It is hard at times, but its the cards I’ve been delt, so I’m trying to deal with it the best way that I can.

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