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Kristin Hall

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Updated 01/09/2023

Fact: Everybody worries. But if you’re wondering, Why do I worry so much? you’re not alone.

Feeling temporarily nervous or anxious is a totally normal response to uncertainty in life. But worry can also be a good thing. It can help you examine every angle of a situation and inspire you to do something about it.

On the other hand, not all worries are good. If you face excessive worry in your daily life and find that it prevents you from enjoying yourself, that’s a problem. This kind of constant worry can impact both your mental and physical health. 

Are you thinking, Why do I worry so much? If so, it can be helpful to know the emotional and physical symptoms so you can catch the worry as it starts. You may also want to learn some relaxation techniques.

Here’s everything you need to know to protect your mental health from chronic worry. 

Why Do We Worry, and What Is Chronic Worrying?

As mentioned, experiencing occasional nervousness or worry happens to everyone. However, if you worry all the time and it’s leading you to be in poorer health, you may have an anxiety disorder.

One of the most common disorders that can cause excessive worry is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This condition occurs when someone has issues controlling their anxiety or worry more often than not over the course of six months. 

There are other mental health disorders that can cause worry, too, including

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People with OCD experience difficulty escaping repetitive worries and compulsive behaviors. For example, someone with OCD may worry about germs, so they wash their hands all the time. 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After a traumatic event — like being violated, living through a natural disaster or serving in the military — some people develop PTSD. It can cause feelings of intense fear or worry, which is often triggered by things that remind the individual of their trauma.

  • Social anxiety disorder. Also known as social phobia, this is when someone feels extreme worry or overwhelmed in social situations. It can be general anxiety about being around people or specific to certain scenarios, like public speaking.

  • Panic disorder. Paralyzing worry, heart palpitations and shortness of breath are all signs of panic disorder. Some people experience these symptoms so severely that they worry they have heart disease. This mental health condition can also be accompanied by panic attacks that come on during everyday life.

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Common Things People Worry About

There’s no one thing that causes people to worry. Some may worry a lot when something unusual pops up in their day-to-day life, while others may worry for absolutely no reason.

That said, there are a few common things that can cause worry, including

  • Fear of having an illness, despite there being no notable risk factors

  • Worry you’ll be uncomfortable in social situations

  • Concerns about poor health conditions in loved ones

  • Nervousness around new scenarios or experiences

What Do I Do With Worry?

Living with worry is no way to live at all. If you’re in a constant state of worry, you may actually have poor physical health. Some research has found that people with high levels of neuroticism tend to have poorer health outcomes.

All of this is to say, whether you feel minor or more severe symptoms, it’s important to deal with your chronic worry and anxiety. Doing so can ease constant worrying so you can live a healthier life.

If you’re a nervous person, there are numerous techniques and mental health behaviors you can adapt to stop excessive worrying. It’s best to speak to a mental health professional to figure out what will work best for you.

Here are some things they may suggest.

Meditation

Many anxious people find that meditation helps. There’s science to back this up too. A 2014 study suggests that 20 minutes of mindful meditation decreases anxiety, the idea being that it temporarily reduces brain activity. 

When you practice mindful meditation, the goal is to focus on attention and acceptance. Pay attention to what’s happening in the moment, and if outside thoughts pop in, accept them and push them back out.

If you’re new to meditation, there are tons of apps that offer guided sessions of varying lengths with different themes, like erasing stress or easing exaggerated worry.

Talk Therapy

Therapy is another way to address chronic worry. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to help with the worry caused by anxiety disorders. 

In CBT, you’ll speak with a mental health professional to look at behaviors that enhance your worry period. Then, you’ll work with them to come up with ways to change.

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Medication 

If your worry is debilitating, you may want to consider anti-anxiety medication. This can be used on its own or in conjunction with therapy.

But before going on any new medication, you should speak with a healthcare professional. Be sure to mention any medical conditions or allergies you may have so they can ensure whatever they put you on won’t end up with a poor health outcome.

Medications prescribed for anxiety include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta blockers and benzodiazepines. But we should note medication doesn’t make your worries vanish. Instead, it can help you cope while in a worry period.

Worry is a common condition, but it’s also one you may need medical assistance for. To figure out what may work best to treat your worries, speak with a healthcare professional sooner than later.

Hers offers online consultations that allow you to speak with a healthcare provider about your worries and figure out what treatment options may help you most.

8 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad
  2. What are the five types of anxiety disorders? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/answers/mental-health-and-substance-abuse/what-are-the-five-major-types-of-anxiety-disorders/index.html
  3. What You Should Know About Worrying Too Much, (2006). American Family Physician. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2006/0315/p1057.html
  4. Weiss, A., Deary, I., et al., (2019). A New Look at Neuroticism: Should We Worry So Much About Worrying? Current Directions of Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963721419887184
  5. Zeidan, F., Martucci, K., Kraft, R., et al. (2013, May 21). Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 751-759. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/9/6/751/1664700
  6. Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress (2019). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation
  7. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral
  8. Anxiety Disorders. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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