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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Biting one's lip can be a physical manifestation of worry.
Guido Reni's 17th century painting of John the Baptist depicts anguish and worry.

Worry is the state of engaging in chains of thoughts and images of a negative and an uncontrollable nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats.[1] As an emotion it is experienced as anxiety or concerned about a real or imagined issue, usually focused upon personal issues such as health or finances or broader ones such as environmental pollution and social or technological change. Most people experience short-lived periods of worry in their lives without incident; indeed, a moderate amount of worrying may even have positive effects, if it prompts people to take precautions (e.g., fastening their seat belt or buying fire insurance) or avoid risky behaviours (e.g., promiscuous sexual relations or cliff diving).

Excessive worry is the main component of Generalized anxiety disorder.



A Mind Map - Analying The Difference Between Worries & Concern
Anxiety Arousal Flow Control Relaxation Boredom Apathy Worry Enlarge image
Positive psychology's view of worry in terms of challenge level and skill level. Clickable.[2]

One theory of anxiety by Liebert and Morris in 1967 suggests that anxiety consists of two components; worry and emotionality. Emotionality refers to physiological symptoms such as sweating, increased heart beat and raised blood pressure. Worry refers to negative self-talk that often distracts the mind from focusing on solutions to the problem at hand. For example, when students become anxious during a test, they may repeatedly tell themselves they are going to fail, or they cannot remember the material, or that their teacher will become angry with them if they perform poorly. This thinking interferes with focusing on the test as the speech areas of the brain that are needed to complete test questions are being used for worrying.

Dr. Edward Hallowell , psychiatrist and author of Worry, argues that while "Worry serves a productive function", "anticipatory and dangerous" worrying--which he calls "toxic worry"--can be harmful for your mental and physical health. He claims that "Toxic worry is when the worry paralyzes you," whereas "Good worry leads to constructive action" such as taking steps to resolve the issue that is causing concern. To combat worry, Hallowell suggests that people should not worry alone, because people are much more likely to come up with solutions when talking about their concerns with a friend. As well, he urges worriers to find out more information about the issue that is troubling them, or make sure that their information is correct. Another step to reduce worry is to make a plan and take action and take "care of your brain" by sleeping enough, getting exercise, and eating a healthy diet (without a "lot of carbs, junk food, alcohol, drugs, etc). Hallowell encourages worriers to get "regular doses of positive human contact" such as "a hug or a warm pat on the back". Finally, he suggests that worriers let the problem go rather than gathering them around themselves. [3]

In positive psychology, worry is described as a response to a moderate challenge for which the subject has inadequate skills.[2]


  1. ^ Borkovec TD. (2002). Life in the future versus life in the present. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 9, 76–80.
  2. ^ a b Csikszentmihalyi, M., Finding Flow, 1997
  3. ^ 5 steps to control worry

See also

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

What? Me worry?

Worry is one of two components of anxiety (the other being emotionality). Worry refers to negative self-talk that often detracts the mind from focusing on the problem at hand. Emotionality refers to physiological symptoms such as sweating, increased heart beat and raised blood pressure.


  • What? Me worry?
  • What's the use of worrying?
    It never was worth while,
    So, pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
    And smile, smile, smile.
    • George Asaf [George H. Powell], 1st World War song: Pack up Your troubles in Your Old Kit-bag.


  • The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
  • You have nothing to lose. All that you can lose is your tension and your worry, your little-mindedness, fear, and anxiety. And fear and anxiety, tension and worry in the small, little mind will keep the mind from being free, will keep the mind from experiencing its infinite potential, will keep the mind from becoming more powerful on this planet.
    • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • I can't tell you how much time is spent worrying about decisions that don't matter. To just be able to make a decision and see what happens is tremendously empowering, but that means you have to set up the situation such that when something does go wrong, you can fix it.
  • Wer die Wahl hat, hat die Qual.
  • The most effective way to live is as a warrior. A warrior may worry and think before making any decision, but once he makes it, he goes his way, free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting him. That’s the warrior’s way.
    • Carlos Castaneda
  • Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.
  • It is worms which destroy a tree, it is worry which destroys a man.
  • As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.
  • If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.
  • Decide...whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.
  • Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible.
  • Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
  • Sure as night will follow day, most things I worry about never happen anyway.
  • Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
  • Why should I worry? Why should I care? I may not have a dime but I got street savoir faire.
    • Billy Joel, in "Why Should I Worry", on Oliver and Company
  • Worry is the misguided use of imagination.
    • Craig R. Scott
  • A person must try to worry about things that aren't important so he won't worry too much about things that are.
    • Jack Smith

External links

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Look up worry in Wiktionary, the free dictionary


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