Worrying, as an emotion, is often easy to justify. We tell ourselves that we should worry, because there is something we can claim to be fearful of:
- We worry about our partners coming home from work because there may be a car accident.
- We worry that we left the stove on because it could light the house on fire.
- We worry about our health because we know our parents had heart attacks.
It’s so easy to justify each of these concerns WHEN we’re worried. But if we look at it objectively, the truth is that rarely are we worried about something that deserves worry. Often the worry is about something rare/unlikely, out of our control, or not as important as we are giving it credit for.
Typically, excessive worry is an irrational feeling. For example, if someone develops a fear of flying, it is possible but statistically improbable the plane will crash, with a rate of 1 in 11,000,000 chance. Sure, there is a chance, but would it make sense to quit your job just because you bought a lottery ticket? It makes about as much sense to be afraid of flying.
Most things in life are that rare. Even driving, which is one of the most dangerous activities human beings engage in, has a per-drive mortality rate that is exceedingly low. Meaning, although driving itself can be statistically dangerous, just getting in the car and going for a drive is highly unlikely to lead to any danger – especially when you are not driving under the influence.
Then Why Do We Worry?
The reason we worry is not because these are rational fears. The reason we worry is because it gives us the illusion of control. When we worry it is because our brains convince us that by worrying it can stop the issue from occurring.
But of course, this is neither true nor productive. In therapy, one of the things we do is try to unlearn this habit. Those that experience excessive worry and/or anxiety have developed and learned this habit of worrying over time. Our role is to help you un-learn it and disconnect those nervous thoughts. With three different offices on Long Island, including a new one at Rockville Centre, I would love an opportunity to meet with you to help you overcome any worrying or anxiety.