Being a Worry Wart. Is it in your DNA?

Are you a worrier? Do you come from a long line of worriers? Maybe overprotective parents and grandparents?

Here’s the good news: it’s not biological. There is no “worry” gene. What it is, instead, is a learned behavior. Nurture ousting nature.

Worrying is actually a socially acceptable way of saying you live in fear of what may happen in the future. Most likely, you also lack present moment consciousness.

Worrying is a form of anxiety, causing a host of stress-related physical and psychological problems.

But don’t worry, my nervous Nellies! There are some things you can do to stop the needless nervousness!

Two of my favorite tools, which help improve your present moment awareness, are:

  1. To allot 5 minutes a day to worrying. If you find catastrophic thoughts creeping up at another time, remind yourself you cannot think about these until your designated worry time. Go back to focusing on what is happening RIGHT NOW. (When you get to your worry time, are you even able to remember what it was you were worrying about earlier? Most likely not.)
  1. Take your worry down the “Then What” highway. Imagine the event you are concerned about actually happening, then ask yourself, “then what.” From that point, ask “then what.” Keeping going until you have reached the end of the road. When that highway dead-ends, you will see that the fear is much bigger in your mind than what could actually happen. This exercise gives you a realistic perspective. It also gives you the opportunity to see how much time you wasted worrying about what MIGHT happen, rather than spending your valuable time on what is ACTUALLY happening.

Allow yourself to step out of fear and into freedom. The only moment you are guaranteed is the one that is happening right now. When you project into the future, and a dismal one at that, you miss your life as it is happening AND draw the perception-turned-reality of misery toward you as you resonate on that energetic frequency.

I have been through many traumatic and scary experiences in my life from cancer to raising teenage sons. Worrying about them would not have changed how I handled them; it would only have robbed me of moments that I would not get back.

Worrying and preparing are two different things, so do not confuse the two. I am not saying be unprepared, I am only suggesting that nothing productive comes from worrying.

Let’s get honest and share. Are you an excessive worrier? What triggers your worry muscle? What tools have you discovered to yank you out of future-tripping and back to the here and now?

I hope you have an amazing, worry-free week, and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love


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Terri Cole, founder and CEO of Live Fearless and Free, is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered companies, celebrities, professional athletes and individuals to Live Fearless and Free. Recently, Terri released her first CD “Meditation Transformation”.

  • Ana Paniagua

    I needed this today, thank you

  • Jess

    Thank you! I used up my 5 mins already! No more worrying for today

    •  That’s right! You have much better ways to spend your time anyways :-)!

  • Seeson99

    I wish I was able to read this earlier today, it would’ve stopped me from sitting here at my temp job worrying about things that happened over the last two days. However, work has been busy enough to keep me in the ‘now’ (which is AWESOME!!!). But I finally told myself, I am who I am, and if someone doesn’t like me, I can’t control that. I am the light, and I attract good things. Some people just can’t handle it.

    Love you Terri!!!

    •  Keep saying your affirmations – I love the ones you have! No matter what time you read this, it was the perfect time. xo…

  • Saylorsmom04

    Wow. thanks for the article. I have a major problem of worrying…especially about things to come (the future) I haven’t read this blog in a few days, but when I do there’s always an article that makes me feel better about what I’m going through.

  • Renie

    thanks terri….how about these 2 which you may have already heard….FEAR……FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL and FEAR IS THE DARKROOM WHERE NEGATIVES ARE DEVELOPED.I wander into worry sometimes where I go from being worry or fear free into that worry place which is triggered when I think about job security which has been shaky lately.