Worrying. It doesn’t feel good, yet at the same time it can seem as if we’re doing something necessary and even right when we worry. It might even seem as if not worrying means we don’t care or won’t take steps to prevent things going wrong. And we might wonder…without that nagging sense of worry, will we become apathetic blobs, sitting on the couch and watching television instead of taking action to remedy the problems in our lives?
Contrary to what many people believe, worry is not a natural state. It doesn’t help us plan, find ways to mitigate risk, or generally stay out of trouble. Quite the contrary: our brains are hard-wired to become less creative and responsive when we feel fearful or threatened – and what’s worry but an experience of threat, anxiety, and low-level fear? (more…)