Worrying is a part of life whether you like it or not, but excessive worrying can actually be detrimental to your health. When you worry too much, you are putting your body through both physical and mental stress that can lead to significant health problems. A chronic worrier often fears the worst which results in sleep disturbances, changes in appetite and problems with relationships. This constant feeling of worry has the potential to lead to anxiety—another threat to your health. Anxiety leads to disturbing and unnerving feelings that you cannot control. These feelings can lead to losing control of your actions and thoughts.

man worrying

Worrying is a part of life whether you like it or not.

Worrying Yourself to Poor Health

Too much worrying will trigger the body’s stress response known as the “fight or flight” response—either you confront the stress or you run way from it. This stress response sends your adrenaline sky high. It also releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which affects your body in many negative ways such as dizziness, irritability, headaches, shortness of breath, muscle tension and fatigue. It can even lead to weight gain.

On top of these immediately felt affects from too much worrying, more serious health issues like digestive problems, a suppressed immune system, heart attack and memory loss are all possible. Psychological problems like depression and thoughts of suicide can also result from excessive worrying. When you place too much stress on your body, the hormones that normally regulate your body’s systems and functions are disrupted causing all of these health problems.

From Worrying to Coping

While it is very disconcerting to know that too much worrying can lead to poor health, there are ways to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with it. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, meditation and other forms of physical and mental activity can take your mind off of your worries. Quite often, the positive physical effects that you feel after physical activity transcend into positive mental effects. The release of adrenaline and a feeling of euphoria that coincides with exercise provides a calming effect on the body. Be sure to also eat a healthy diet that includes limiting caffeine consumption.

Another important way to relieve the ill effects of worrying is to talk to friends, relatives or a professional if it is starting to negatively affect you. Sometimes just talking things out with someone releases a lot of the stress that you have built up inside of you. Finally, speak with your doctor if making these changes does not make much of a difference. He or she may be able to prescribe medications that can help.

One Less Thing to Worry About

People worry for a variety of reasons whether it is financial problems, relationship issues or world events. It is natural to worry about things that can have a significant impact on your life. But it is not natural for worrying to affect your health. Life can be stressful, confusing, frustrating and scary. Everyone at some point exhibits these feelings. It is when these feelings take over that it becomes cause for concern. When it gets to that point, seek help, make the appropriate lifestyle changes and listen to your body. The last thing you want to add to your list of worries is poor health.

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