Excessive worrying is a common way that people can cope with anxious feelings, but when we worry too much it can be a bad way of handling the inevitable ups and downs of life.
10 things about worrying:
1) Worrying is a way of helping us to feel safe. It is similar to checking. In the same way we may check (and double-check) we've turned the iron off, worrying about things helps us to explore every different eventuality to see what might go wrong and how we would cope with that if it did.
2) Worrying is habit-forming. It is a way that we can learn to deal with our anxiety to help us to feel safe...it is a bad habit though.
Do you iron your socks, or even your newspaper?
Are you a perfectionist? Do you strive to ensure that everything you do is done perfectly? Is your house spotless? Do you rehearse your work presentation it for hours, even days or weeks? Do you check your emails again and again for spelling mistakes? Well perhaps your perfectionism is a cruel illusion, and that the only thing that is perfect is the cage you are creating for yourself.
Why? Well because as David Burns (2000) argues in his book 'Feeling Good' - perfect doesn't exist! If you think about it, everything that is so-called 'perfect' will have flaws if you look close enough. That spotless house may have dust on the floor behind the dishwasher, or carpet fibres that are slightly unclean. The excellent work presentation may have a couple of coughs and perhaps a questioner's raised hand wasn't spotted. The folded clothes may have a sock that wasn't ironed carefully enough, or there may be a fluff bobble on a jumper. Nothing is 100% perfect. Therefore if you insist on perfectionism, you set yourself up to fail.
Perhaps the most important aspect of both Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Psychodynamic Counselling, is that they both strive to better understand the patient, and it is this deeper understanding, and the therapist and patient process of uncovering it, that paves the way to healing.