Are You Torturing Yourself with Obsessive Worrying?


It is 3am and you turn around in bed for the n-th time as you imagine your house-buy falling through, losing your job, a loved-one being diagnosed with a terminal illness or any other nightmare-scenario. Your fantasy runs wild. Flying from one worst-case scenario to the next you deprive yourself of well-needed sleep. Before you know it, your alarm rings and totally exhausted you get up to face the real challenges of the new day.

Sounds familiar? Many of us are plagued by excessive worrying, at night or daytime. It can even be addictive to wallow in painful imagined scenarios and sometimes we experience a strange pleasure in immersing ourselves deeply in our fears. Often those fears are around events that are unlikely to happen. However once we are fully fused with our thoughts we feel as if those things are really about to happen – with all their emotional and psychological impact.

In some cases we fool ourselves and call it “taking stock” or “thinking things through”. But when we worry we are not taking an objective perspective. We are not looking at things in a rational way. More likely we narrow our attention to catastrophic outcomes.

Prolonged worry brings unnecessary distress and robs time and energy from other parts of our lives.

Signs that you are engaging in unhelpful worrying might be: you dwell on vague or unanswerable questions; your thoughts go round and round in circles; you focus on events that are unlikely to happen; you go through a whole chain of various different things you worry about, jumping from one to the next; you have a low tolerance to risk-taking and to uncertainty; you worry about things that are outside your control. Or perhaps that you have strong anxiety and somehow feel that it is not safe to stop worrying until the anxiety reduces, however it never does but rather increases the more you engross yourself in the troublesome scenarios in your mind.

What can you do? Suppressing worries and negative thoughts can reinforce them and let them come back with a vengeance. A better strategy is to learn how to defuse from your thoughts. Another technique is to allocate worry-time: e.g. every evening you sit in a particular chair and give in freely to your worries for 15 mins. Afterwards you note down if any of your worries are reasonable or need you to plan for preparation or action. Then approach these concerns with rational problem-solving techniques. All else discard. Ban worrying from all other times of the day and from your bedroom.

If you feel you cannot get your worrying under control or need help with this process it can be useful to turn to an experienced therapist.


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Hope Therapy and Mindfulness Services can offer counsellors and therapists who can work with you to support a number of different conditions such as Depression, Anxiety (including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Stress, Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Panic Disorder), Anger, Self Esteem, Bereavement, Loss, Shame and Relationship Counselling, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Marriage Counselling, 

Our Counsellors and Therapists can offer Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Life and Executive Coaching, Psychodynamic Counselling, Block Clearance Therapy, Psychodynamic Counselling, Gestalt Counselling, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Gestalt, Relational Therapy, Family Therapy, Couples Therapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Hot Stone Massage, Swedish Massage, Pregnancy Massage.

We have counsellors and therapists who can either work Face to Face out of our practices in Wantage, Lambourn and Faringdon in Oxfordshire, Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, Little Chalfont in Hertfordshire, Gloucester in Gloucestershire, Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, or Northampton in Northamptonshire. Alternatively, we cover the entire UK using skype, zoom or phone from what we call the Hope Network.

Some areas covered face to face by our counsellors and therapists include Wantage, East Challow, East Hendred, West Challow, Childrey, Sparsholt, Kingston Lyle, Letcombe Bassett, Letcombe Regis, Grove, Denchworth, Childrey, East Lockinge, Ardington, Abingdon, Witney, Faringdon, Ardington Wick, Denchworth, Grove, East Lockinge, Goosey, Baulking, Uffington, Longcot, Fernham, Little Coxwell, Faringdon, Shellingford, Hatford, Stanford in the Vale, Littleworth, East Challow, Buckland, Lambourne, Pusey, Charney Bassett, Kingston Bagpuise, Fyfield, Frilford, Marcham, Garford, Shippon, Abingdon, Appleton, Culham, Drayton, Steventon, East Hanney, Milton, Fawley, Swindon, Oxford, Witney, Rickmansworth, Moneyhill, Batchworth, Croxley Heath, Croxley Green, Woodshots Meadow, Holywell, Batchworth Heath, Chandlers Cross, Mill End, Watford, Maple Cross, West Hyde, Maple Cross, Heronsgate, Northwood, Moor Park, Chorleywood, Leighton Buzzard, Clipstone, Eggington, Stanbridge, Tilsworth, Battlesden, Great Brickhill, Stoke Hammond, Ledbury, Slapton, Northall, Totterhoe, Sewell Aylesbury, Swanbourne, Bletchley, Dunstable, Toddington, Luton, Stoke Hammond, Soulburym Aston Abbotts, Crafton, Ledburn, Grove, Tebworth, Gloucester, Hempsted, Saint Pauls, The Docks, Linden, Tredworth, Podsmead, White City, Kingsholm, Wotton, Over, Coney Hill, Cheltenham, Little Chalfont, Amersham, Chesham, Latimer, Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont Common, Gerrards Cross, Maple Cross.

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