People who worry all the time, even when there’s not much to worry about, usually have these 10 traits

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Worrying is a strange thing: it can serve a purpose to keep us safe from harm, but too much worry can waste our time and energy. 

Reasonable worry makes sense; too much worry makes no sense. 

Those who worry too much tie themselves in knots trying to avoid danger and succeed in their goals…

But they often end up worrying so much that they stay trapped in their mind and sabotage relationships and opportunities along the way. 

Here’s how you can spot somebody who worries way too much. 

1) Constant nervousness 

Those who worry a lot are constantly nervous. 

Just waiting in a line for a minute at the cafe has them jittery. Being on hold for five minutes has them frantic. 

They worry about whether they’ll be late for their work deadline even when their work is actually ahead of schedule so far. 

It’s just constant nerves and worry. 

2) Fidgeting and nervous tics

Fidgeting and nervous tics are the telltale trait of somebody who worries too much:

They find it hard to hold their hands still, tap their feet like there’s a hidden beat that only they can hear. 

They sweat in cold environments and have clammy hands all the time:

Barring a physical condition, this is a chronic over-worrier, no doubt about it. 

3) Trouble concentrating

Trouble focusing is another thing that chronic worriers struggle with frequently. 

They find it very hard to shut down the over-worrying tendencies of their brain, and as a result it’s very hard to focus entirely on one thing. 

The stressed out cerebrum has trouble honing its attention on only one thing, because it’s constantly looping back to other worrisome matters and sifting through them once again. 

4) Difficulty sleeping 

This is on a related note to the previous point:

Insomnia is a common problem for those who worry too much. That’s because as soon as they lie down to sleep there are no more distractions. 

Then the worries in their head come up roaring and refuse to leave them alone. 

Sleep becomes an increasing impossibility until sheer physical exhaustion or a remedy like melatonin manages to make it happen.

5) Extreme stress over decisions

Decision-making can be tough, especially when faced with two good choices or a difficult dilemma. 

Even the calmest among us may struggle and agonize a bit. 

But for the over-worrier, even the smallest decision is a hurdle they can barely deal with, much less fully decide on. Even responding to a friend’s text with a certain emoticon becomes tortuous for them.

This chronic form of worry over decisions can often be linked to low self-esteem and a poor self-image. 

6) Inability to tolerate uncertainty

This relates directly to the previous point and is very common for those who worry:

They just can’t stand uncertainty. 

Not knowing what’s going to happen keeps them up at night and even positive anticipation or excitement ends up becoming an object of worry. 

“What if moving to California is way better than moving to Denver? What if it’s the better choice?”

Many of us might enjoy having this kind of problem in our lives, but the worry wart turns it into a real headache.

7) Catastrophizing about the future

“What if X happens?”

This is the constant obsession of the person who worries too much. 

Even if you were to show them that the chance of X happening is only 0.00001%, they will still go down a Google rabbithole for hours more and analyze it to death. 

And if that worry eventually wears out they’ll find a new one. 

Many things can go wrong in the future, although the irony is that most of what people worry about isn’t what ends up truly being their cause of death or downfall. 

Worrying is of limited use, and when it becomes obsessive it’s highly counterproductive! 

8) Obsession over other’s opinions

The person who worries too much often gets overly obsessed about the opinions and reactions of others. 

This is very time consuming and also leads to a lot of extra stress and worrying that’s totally unnecessary. 

There isn’t any way to read the emotions or thoughts of others with certainty, and guessing too much just leads to extreme anxiety. Sometimes the only solution is to be a bit more direct about it. 

As clinical psychologist Susain Heitler writes:

“Instead of guessing others’ reactions, ask…

“Assuming the best goes hand in hand with assuming that if the friend has a negative reaction, they can talk about it, clear the air, and then continue on with their friendship.”

9) Excessive self-criticism 

People who worry too much aren’t only worried about what others think and feel, they’re also likely to beat themselves up quite a bit. 

By being so hard on themselves, the over-worrier is generally trying to attain some measure of control and security over a situation or an aspect of themselves they feel bad about. 

This also ties in a lot to low self-esteem, since it is linked to the belief there is something wrong with them. 

They are full of regret and self-recrimination over the smallest thing, often driven by an inner feeling of shame and unworthiness.

10) Intense perfectionism 

Intense perfectionism is another aspect of the person who worries way too much. 

They often try to attain some ideal that they imagine in their head which nobody else can see, holding themselves to such a lofty level that it’s impossible to attain. 

This often stems from early childhood and a “golden child” syndrome that was passed down by parents who made them feel not good enough. 

Despite these deep roots, however, perfectionism is possible to overcome as the over-worrier begins to realize that they are higher value than they think and that they are still worthy even if they’re not perfect. 

Worry won’t solve anything

Let’s face it: there’s plenty to worry about in life. 

But no matter how much we worry, there’s no way to change most of what happens. 

Worrying about what’s out of our control is disempowering. It spends our energy and attention in ways that aren’t useful and often end up sabotaging our efficacy in making decisions and moving forward in life. 

The key to start worrying less is to practice radical acceptance about what’s out of our control and focus more fully on what we have the power to change instead. 

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