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21 Signs That Your Worries Are Out of Control

Bad things happen from time to time, do they not?

And it makes a lot of sense to prevent them from happening.

Yet, sometimes the bad things in life just show up.

Does worrying about it help?

woman low self-esteemWell, worry is a signal that something bad might happen. It’s useful. Worry let’s you know where to direct your attention to solve potential problems.

If you did not have the ability to worry, who knows what you would allow to happen in your life. It would be dangerous.

• If the company you work for is in trouble, you worry about money.
• If you find a lump under your skin, you worry about your health.
• If you child is failing school, you worry about his or her education.

If you handle the worry well, you allow it to spur you into action. You plan to get a new job, perhaps. You see a doctor right away. You meet with your child’s counselor and teachers. You get on it and solve problems where you can.

Handle worry like this:

1. The worry identifies where you need to take action.
2. Take action to solve problems.
3. When you’ve done all you can, accept the results.

So, worry can play a role in preventing bad things from happening. However, worry itself prevents nothing. The key is taking preventive actions that head off problems. Healthy worry is the catalyst for taking actions that resolve the worry.

If you find yourself embroiled in worry about stuff that may or may not happen, and the worry doesn’t lead to constructive, necessary actions that put an end to the worry, then you might consider that chronic worry is a problem for you to address.

Here are 21 signs that your worry has gone too far:

1. You still worry after you know you’ve done all you can.

2. You worry about (rather than prepare for) things that are out of your control.

3. You invent fantastic scenarios to worry about.

4. You take on other people’s worry.

5. You worry about things that have already happened, replaying them in your head over and over.

6. You automatically assume the worst-case scenario.

7. You experience prolonged physical stress due to worry.

8. You self-medicate worry with to addictive behaviors.

9. Worry affects your sleep, keeping you awake into the night. (Incidentally, sleep is so important for your health that if you cannot turn off your mind at night, you should investigate this simple sleep program.

10. You experience chronic muscle tension from the stress of worry.

11. You experience digestive issues due to worry stress.

12. Chronic worry leaves you feeling depressed.

13. Worrying makes you irritable.

14. People around you are always trying to calm you down or talk sense into you.

15. You feel worried even when you don’t know what you are worried about.

16. If there is nothing to worry about, you find something.

17. It’s hard to let go and just enjoy what you are doing, as if you cannot be content to be worry-free.

18. If someone is late, you immediately assume disaster.

19. Worry makes you superstitious, so you engage in rituals to keep luck on your side.

20. When you’re worrying, nothing reassures you, even if the reassurance is perfectly logical.

21. It doesn’t seem at all possible to live without worrying.

Interestingly, chronic worry can be a form of self-sabotage. As useful and healthy as worry might be under the right circumstances, chronic worry acts more like a monster that destroys your peace.

A tendency worry chronically can come from an underlying psychological attachment to past experiences. At some point, you may have learned – from a child’s perspective – that “nothing ever turns out right” or “bad things are going to happen.”

Experiences like these early on in life form patterns in our unconscious mind and manifest as compulsive thought patterns that plague us as adults. We’re so convinced that the past will repeat itself that we project all the bad possibilities into the future and begin to ruminate on them.

The key to ending chronic worry is to address the underlying psychological attachment that breeds a continued sense of helplessness – the same helplessness you felt as a child that is now recycling itself daily in your present life.

Learn more about how psychological attachments create self-sabotage by watching this free and enlightening video.

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21 Signs That Your Worries Are Out of Control

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2014). 21 Signs That Your Worries Are Out of Control. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 25 Jul 2014
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jul 2014
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