Worry and concern can be hard to distinguish. Many people interchange the two as if they are the same. However, there is a difference between having a healthy concern over a problem and unhealthy worry.
Let’s delve into this a little deeper….
Concern is a way of thinking about a problem with the intent of finding a healthy way of resolving it. Genuine concern focuses on the healthy treatment of self and others and promotes beneficial actions and behaviors. Concern is also tempered with confidence, optimism, and hope and strengthens relationships.
Worry expresses fear and anxiety over a problem that you believe you may not have any control over or are able to solve, fearing that the problem will lead to a poor or devastating outcome. Worry also can be difficult to identify because somehow, we are convinced that if we worry about someone or something, that means we care.
Worry does not need to equal care and love.
We often will justify worrying but it steals our peace and occupies most of our free time as we ruminate over the problem; instead of working toward a reasonable solution.
Worry can be devastating. It often paralyzes us from moving in a positive direction and from focusing on daily concerns. Worry is driven by fear. (As stated in the anxiety blog). Someone who worries usually has no or weak goals to get to a positive outcome. It weakens relationships and overtakes faith with doubt. It will also reduce our mental and physical health by causing us to experience many of the following symptoms:
- Prolonged aggravation and irritability
- Panic attacks
- Desperate decision making
- Irrational thoughts
- Weight gain
- Excessive weight loss
- Social Isolation
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
This may be a tough concept, but worry can ultimately promote selfishness and self-centeredness because it can pull you away from others and it has a way of turning you inward and isolated causing you to forget what it is to be your best self for you and those around you. It steals your peace, drains and robs you of reliable strategies that could be put into place to move forward in a timely manner. It increases anxiety and can leave you feeling hopeless and out of control. Nothing good comes from worry – nothing!
Instead, we need to care and love with healthy concern. This is a better and more profitable way of dealing with problems.
If help is needed, please contact Life Wellness for coaching or mentoring so that you can live in peace and with life satisfaction.
Concern and Worry: How Occupational Therapy Can Help
Occupational therapy focuses on increasing emotional regulation and stability by focusing on decreasing the effects that come with stress like worry, fear, and anxiety and by helping the person to develop a plan to move in a healthy and positive direction. Occupational therapy takes into consideration personality and temperament realizing that these play key roles in how a person deals with stress and problems that come up in life.
It is Life Wellness’ mission to help every individual to stay engaged in activities that are meaningful, healthy and purposeful so that each person can live life to their fullest.
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, S1–S48. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.682006