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The Worrywarts Companion Twenty-One Ways to Soothe Yourself and Worry Smart

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Rescheduled due to problems with BTR. Worry Begets More Worry The job of worry is to anticipate possible perils, to come up with ways to deal with them, and to rehearse what you will do if the danger does arise. The dilemma is that once you start to worry about your shrinking 401K or if you’ll have a job next month, worry begets more worry, setting into motion a vicious cycle of frightening thoughts and anxious responses—worrywarting—out of control worrying. Worrywarts get stuck in identifying danger as they immerse themselves in the dread associated with the threat, spinning out an endless loop of scary situations, paralyzing themselves by blowing everything out of proportion. Don’t try to stop worrying, advises Dr. Beverly Potter, author of The Worrywart’s Companion -21 Ways to Soothe Yourself and Worry Smart, (McGraw Hill, September 2008). Worry itself, is not good or bad, she says. Everyone worries. Worrying is a survival skill because it helps us to identify and prepare for dangers. The problem is that once started, worrying is difficult to control. Allowed to continue unchecked, chronic worry can evolve into panic attacks and, in extreme cases, agoraphobia, which is a paralyzing fear of having a panic attack, especially in public. It can be so severe that, in the worst cases, the sufferer can't leave home.

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