Worry V. Concern

Worry V. Concern

Lately, there have been a lot of unknowns. With these unknowns, undoubtedly comes fear, anxiety, confusion, and sadness. It is natural and expected to be concerned right now. But how do we know when we have crossed the line to unhealthy anxiety and worry?

Worry can feel out of control. These thoughts do not come and go; they seem to stay and run in circles through your mind. It is not as simple as a light switch where we can turn off our anxiety; it sometimes can feel like it has a mind of its own. Worrying brings with it stress and a lot of unwanted tension into your mind and body. Worrying seems to come a lot easier during a time when it feels like you cannot escape the negative information being thrown at you.

Concern can be a healthy way of looking at a stressful or negative situation. You can be concerned, but not let the distressful feelings consume your daily life. When you are concerned, you are not ignoring the situation, but you are also not letting the feelings and anxiousness surrounding it take over your mind. Being concerned does not mean ignoring the situation. Continue doing your part: wash your hands, practice social distancing, staying informed on the coronavirus. With concern, there is balance and boundaries.

How do you shift your thinking from worry to concern?

  • Bring awareness to your anxiety – Start a journal and rate how you feel when watching the news; talking about the coronavirus; before washing your hands, etc. If you find yourself feeling anxious in these situations, maybe that is a place where you should set boundaries with yourself.
  • Find boundaries – Find a balance that works for you. Turn off the media. Of course, stay up to date and be informed, but know when it is time to step away. A twice-daily news check-in may be beneficial. Limit conversations surrounding coronavirus if you find yourself becoming anxious.
  • Implement relaxation techniques – Try some breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, etc. These can help calm your mind and body if you find yourself feeling distressed. We have great blogs and resources that can help on our COVID-19 resource page.

It is important to remember that you are not in this alone. Everyone is facing the same uncertainty.  Concern can be healthy, and although this is a scary time, always remember that this uncertainty will pass.