What’s the use of worrying? Strategies for breaking the worry habit

Sarah Edelman

“Worry has been described as an attempt to engage in mental problem-solving on an issue whose outcome is uncertain. We think about bad things that could happen and how we might respond to them if they should occur. People worry about all sorts of things, including the possibility of physical harm, rejection or disapproval by others, failure, loss, harm to loved ones or simply not coping with future demands. Everyone worries at times, and if it happens occasionally and is focused on a real problem that has arisen, it may even be helpful. Indeed worry can have benefits – it motivates us to solve problems, and so may help us to overcome specific difficulties …”