Worry: A Major Contributor to Poor Health

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March 11, 2006 | 6,658 views

A British survey conducted by BUPA insurance indicates that people are worrying more than they did five years ago.

Health was at the top of the list of worries, particularly heart disease and cancer. Fears of bird flu and terrorist attacks caused less worry, according to the 1,800-person survey.

Stress-related medical problems are also becoming more common, including anxiety-caused insomnia. More than a third of those surveyed reported losing sleep.

The survey showed that over two-thirds of the population was chronically worried, and more than one in five people were considering getting medication for it.

That "more than one in five" people seeking medical treatment for worry accounts for about 12 million people in Great Britain alone. Take that same percentage and apply it to America, and the domestic worrywarts could top 60 million. (I suspect this is a conservative estimate.)

Emotions can have an incredible impact on your overall health, both positive and negative.

Worry is certainly a strong variable on the latter side; for example, it can increase your Alzheimer's risks. That makes is somewhat ironic that the primary worry most people have is about their health, particularly heart disease and cancer, two totally preventable, treatable conditions.

Most people fail to realize that you typically will manifest whatever you focus your attention on. If you are constantly worrying you will tend to have a self-fulfilling prophecy and experience the target of your concern through the very process of worrying about it.

The key is to focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. Admittedly this can be difficult and requires some special tools.

The best way to eliminate out-of-control worry doesn't come in the form of a dangerous drug, however. Your best bet is to adjust your body's ability to tolerate stress by learning how to use an energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.

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