“I am a professional worrier,” Gray Crawford, Business Manager at Petersgate Counselling Centre admits. “I sometimes joke to others that the amount I worry every day really worries me.”
“I would sometimes lie wide awake in the middle of the night, my brain, which should be resting, somehow finding the energy to start pulling apart, piece by piece, every single thing that I did the day before and catastrophizing what might happen tomorrow.’
“I often think that it would be great if I could just reboot my brain, deleting all these negative messages, just like I would do with my computer when it gets jammed. Then again that could be fatal for humans.”
We are all different. Everyone has their own unique battles, sometimes arguing with themselves, sometimes feeling like we are failing in life, the imaginary devil on our right shoulder becoming stronger than the competing imaginary angel on our left shoulder because we give it far too much more attention than it deserves.
I am not crazy. I am just human. Everyone feels anxious and worries sometimes. It just goes hand in hand with our stressful lives.
Who I can thank for all this worrying is a small part of my brain called the amygdala which has evolved since caveman days to keep us safe. When cavemen were roaming the plains trying to avoid being eaten by lurking sabre tooth tigers the amygdala saved them by telling them that sabre tooth tigers don't like their tummies rubbed. In our modern age however there are not the same number of animals out there wanting to eat us (well at least not in New Zealand), so our amygdala creates the same panic, sending cortisol and adrenaline throughout our bodies, as a result of more mundane, non-life threatening things like our meeting people for the first time.
The problem is knowing when being mildly anxious becomes serious anxiety and you need to seek professional help
Here’s how to tell the difference.