Worry Warts:  Habit and Addiction

A physical wart is actually a kind of a virus that starts small and grows in size. A worry wart is a negative thought that starts small and gets to be a habit. When you worry, you establish a route along a neuropathway in the brain that becomes a pathway that is easier and easier to take. The negative thought or worry, as it gets larger, bumps other thoughts off the highway. The bigger the worry gets the more it runs other thoughts and feelings off the road of that neuropathway. Since both thoughts and feelings travel on the same neuropathways, what is happening is the worry thought is taking up too much of the road and good thoughts and feelings get run off of the road.

Worry is a habit, pure and simple. It is a habit, even an addiction. To change this, use a technique from the Emotional Gym. Every worry needs to be seen as a gift which is revealing the self-absorption and self-centeredness of the ego. It’s just the ego trying to stay alive and breathe while you’re in the business of becoming a more loving and caring person. Worry is the ego giving itself away and keeps you from being the real self, filled with strengths, that you really are. So every time you worry, decide to use it as a sign to use one of four feelings; love, peace, gratitude or joy. Feel one of these feelings over and over until the worry is gone. You might argue that worry just persists and that you have to feel gratitude over and over all morning long. And just what would be so bad about exercising your choice and feeling gratitude all morning long?

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute