Emotional addiction – the toll of worrying and anxiety

Our emotions are part of the subtle fabric that makes us human. Emotions are often the reaction to events, but they also trigger new events. So what role does worry play in the consciousness? Is there a place for worry in our modern lives? And if we’re ready to change, how can we alter the behavior pattern that reinforces worry?

minute read

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorders are affect 18.1% of U.S. population, or roughly 40 million adults.  I am one of them.  Although I feel only mild anxiety, I can relate with people who are experience fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of change.  Fear of the future.

Fear and anxiety are a part of life.  The “flight or fight” response is hardwired into our collective chemistry in order that our species survive.  But what used to help man be alert and careful (mainly the need to live in hostile surroundings) is warped in the modern era.  Even though there is no longer threat around us, we remain on high-alert and our bodies mistakenly trigger the inner alarm system when there is no danger.  We experience persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.  We cycle through worry, wearing out our immune systems and changing nothing.

So how can we change?

Doctors and therapists suggest that we identify, understand and change our wrong thinking.  For addicts, this is familiar territory and is the basis of the 12 Steps.  The following tips relate to generalized anxiety disorder, or mild anxiety.  More severe cases of anxiety may be related to an unconscious memory, to a side effect of a medicine or to an illness and should be investigated by your doctor.  Feel free to add to this list, or comment on what helps you manage your worries?


  • Accept what you cannot change
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • Avoid stimulants, such as allergy medications, caffeine, nicotine, and decongestants
  • Do not be dominated by one thing, such as work or relationships
  • Do not feel guilty when you have to say “no” to extra duties or tasks
  • Energize your body with regular exercise
    Fuel your body with healthy foods (avoid sugars and salts)
  • Practice relaxation and meditation
  • Reevaluate and rearrange your priorities
  • Schedule time for fun. Laughter dissolves tension
  • Seek professional help when you are overwhelmed
  • Stay on a regular sleep schedule
  • Take a few minutes of quiet time each day

Find an anxiety therapist

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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