Lots of caregivers find themselves trapped in a cycle of worrying about their aging adult and her health. The problem is that worrying doesn’t actually get you anywhere. But it will burn a lot of your mental energy, which you need for other caregiving duties.
You Might Subconsciously Feel the Worrying Serves a Purpose
Worrying doesn’t really do anything, but it’s really easy to fall into the belief that it really does do something. It becomes a superstition for some people, in fact. They start to believe that as long as they’re worrying about something really bad happening, that action is what is working so hard to keep that really bad situation from coming true. But the reality is that no matter whether you’re worrying or not, if something bad is going to happen to your elderly family member, it still might.
You Feel Out of Control and Worrying Is Something to Do
Much about being a caregiver feels out of control, especially if your elderly family member is experiencing serious health problems. When your brain takes off on a worrying tangent, you might mistakenly feel as if you’re really doing something. You’re not accomplishing anything at all, but it feels as if you are to your brain.
It’s a Distraction from What’s Happening
Speaking of your brain, worrying can serve as a marvelous distraction from what’s going on. Your brain can become so occupied with worrying that you literally cannot focus on anything else. This isn’t a good situation to be in, because there is probably plenty that you really do need to be focused on that you can do something about.
Talk to Someone Who Can Help
Kicking the worrying habit is admittedly not easy. If you’ve been doing this for a long time in other situations, your brain is used to going through these gyrations and it will keep you locked in the worry cycle. Working with a therapist you can trust can give you tools that you can use to break that habit and to learn to replace worrying with a different coping mechanism. As you become more used to leaving worrying behind, you can start to see how much that habit was holding you back.
Even though worrying isn’t all that productive, it’s an easy habit to fall back into. Do what you can to put some practices in place that help you to avoid worrying when you start to feel the urge to do so.