Dr Oz: What’s Worrying You?
Do you have a problem with worrying? If it takes over your life, it can actually make you sick. Stacy Kaiser and Dr Oz shared advice on how to make a Worry List and Positivity Jar to win the war on worry.
Dr Oz met a woman who worries about every aspect of her life, from her family to her health, always jumping to the worst possible conclusions. “I literally worry myself sick,” Martha said, admitting that it keeps her up at night and gives her heart palpitations.
Dr Oz: Physical Symptoms of Worry
Did you know that worry furthers itself, leading to more and more worry? Martha went to a sleep clinic for a sleep study to see just how much her worrying is affecting her life. After watching herself on a video, she could not believe she was seeing herself.
Martha said that worry gives her palpitations and makes her nauseated. Doctor Oz pinpointed this as a fight or flight response, because your brain in sensing danger. She is getting revved up and has nowhere to go. Her anxiety is creating stress and cutting into her sleep.
Dr Oz: Sleep Efficiency & REM Sleep
Dr Oz said that a good night’s sleep is very important for health. The average person will sleep for 90% of the time they spend in bed. But Martha only slept for 57% of the time she was in bed. No wonder she is tired!
As for her deep REM sleep, which is when you dream, the average is 20-25% of the time. But Martha only spent 7.2% of the time in REM sleep. Now she has something else to be worried about.
Disrupted or inadequate sleep can cause or correlate to many other illnesses during your waking hours. Martha then got to meet Stacy Kaiser, a psychotherapist and contributor to Live Happy magazine.
Dr Oz: How Worrying Affects Loved Ones
Stacy Kaiser said that releasing worries during the day will help you sleep better at night. Martha talked about her constant worry about her family, and Stacy asked about her family’s reactions to them. Her worrying is driving them crazy, because of how much she loves and cares about them.
Her nickname is The Worrywart, but she would rather be a jokester. Martha wants to be a comedian, but worrying has overtaken her identity. She said she does not know how to change, and she feels stuck in this pattern.
“The first step to making a change when you’re stuck is making a decision that you don’t want to be that person anymore,” Kaiser said. She suggested that Martha slowly cut back on her worrying.
Dr Oz: Winning the War on Worry
Dr Oz said that we have bad habits that sabotage our relationships with loved ones. He advised Martha to stop worrying and start changing her life. What advice did Stacy have for Martha and others who compulsively worry?
Stacy Kaiser said worrying does have benefits. It can be a way of connecting with others, and it puts our brains into problem solving mode, even though we don’t have control over many of the situations we worry about.
Dr Oz: Worry List
40% of the things we worry about never happen, and 30% of worries are things that happened in the past. Those are some stats that give interesting perspective.
- Write down your worries. Sit down for five minutes to brainstorm worries (anything you can think of, small to big) and get them out on paper.
- Ask yourself, “What keeps you up at night?” When it’s quiet and there are fewer distractions, be observant of the worries that crop up then.
- Cross items off the list that you cannot control. You can’t worry about them anymore.
- Go through your list and think about what steps you can take to proactively fix the problems or find solutions.
Dr Oz: Positivity Jar
Create a positivity jar in your home. Write down the things you are thankful and grateful for, each on individual pieces of paper. Reach into the jar when you are worried and you will replace negative thoughts with happy ones.