Share your worries for more happiness and better mental health

Share your worries for more happiness and better mental health

Here at The Happiness Institute we often cite positive psychology and wellbeing research that strongly supports the notion that positive relationships are good for us. 

We usually focus on the positive benefits that come from being "well connected" but an additional benefit is that friendships protect us agains negative life events; and, by default, negative emotions. 

Which is why we love this article from the NYMag's Science of us titled "Why you should never worry alone"

by Melissa Dahl 

The best way to prevent yourself from becoming paralyzed with worry, writes psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, is to simply make sure you never worry all by yourself. Hallowell argues in his new book, Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive, that when you feel real or imagined concerns piling on, share them with a friend, and there's a better chance that aimless anxiety will morph into problem-solving. He believes that worrying alone is one of the major reasons that people can't focus, both at work and elsewhere in their lives.

It's an intriguing idea, so Science of Us contacted Hallowell via email for some additional thoughts and anxiety-management tips.

What exactly is so bad about worrying alone? Can you explain a few reasons why it's so detrimental?

Worrying alone does not have to be toxic, but it tends to become toxic because in isolation we lose perspective. We tend to globalize, catastrophize, when no one is there to act as a reality check. Our imaginations run wild. Indeed, Samuel Johnson, a prodigious worrier himself, called worry a "disease of the imagination." When we worry alone we risk losing touch with reality, becoming paralyzed in worry, making bad decisions, and even getting sick, as toxic worry depresses immune function.

And can you explain some of the benefits of worrying with someone else?

When you worry with someone else, you usually end up problem solving, as you feel more empowered and less alone. A good analogy is if you stand in a big warehouse in the dark alone, you tend to feel afraid, even paranoid, but if you stand in that same warehouse with someone, you feel better…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE