When I am too stressed, I get stomach aches and headaches. When I worry, I don’t pay attention to what I am doing and I have accidents.

worryI broke my arm a couple of years ago because I stood on my desk to hang a picture and then fell when I stepped from the desk to the chair. When I got to the emergency room, the nurse said, “You know you can buy a stepladder at Lowe’s for $39.99.” It was not funny then, but it makes a good point. Stepladders are very useful tools, but making progress with this type of stuff takes time. I will never stand on my desk again, but I still have not bought a stepladder!

The rest of the story: Recently, I stood on the bed to hang a curtain and fell and broke my other arm. I had not learned my lesson. I screamed and yelled and scooted on my behind to get to the phone and call “911.” I could have changed my behavior before I fell, but I didn’t. I still need to slow down and not take shortcuts. Hopefully, I will not soon forget this lesson.

Worry won’t help you. Worry cannot change the situation, but it can motivate you to take action. Worry is uncomfortable; “that’s its job,” so to speak. When we are uncomfortable, we are motivated to do something about it. I was not worried enough about falling off of objects upon which I should not climb. I didn’t pay enough attention to the risk. I needed a little extra worry about falling to make me be careful. The idea is enough worry to make you careful, but not enough to get in your way.

What makes you worry to the point you are uncomfortable? 

Is there something to which you need to (I won’t say worry, but) pay closer attention?


kathy seifert, ph.d.Dr. Kathryn Seifert , Executive Director of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, has worked for over 30 years in the areas of mental health, criminal justice, and addictions and has provided treatment and assessment services to youth and adults in community settings.

She holds a Ph.D. and is a licensed psychologist in Maryland. Dr. Seifert has specialized in the assessment and treatment of youth and adults. She has lectured both nationally and internationally and provides training on the topics of “Assessing the Risk for Violence,” “Attachment Disorders,” and “Attachment Violence & Assessment.”

Her books and CD’s include: How Children Become Violent, Youth Violence, and Relax. Her blog can be found on the Psychology Today website . She has appeared on CNN and Discovery ID.

sad, mad or stressed