A New Study Says Worrying Might Actually Be Good

We're constantly told we worry too much, but there's a new study out with evidence that says a little bit of worry is fine: in fact, it might actually be good for us.


A new paper by psychology professor Kate Sweeny argues that worrying is good for both our body and our mind. "Despite its negative reputation, not all worry is destructive or even futile," Sweeny says. "It has motivational benefits, and it acts as an emotional buffer."

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In her article, "The Surprising Upsides of Worry," Sweeny states that worry is an important motivator and protector, and that it prevents people from entering unpleasant situations.


For instance, if you're worried about sun damage, you are more likely to wear sunscreen. If you are worried about never writing that novel, you are more likely to put pen to paper. If you're worried about getting into an accident, you will put your seatbelt on. That's all good worry.

Of course, too much worry is not a good thing either. "Extreme levels of worry are harmful to one's health. I do not intend to advocate for excessive worrying. Instead, I hope to provide reassurance to the helpless worrier -- planning and preventive action is not a bad thing," Sweeny says. "Worrying the right amount is far better than not worrying at all."

Well that makes us feel better.