All of us worry from time to time, but if your anxious thoughts keep troubling you, a new coping tactic may well be worth trying...
Research from the University of Sussex, published in the journal Biological Psychology has shown that your first step should be to work out what kind of worrier you are.
Apparently, there is a big difference between what the team call 'normal' worriers and 'pathological' types. Those of us in the former camp will usually see our anxious thoughts disappear on their own, normally when the particular worry has served its purpose.
In case you thought worrying was a total waste of time, the team is keen to highlight that some worries can be beneficial, helping to 'solve perceived problems of daily living', acting as an 'attempt to repair negative mood' or working as a means to try and 'ensure that "bad" things do not happen or to avoid future catastrophes'.
However, the pathological type of worrying isn't so clear cut. This, the scientists say, is characterised by a 'perfectionist approach' that can lead sufferers to obsessively analyse.
Once you've identified which type of worrier you are, the team believe one simple thing will help: you have to force yourself to get over those negative thoughts, ideally by writing it all down.
'Thinking about the idea of stopping worrying when you've had enough of it, rather than when the worrying is somehow "finished" or "complete", could be beneficial,' says study author Christian Jarrett.
So, the next time things start to feel a little overwhelming, perhaps pick up your journal and start scribbling.