Studies have shown that anxious people hold positive beliefs about worry far more highly than non-worriers. For non-anxious people, a little bit of worry used properly can be helpful. But for anxious people these beliefs cause more stress than they solve.

If you suffer from anxiety, so long as you hold the belief that worry is useful or helpful, you will always be half-hearted in wanting to reduce your worry. For this reason weakening positive beliefs about worry is crucial. These are the common mistaken belief about worry that anxious people cling to, what I like to call "Anxiety Myths"...

Responsibility: "Worrying means I’m responsible." For example, some people believe that worrying shows they care. But consider that many people care for other people, or show responsibility, without the need for excess worry. There are many other ways to show responsibility.

Superstition: "I need to worry - I don’t want to tempt fate or jinx myself." Has anything bad ever happened to you even though you worried? Of course, nearly everyone has bad things happen in their life whether they worry or not. As they say, that’s life.

Prevention: "If I worry I can find ways to stop bad things from happening." The problem with this belief is that it is equating worrying with problem solving. This is not true. With worry, thoughts stew in your mind without ever being properly worked out. This is not problem solving. Problem solving involves logically working through your thoughts, which results in a decisive action plan, whereas worrying is mainly just fleeting thoughts bouncing around your mind, without any real end product.

Coping / Preparation: "If I worry I’ll be more prepared or able to cope when something bad happens." The logic here is if you fear the worst then you will be better prepared for that scenario, or be able to cope better. But have you ever worried and something bad happened anyway? Did the worry stop the emotional discomfort? Of course, the answer is no. Worry doesn’t really help prevent emotional pain; all it does is add to the discomfort.

Motivation: "Worrying helps motivate me to accomplish the things I need to get done." For example, someone who believes that worrying about an essay she needs to write will motivate her to do the best she can. When you realize that worry hinders logical, clear thinking, drains you of energy, and causes tension, how much do you think this helps? Not much!

These beliefs prevent you from learning that you don’t need to always worry and that there are alternative ways with dealing with anxiety causing thoughts or situations. These beliefs keep worry stoked; they keep the anxiety cycle going. So, for if you suffer from anxiety, is worry a good thing? Obviously not.

If it were a good thing you wouldn’t be feeling so on edge and anxious. Understanding that worry is not useful or helpful to you will help you progress in overcoming generalized anxiety disorder. Next time you catch yourself worrying ask yourself "Is this worrying hindering more than it’s helping me?" Nine times out of ten the answer will be yes. By

Author's Bio: 

Robert Good is author of Anxiety Zap, a self help course to help anxiety sufferers overcome general anxiety or anxiety attacks. You can read more of his articles here: