These days it can feel like the age of anxiety is winning over the pursuit of happiness. An uncertain economy is just the tip of our worry iceberg. In fact, in a recent poll of Health readers, 48% of you say you worry more today than you did a year ago.
Here’s another anxious thought: Scientists say women a rewired to worry—at least more so than men. In our poll, 54% of you said you worry more than your spouse, with only 12% claiming your partner worries more than you do.
That’s thanks, in part, to the hormonal roller-coaster women ride month to month and through the years. “The highs and lows can make women prone to feeling everything from anxious to depressed,” says Jerilyn Ross, a licensed independent clinical social worker, president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and author of One Less Thing to Worry About.
And while men tend to be linear problem solvers, “Women are more in touch with their emotions, and worry is an emotion,” points out Judith Orloff, MD, a psychiatrist and author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Your-self from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life.
Still, experts say that with some practice we all can learn to be a little less worried and a whole lot happier. Here’s your recipe for a more joyful life. Read on and say, “So long, dark side.”