The “Worry Gene” and Sound Advice from Walt Disney

Is worry genetic?

The answer is . . .


The discovery of a “worry-gene” made front-page news of the New York Times. The article reported a study published by the journal Science. It turns out, there is a certain gene associated with worry.

This gene (specifically, gene SLC6A4 on chromosome 17q12) has a long version and a short version.

If you get the short end of the stick – I mean, the short version of this gene – from either one of your parents, you’re likely to be more prone to worry, anxiety, and negative thinking.

So what does this mean for you?

You could be a born worrier!

I come from a LONG line of worriers. So, take it from me, even if you’re a born worrier . . . there is hope!

You can learn to worry wisely.


Use worry as a prompt to take action.

For instance:

  • Worrying about your health might be prompting you to take better care of yourself or to see a doctor.
  • Worrying about having too much to do might be prompting you to prioritize, to take a time-management course, or to learn how to say “no.”
  • Worrying about money might be prompting you to see a financial advisor or a credit consultant. It could be signalling you to uncover where your money is going each month.

When you’re feeling worried, the key is to stop and ask yourself:

Is this worry prompting me to take action?

If it is, then take action.

If it’s not, if you’re worrying about something over which you have no control, let it go.

Take it from Walt Disney,

“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”

When a worry pops up, determine whether it’s productive or counterproductive. If it’s productive – if it’s prompting you to do something – take action. If it’s counterproductive – if you’re worrying about something over which you have no control – let it go.

Do your best and forget the rest. 

(P.S. If you, like me, come from a long line of worriers, CALM: A Proven Four-Step Process Designed Specifically for Women Who Worry, makes a great Mother’s Day gift! You can place your order through the store on this website.)