niche worrying
n. Dealing with fears by worrying about one thing at a time.
Niche worrying might seem a plausible way of bringing one's anxieties under control. But then worry expands to fill the time available.
—Richard Heller, “A worrying trend from the States of panic,” Mail on Sunday, July 20, 1997
1997 (earliest)
Cameron Tuttle is the author of The Paranoid's Pocket Guide.

Q: You recommend niche worrying. What is it?

A: Niche worrying is a means of conveniently organizing one's paranoia. It's concentrating on a specific fear or phobia at an appropriate time, like focusing on getting Legionnaires' disease from inhaling steam containing Legionella pneumophila bacteria while taking a shower at the gym.
—“Questions for Cameron Tuttle,” The New York Times, July 13, 1997
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