Worry – An intrinsically human aspect

19 Dec

All of us tend to worry some time or the other.

Our jobs, our children, our finances all make us feel anxious especially when we perceive a threat to any of them

Then there are some of us who are worry warts …. constantly ruminating on various situations and imagining the worst, fretting about things we have no control on and working ourselves up into such a frenzy that our physical and mental health get affected.

Most of our worry is about our future — the unknown, the uncertain and the unpredictable. We fear loss.

The knowledge that things that are dear to us like health, love, independence and the likes can be taken away from us at any time, either due to fate or, as a result of some decision of ours scares us.

Therefore, some concern about the future is inevitable and rightly so, it helps us think through our decisions.

But there will always remain the unknown, and dwelling on the what- ifs and the things beyond our control will only end up sapping us of our energy, fill our days with countless visits to doctors and increase our dependence on prescription drugs.

Incessant worrying is a habit and getting rid of it requires patience, perseverance and replacing the old habit with a new one.

Given this understanding, strategies for change would include

Live in the present; Accept uncertainty.

Its impossible to get certainty on every aspect of our lives.

Yes, there are many possibilities of things not going the way we expect but how much would be the probability of all those things happening?

Instead of concentrating on the possibilities of things going wrong, try to focus on what’s there right now.

The only time that’s certain is the present coz we can experience it ….so live it …as The Buddha says ‘wisely and earnestly’.

Living in the present will make us happier and appreciative of the things around us, energizes and keeps us in in good spirits.

Besides, uncertainty doesn’t necessarily mean bad outcomes and I’m thinking a world where every thing is absolutely certain would be boring.

So plan well, make well thought of decisions and know that there will always be an element of wonder in the universe.

This is easier said than done; after all we’ve programmed our minds default mode to be one of worry.

Maybe we believe we have to worry so we can come up with answers to every question — But this is just an illusion. Focusing on the worst- case scenarios wont stop unpleasant things from happening. It will only prevent you from enjoying the good things in the present.

Have Faith

Although I am not too religious I believe that not everything is known or can be explained. Consequently, its only helpful to have faith that most things will sort out in its own time and the rest you will find the strength to carry along.

If the choice is between fear and faith which naturally translates to worry and being at ease, I would most definitely choose the latter.

Talk about it

When day to day life is impaired due to our constant worrying, it helps to share our fears with a caring individual. Another perspective to the problem at hand may perhaps help us think in a new dimension.

Winston Churchill once said:

When I look back on all those worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.

I find this quote an eye opener…. it prompts me to regularly make a reality check instead of getting swept away in a whirl wind of worries.

How many worries I had this year actually became a reality? I ask myself.

A few did, and I was able to deal with them but a majority of them were only nightmares in my mind.

Nothing can really stop thoughts from racing through our minds but Pause, take a deep breath and apply a new response ………and that will make all the difference.


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