Posted by Veronica Grigore 1408 Days Ago
Worrying too much? How to develop from an amateur worrier into a professional worrier.
Do you find yourself worrying excessively about a variety of issues? The bad news is that there isn’t such thing as a cure for worry if you are looking for one. The good news is that you do not need one. Without predicting the worst you may run the risks of putting yourself in REAL danger. Therefore the function of the worry is to protect you, to make you vigilant, to alert you on a current or hypothetical problem. And this is where your power lies, in differentiating between current and hypothetical worries (about situations that have not happened yet: What if I get dementia when I get old?, What if the pain that I have is a serious illness? What if I get sacked? What if my son will have no prospects in life as he is resisting any learning now?).
Categorising the worry is an important step in dealing with the worries as they arise. People who do not tolerate uncertainty very well are more likely to worry as a way of transforming uncertainty into certainty.
Let's get to know our worries…
The trademark for worry is ‘what if’ scenarios. Worries also come to our mind as questions (they come in disguise as questions cannot be questioned).
Try out: transform the questions into affirmations: I will get dementia when I get old. I will have a serious illness. I will be sacked. My son will have no prospects and will end up jobless and homeless.
The worry is fuelled by beliefs that worrying is good for you (you might not even be aware of this):
Such beliefs make us more likely to worry. They are not necessarily erroneous, however it is proven that the usefulness of the worry decreases as the worry becomes excessive. A parent worrying for the safety of the child might not be available to play with the child when ‘the thinking’ takes over ‘the doing’.
Try out: ask yourself…
Rather than worrying about a problem it is better to solve it. Unfortunately attempting to solve a problem that has not happened yet is counterproductive. We might not be able to do anything now about getting dementia when of old age.
How do we view problems is another important step in claiming the ‘less worry’ status. When we see a problem as a barrier/obstacle we become more frustrated, irritable and anxious. Seeing a problem as an opportunity will help us accept and tolerate situations that we cannot do anything about. Try out: the problem is an opportunity for me to…
Famous quotes about worry have slowly become necessities of life:
'My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened’. La Fontaine.
‘Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment'. Dale Carnegie
'Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength'. Corrie ten Boom
'Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present'. Marcus Aurelius
The worry does not change an event but changes how anxious you are about it.
Try out: worry filtering strategies (you decide which one applies to which worry/situation/problem)
The moral of these notes is that the problem with the worry lies within its frequency: the more we worry the more anxious we get. Some people worry more than others. Worrying less is the way forward and many sufferers will agree that worrying less has its difficulties. The cognitive strategies (problems solving and worry filtering strategies) will help you alongside routinely or ad-hoc physical exercise and grounding strategies (engaging with the here and now with all our senses: cooking, gardening, painting, listening to music).