Worry - a futile erroneous zone | Sunday Observer

Worry - a futile erroneous zone

2 October, 2022

Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained - Arthur Somers Roche

Psychologists have identified certain types of behaviour and feelings that create unhappiness. Some of them are worry, anger, guilt, rigidity, insecurity and procrastination. According to Wayne W. Dyer, an acclaimed therapist, they are the erroneous zones you should avoid in every stage of your life. Out of them worry is rated to be the most futile erroneous zone.

Worrying about something or the other is quite normal. The problem arises when you become a compulsive worrier who always feels that you might be laid off from work or unable to support your family.

Even children worry whether they could complete their education successfully. Those who worry have a fear of losing weight, inability to sleep or they feel sick frequently. Most of these problems can be solved if you can choose to be content with life. However, constant worriers never feel content. They feel it is their responsibility to worry every day about impending disasters.

After a few days of worrying, you might get a better job or a salary increase. Then you feel satisfied. You realize that all of your worries had been in vain. You begin to think of adopting a non-worrying approach to life. However, this process will not occur easily.

Professional worrier

I had a colleague who was a professional worrier. He said he was being followed by detectives. His stress levels led to many diseases. He used to complain of a heart attack. When he travelled to office by train, he saw a plane flying above high-rise buildings and crowded cities. He was worried whether the plane would crash.

While reading newspapers his attention was drawn to a news item highlighting the possibility of a nuclear war. If that happened, he imagined, all the people would be killed.

An elderly teacher used to complain that she was worried about her children. She asked, “What will happen to my children if I die?” However, she is a minor-league worrier concerned only about relatively small personal problems.

Whether you are a professional or minor-league worrier, you can learn the art of dealing with such worries. In the first place, worry is one of the most futile emotions.

You can worry about something for the rest of your life, but you will not derive any benefit. If you worry about a future event, just remember that you have no control over certain events.

Why do you want to worry about something over which you have no control? Do not get this wrong because planning for the future is always good. When you plan, your activities will contribute to an effective result.

Culturally, worry is one the most common forms of emotional distress. Some people say they are destined to suffer because of their karma. If you cling onto such an idea, you will always worry about your future.

If you worry obsessively, your situation will not improve a wee bit. In fact if you worry about something too much, you will find it difficult to deal with the present.

Uncontrollable events

If you are really keen on reducing your load of worries, there are many ways to deal with them. The first rule is that you should never brood over uncontrollable events such as the war in Ukraine.

If you keep on worrying about such uncontrollable events, your life will end up in misery. If you cannot do anything to stop the war, why do you want to worry about it?

A couple of years ago, a friend stayed with me to complete his thesis. He did not want to be disturbed by his children or friends. However, instead of completing his thesis, he was constantly worried about his children.

Finally he could not complete his thesis and failed in the examination. “I can’t do anything because I am worried about my future” is a common lament. In fact it is easier to worry about something than doing what you are expected to do.

Some people have a misconception that if they worry about someone they become a caring persons. A mother would say, “I can’t help worrying about my daughter because I love her.” Others may call you a good mother, but you lack logical thinking.

So never worry about the safety of your children if you have already taken precautions. When children go abroad for higher studies they are intelligent enough to face difficult situations.

Sometimes worrying works as a handy justification for counter-productive behaviour. An overweight person has something to worry about. Instead of worrying he should seek ways and means of reducing his weight. Some people start drinking and smoking to get over worries. What happens ultimately is that they become addicts.

I have seen people complaining of chest pain without taking any treatment. If you have a chest pain, consult a doctor. The chest pain is not something to worry about. It is something to be cured.

Physical discomforts

According to medical experts, worry can produce ulcers, hypertension, cramps, tension, headache and backache. To avoid such physical discomforts, you can fall back on a psychological support system.

From now on, begin to devise some strategy to reduce the number of troublesome worry bugs. To start with begin to lead a normal life rather than becoming a worrywart.

Your lifespan on this planet is relatively short and do not waste your precious time by worrying over trivial matters. Plan for the future but do not worry about the outcome. The best antidote to worry is action.

You can learn something from the young man who wanted to live on an island. He enjoyed taking long walks but soon discovered that there were dangerous animals on the island.

Instead of worrying about them he carried a long stick which could be used in self-defence. When animals saw him carrying a stick, they ran away. The young man adopted sensibly effective steps against worries.

You should always try to recognize the preposterousness of each particular worry. Ask yourself whether you can change your future by worrying. You will remember how many of the things you once worried never materialized. Then you will realize the absurdity of worrying about future events that might or might not happen.

Another strategy is to allocate shorter periods of worry time. Instead of worrying throughout the day, worry only for ten minutes. Use such periods to fret about every potential disaster you might encounter. Every day try to reduce the period you have allocated for worrying. You will soon realize it is useless worrying about many things in life.

Some people save money for a rainy day. That is a sensible habit. However, if you start saving money without enjoying life, it will lead to unhappiness. The key word is SAVE and do not waste what you earn. This does not mean that you should not enjoy life. Do not waste the present with immobilizing thoughts about the future. All the strategies lie within your reach. [email protected]