Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
– Corrie Ten Boom, a Holocaust survivor
Each of us has a tendency to worry. Some do it more than others despite knowing that worry is one of the major sources of unhappiness and factor responsible for low performance.
Bluntly speaking, worry is a form of self-inflicted emotional harassment usually because of our concern for the outcome of situations beyond control. In other words, it is a feeling of anxiety, excessive concern or apprehension about an event or outcome.
Chronic worry and anxiety disorders occur when the proclivity to worry runs amok. In fact, obsessive worriers reflect their brain’s inability to respond flexibly to changing circumstances.
At the same time, worry is also essentially considered a self-protecting emotion and it not always a bad thing. A positive side of worrying is that it has motivational benefits. It allows us to anticipate danger and take preventive actions. It motivates us to find ways to reduce risks.
Moreover, the pleasure that comes from a good experience is heightened if preceded by a bad experience. So, a certain amount of worry can be healthy.
However, if worry grows out of proportion in anticipation of a danger, it becomes maladaptive. Excessive worry is also known to be a direct source of headaches, insomnia, ulcers, paranoia, anxiety disorders, depression and phobias.
When we worry, our psychological worries start multiplying and we start feeling inwardly tired and exhausted. People who worry a lot are less effective, they get less work done and are often less happy.
Excessive worry is a trait of anxious people. It is also a pattern of those who ruminate over the past and do not accept the reality.
Worrying causes a lot of emotional exhaustion and leads to procrastination. Those who are depressed, worry about the past and those anxious, worry about the future.
See? Not even a single benefit of excessive worrying. Time to quit worrying in that case, right? Well, it’s easier said than done. But we can try.
While clinical cases involving excessive worriers need expert attention, taking a few steps to deal with the tendency to worry should be useful to all of us.
How to wish worries away
Challenge the worrisome thoughts. Remember, there is no point in worrying about things you can’t change. Regarding the things you can change, instead of worrying, decide on a plan of action.
Look at rational assumption of problem and also alternative solutions. Convince yourself that worry is affecting your performance.
Don’t fuss about trifles. Don’t permit little things to run your long-term happiness.
Avoid being in the company of people who are negative.
Bury the past which is dead.
Keep yourself busy. Spend time on hobby, sports, music, social work, etc.
Physical exercise, deep breathing and meditation helps when you’re feeling stressed.
Be in sync with your natural sleep-wake cycle.
Write down positive affirmative statements prior to sleep e.g. I am free from worry, tension, etc.