Often people are not too sure what they’re actually worrying about. We don’t preach that worry in itself is an unhealthy thing, but rather that worry often alerts us to problems that we should be concerned with.
However, if this becomes excessive, it can reduce our efficiency and our state of happiness. If you can’t nail down what you’re worrying about, it is of the unhealthy variety and you should “ventilate your mind of its cobwebs.”
Here are some simple helps to banish worry:
1. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and all is well
We should not worry our lives away over trivialities, and one has to watch oneself on that! Think of what you worried about last week. Did you accomplish anything by your worrying? And haven’t many worries melted away into thin air? You can’t think of a single problem you ever solved by worrying about it.
You believe in living in the NOW, doing now, not the things we want to do, but the things that we know are the right things to do. And if you could remember all the things you worried about last year, or last month or even last week. You know 99 percent of them would seem absolutely ridiculous.
2. Take a worry break
You promise yourself to put all your worries over to the following Wednesday and think about them then. By Wednesday, they’ve frittered away. This gives you a break from much inconsequentia as well as important worrying the rest of the week. The things that have to be done usually resolve themselves by then into some kind of clear-cut action you can take.
People spend much of their lives worrying about money, health, home, loved ones, politics, war, youth… as many kinds of worry as there are people.
When a person gets to be a really accomplished worrier, he will discover that some disturbing things happen to him. He becomes chronically depressed, fearful, and oversensitive. And he develops physical troubles. Almost universal characteristics of incessant worriers are irritability, insomnia, and constant fatigue.
One of the most malicious causes of worry is hurry. You can hurry while sitting down, apparently doing nothing, or while waiting for a bus. Why not adopt as your slogan: “Easy does it!”
Stop rushing. Let yourself out of the hurry bag you’ve been scrounged into. Think of how much time there is to use, rather than how little!
3. Protect children against anxiety
It’s a woman’s nature to want to keep her family safe. Women protect their children’s safety through regular medical care and by observing and teaching good safety habits.
Fear is often a protective mechanism that keeps you on guard and causes you to take steps to ensure safety. As such, it is thought necessary for self-preservation.
Not so with chronic anxiety. This depressing mental-emotional state is destructive to mental serenity and happiness and is conducive to physical distress.
Take whatever steps you can take; then after doing what you can do, quit worrying. It won’t help.
Many mothers unwittingly fill their homes and children’s minds with worries. It is particularly important that children be protected against the development of chronic anxiety. Hence they need affection, reassurance, and a feeling of security. Children of a sensitive disposition especially must be guarded against anxiety or they may suffer scars that could persist throughout life.
Many children are made terribly anxious by such threats as the “bogeyman” if they aren’t good. Such worries, child experts find, can be exceedingly harmful.
4. Put the past away in mothballs
Break yourself of the habit of going over your own life or others’ past lives with a fine-tooth comb to catalogue past misdeeds and making yourself miserable over them. Occupy yourself with wholesome thoughts and interests, and cultivate a cheerful outlook.
How many people uselessly fret about the impression they’re making! If they realize that others are just as worried about their impression, it can help banish this stress-making waste of thought.
Worry has been called the “fifth columnist disease,” with 7 out of 10 patients who visit doctors finding worry to be all that’s wrong with them!
When you worry, your body sets free poisons in your bloodstream, poisons that can in time wreck your work, knife your ambition, make you a liability to yourself and your family.
What’s more, worry now is known to be a direct cause of a host of physical ailments including asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, eczema, stomach ulcers, and diabetes. It can seriously impair circulation and even cause loss of hair!
Singly or collectively, these ailments won’t help your image much, so the sooner you start un-worrying, the better.
5. Don’t take worries out on others
Some feel it’s healthy to unload worries on others, starting with husband or wife – and very occasionally it may be healthy.
Dr. Daniel Brewer, of the American Psychological Association, says, “But little is gained when you merely make your spouse a dumping ground for all your worries without first giving them some constructive thought yourself. If a man shares his worry the moment he gets it, he robs himself of his sharpest defense; the period of really hard thinking that will most help him find a way out. I often suggest a long walk.”
6. Keep a worrier’s first-aid kit
Everyone should be equipped with the ability to forget himself. Fill your kit with tricks on how to keep your chin up when it starts drooping… with proven prescriptions for optimism about life in general, a trust and interest in your fellow men, be they passing friends, long-standing acquaintances, or potential sources of revenue.
Others need you, what you have to give. Try spreading around some encouragement, some well said flattery, and see the smiles light up. This is good therapy for your own worries too.