The majority of us will have had some worries at some point in our lives. There are some people who seem to worry more than others and are known as â€˜born worriersâ€™. In some cases it seems to have become a habit which they feel they have no control over. What might have caused this? Is it a learned behaviour due to their upbringing or is it because they havenâ€™t had helpful role models in this area?
What is clear is that worrying about something actually doesnâ€™t help the situation.
The Oxford Encyclopaedic English Dictionary defines â€˜worryâ€™ thus:
â€˜To allow oneâ€™s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.â€™
When we worry we become emotionally aroused and start to visualise failure or worst case scenarios. This hinders us further, stopping us applying logic to a given situation or problem and unable to move forward and find a solution. Excessive worrying can lead to feelings of fear and a high state of anxiety which in combination can paralyse you.
â€˜For peace of mind we need to resign as general manager of the universe.â€™ Larry Gisenberg
A lot of the time the feeling of anxiety and discomfort many of us experience are about events that will never occur. Our imagination can run away with us.
To be concerned though is to acknowledge such events may occur, but then we need to concentrate on how to either prevent them or resolve them.
A possibility is to change your focus from â€˜worryâ€™ to â€˜concernâ€™. To be concerned means to be involved, to be aware of problems and to focus on solutions. By changing the types of words you use, from negative to helpful ones will help you too.
Is something concerning you?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How can I influence this situation?
- Where is this on a scale of 1-10? (with 1 meaning you can have a very low influence and 10 meaning you can have a very high influence on the situation)
- Is my response appropriate?
- How important will this be in 6 monthsâ€™ time?
The questions will help you focus on dealing with the problem. However, if afterwards you realise there is little you can do to influence the situationâ€¦..then why worry?
(An extract taken from â€˜59 minutes to a calmer lifeâ€™ by Paul McGee, foreword by Andy Gilbert)