Friday, July 25, 2008

The Hermit Says...Why Worry ?

Most of us get the occasional stomach-churning bout of worry, but just because we all get butterflies doesn’t mean worrying is a healthy habit... it isn’t! When you worry, you are living in a future world that may not ever happen. Also, just because you don’t know a future outcome it doesn’t mean it’s going to be negative.

Worry can motivate you to do things like warning your children not to talk to strangers or double-checking directions to get somewhere. Now these reactions are pretty normal. Worry only becomes ineffective when, for example, you are still contemplating getting lost even though you have mapped out your route and printed out the directions. In other words, you have taken steps to insure a positive outcome yet you still spend time and energy on expecting a negative result.

There are ways to reduce how much you worry about things. It takes practice but what it boils down to is changing how you think about the world and really believing that tomorrow is going to bring something great, not something awful.

Here are a few of the most common ways in which we worry along with simple advice to help put worry behind you.

1. Seeking constant reassurance

There is no harm in getting a second opinion about something, but asking for it repeatedly is not useful. That's because it’s easy to second-guess any answer you get, especially if you doubt yourself to begin with. For example, you are worried that your partner no longer finds you attractive so you ask them. They reply (hopefully!!) “Of course I find you attractive” but you’re not convinced, so you ask them again…and again…and again…

No reply they give provides you with the absolute certainty you need.What you need to do is stop and ask yourself why you are not taking the answer at face value. Are you hoping to validate your fears? At the end of the day the answer you've been given is the only one you are going to get, so accept it and then take steps that will help you believe in yourself... without having to rely on feedback from others.


2. Ignoring your worries

Maybe you fear losing your partner. When the thought pops up, you put it right out of your mind. By not allowing yourself to think about this fear for even a second you think you are not worrying about it. In reality what you are actually doing is reinforcing your fear by not facing it….

Instead try repeating to yourself “It is always possible that I may lose my partner”! Your anxiety levels will shoot up at first but, after a few minutes, you will calm down as the thought loses its power. By doing this you will discover that just because you are thinking about the worst-case scenario it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen.


3. Arming yourself with irrelevant information

It’s a good idea to gather as much information as you can about something that is bothering you, but the value of it depends on the type of information you have collected. For example, if you are worried about flying and Google “plane crashes” you will find lots of information about terrible accidents. But what if you looked for “safe plane landings” instead? It is called Confirmation Bias... wanting to prove your fear is real and then finding information that confirms it. You need to ask yourself “Am I collecting useful information or am I just confirming my fear?”


Now how about a nice cup of coffee...? It's fresh, don't worry !!


blondie said...

I dunno Jim.
Have always been a worry wart.
Just something I do :(

But I'll work on it, OK?
Thanks for the info and the coffee,

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...just as long as you don't worry too much!! Thanks for dropping by this morning..always good to see my Colorado Cupcake here!

See ya..

Myrna said...

Hermitjim - I used to worry a lot -and carry it around in the day and
especially at night. Ugh !! then a friend told me to pray about - turn it over - and it was hard to do at first - and takes a lot of practice but it does become a habit , at least it has for me.
Mind you just when I think I am not going to worry something comes up just to test me !! So I might allow worry to set it for a couple of minutes then I deal with it - and it disappears.

Thanks for your great information .
Have a good rest tonight.

HermitJim said...

Hey Myrna...sure is good to see you again. I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and visit.

Learning not to worry about things too much is a hard thing to do. I know...I had to really force myself to clear my mind for a minute, relax and then let a higher power take care of things.

The Good Book says that we will never be given more than we can handle. It's never easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is, is it?

Thanks for the comments and the visit! I appreciate it...

Myrna said...

you're welcome !!