If it’s one thing that I see in the lives of many people today, it’s unnecessary worry. You see people worrying about a whole lot of nonsense. Worrying about what they’re going to eat, worrying about how they’re going to pay the bills, worrying about what’s going on with the kids, worrying about the job, worrying about what they heard on CNN…just constant worry.
I’ve coached people who were once professional worriers. They used to wake up worrying and go to bed worrying. The irony of it is that they didn’t understand the magnitude of the problem they were causing when they continued to worry. And they failed to realize the consequences. You talk to the average person and they will try to convince you that nothing is wrong with worrying. They’ll even say something like, “everybody does it”. First of all, that’s a lie. And secondly, you shouldn’t come to the conclusion that something is OK, just because everybody supposedly does it.
It can be quite devastating to a person, if they never really understand how destructive worry can be for the worrier. Once they realize the negative impact of unnecessary worry, and understand that worry is a form of fear that should not be tolerated, the light bulb usually goes on. So if you’re worrying about the economy, worrying if it’s going to rain tomorrow, worrying if you offended someone at work today, worrying if you got a disease, worrying about what you saw on television, or read in the newspaper, worrying if you’ll get laid off from your job, worrying if you’ll have enough gas to get to work…if you are worrying about all of these type of things, then you’ve formed a bad habit that needs to be broken. Why? Because there is absolutely nothing good to be gained from useless worrying, and everything good and perfect to be gained from being happy.
Worry is when you meditate on what’s negative. Worry is fear based meditation. And the first step to overcoming fear is to recognize it. Worry is fear in disguise. It’s when you deliberately and constantly think about something that has a negative result… always considering the worst outcome, and then, before you know it, you’re consumed by non-stop worrying.
And when someone continues to worry, they’ll soon find out that the things that they are worrying about the most, the very things that they fear the most, guess what? Without realizing it, they are now planning on it actually happening. It’s like they’re rehearsing their worst fears, over and over.
Just like a person can produce successful results in positive meditation, they can also produce the same kind of results in worrying. What happens is that, without warning, through persistent worry, a person now becomes an active participant in some type of tragedy that they’ve created through worry. They have no one to blame but themselves, because they helped create the disaster that’s happened in their life, because they worried, and meditated on it every chance they had, day and night.
They should applaud themselves for laying down such a good foundation that was created for the sleepless nights they go through, the loneliness they feel, the depression they endure, their dreaded fears, the anxiety they experience… and all of the things that are going on in their life…they created it. When you worry, you are spending useless time thinking on the worst possible scenario. Worry is a form of fear that you must deal with, otherwise, it will deal with you.
When you find someone sitting at home constantly saying things like “Oh, my oh my, I’m so worried. Oooh, I’m worried about my job, I’m worried about the brakes on my car, I’m worried about my child, I’m so worried something going to happen to my child, I’m worried something bad is going to happen to my child”. Then, this worrier finally gets the manifestation of what they kept worrying about, the very thing they have helped to bring to pass through their successful, constant worrying.
They get that 4 a.m. phone call that their child is in the hospital or in jail. And what’s the first thing that this worrier will cry out? “Oooh Lord, I knew it!” Well yes, they should have known it. They meditated on it long enough for it to come to pass. So, why wouldn’t it happen? But for some reason, what people don’t realize is that worrying does create, what it creates, on the negative side. What they constantly worry about is created in reality, because worry is meditating on the wrong thing. And whatever a person meditates on over and over, the results are guaranteed.
Some of you reading this article are worried about something right now, worried how long it will take you to read this article, worried if the sun’s going to shine tomorrow, just worried about nothing, worried about what someone thinks about you, worrying if you have enough money in bank. The worried mind endlessly keeps alive life’s possible perils. Instead of coming up with creative solutions to potential problems, anxious thoughts keep the worried person stuck in an inflexible, relentless rut.
Worry is the most common form anxiety takes. Fearful, upsetting thoughts can become ruthless. Dr. Daniel Goleman suggests, “Chronic worry has all the attributes of a low-grade emotional hijacking”. The habit of worry becomes so ingrained that the anxious person can always find something to worry about, worry about lack, worry about social embarrassment, worry about your haircut, a fear of failure, rejection in love, family problems, on and on.
The Profile of a Worrier
Have you ever met someone who’s a real worrier? They’re intense, sometimes extreme. You see it written all over their face. Just looking at them, you can tell that something is wrong. Ask them something like, “What’s wrong with you today?” Before they reply, you’ll see that their entire character is personalized with the traits of a worrier.
Look at the way their entire mouth is twisted to the side, their face crooked, they are usually slouched over, walking with a shuffle, and when they begin to speak, their words come out in a slow drawl, and they’ll say something like, “You know, I just don’t know, Oh, I’m just worried”. And then you reply, “What are you worried about?” And the worrier will reply, “You know, it’s always something”.
Concerned or Worried
A valuable distinction needs to be made between effective concern and useless worry. Your worry list may include many causes for genuine concern. If you eat a high-fat diet, smoke cigarettes and drink, and don’t exercise, you are at greater risk for a heart attack: valid reasons for concern, right?
The difference between a valid concern and a useless worry lies in your ability to do something about the potential disasters that may lie ahead. Concern leads to action. Worry leads to potential destruction. If you’re concerned about your health, do something about it. Make changes in your diet, begin a regular exercise regimen. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Concern is a natural expression of your ability to control your own destiny.
Worry is contrary to being concern. When you worry, your power to do something about potential problems never really enters into picture. You fail to come up with solutions. The opposite is the case, instead of coming up with solutions, you add more possible worst-case scenarios to the picture. Worry arises from feelings of powerlessness. When a person worries, for instance, they may speculate on all the problems their family will face if they lose their job. They always worry about something bad happening. The worrier is always in the mist of some type of disaster, helpless in doing something to solve the problem, while a concerned person is always seeking a way to create solutions.
Research has shown that being consumed with worry and being happy at the same time is hard to accomplish, because both cannot occupy the same space equally, one will overtake the other…it’s your choice…choose to be happy. If you just took out a few minutes every morning, when you first wake up, and meditate on positive outcomes for the day instead of worrying, your brain reward you with happy, inspiring thoughts. This simple task can help you look and feel 10 years younger.
Here’s a quote I think you might like:
“If we would keep filling our minds with the picture of happy things ahead, many worries and anxieties, and perhaps ill health, would naturally melt away. Always expect the best. Then if you have to hurdle a few tough problems, you will have generated the strength and courage to do so.” ~ George Matthew Adams
At the National Stress and Anxiety Prevention Center (NSAPC), we promote total health – body, mind and spirit. While we focus on the mental aspects of relieving stress, anxiety and depression, we must not forget that nothing is impossible for God. Remember that anything you do outside of your regular routine challenges your brain. When you challenge your brain, it can give you better memory, clearer thinking, and sharper focus for the rest of your day, and the rest of your life.