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12/02/2010 08:48 PM

Why Constant Worry is Useless

Posts: 1013
Senior Member

I ran across this again today, and as the harried holidays approach I thought it would be fun to refresh our spirits with this short essay by author and motivational speaker Michael Miles:

Here are some reasons why worry really is a pointless and damaging activity, though I suspect we all know this deep down...

You have no idea how the future is going to turn out, except to say that it will not be what you think it will be. So why worry?

Worry means you give away your power.

Some people are so entrenched in worry that they cannot see any other way to live. But worry robs you of your power to be proactive. The truth is that you are in control and you can choose how to react to situations, so why choose to give that power away so easily and so unconsciously?

Worrying is completely unproductive.

Why waste your energy doing something that gets you nowhere. On a treadmill, at least you get some exercise, but worry is a truly pointless activity. Spend your time and energy on something more useful.

Worry distorts reality.

We live in an age where people live longer, have better access to health care, have more opportunity for personal and professional growth, more chance to travel, greater access to information and lifelong education, and many other wonderful things. Yes, there are risks and potential dangers, but worry magnifies these disproportionately and blinds us to the wonders of our age.

Worrying is bad for your health.

Worry is not a normal state of mind and it adversely affects your health, even your physical health. When you worry, physical changes are happening in your body which are very damaging. It increases stress which can increase blood pressure, cause higher levels of stomach acid, cause muscle tension and headaches, among many other things.

Worry is not natural.

Do little children worry? Do animals worry? Do all adults worry? There is nothing inherent in being human that means you have to worry. Worry is a pathology, a distortion of our natural, healthy state.

Do you know the most frequent instruction given in the Bible? Surprisingly, it is not ‘love one another' or ‘love God' or anything like that. It is simple ‘do not be afraid.' I don't know how many times it appears, but I've seen estimates between 100 and 366 times. You don't have to be religious to realize that this is good advice.

So how can we break out of this worry habit? Like all habits, it might not be easy to do, but there are some clear, simple and effective steps you can take to eliminate worry from your life.

Realize that you are in control.

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey tells us that the first step to a better life is the realization that we are free to choose how to react to circumstances. Worry is a choice – it's inside our own head and, as such, it is within the sphere of our own influence.

Recognize that worry is a habit.

Like all habits, there is a momentum to worry, and it might not be easy to break away from this, especially if you've been a worrier all your life. But it's possible to change any habit.

Keep things in perspective.

E. Joseph Crossman said, ‘If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.' Are you still worrying about those things? Will all this stuff matter in 100 years from now?

Face your fears.

Nelson DeMille said that ‘Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.' After you do something that scares you, you'll probably find it wasn't as bad as you thought. With time, all your worry will dissipate.

Stop trying to be in control of everything.

You cannot control the whole world. Things happen that are truly outside our circle of influence, and so we need to relax and accept that sometimes things just happen as they will. This is part of life, and worry will not change it one little bit.

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

If you fail, so what? If you screw up, is it the end of the world? Are you really so important that the world will stop turning if you get things wrong? Life is not that serious.

Worry is a dangerous and poisonous thing.

You must not let it eat away at you.

Finally, one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain. ‘I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

Post edited by: bjlvls, at: 12/02/2010 09:25 PM


12/02/2010 10:00 PM
abhome3Posts: 139

Thanks bj. Ah, we need this!!Smile


12/03/2010 02:36 AM
Posts: 316

bj - That is really a good reminder. I am a lifelong worrier as was my mother before me. I ALWAYS imagine the worst. Drives my hubbie nuts! That's good advice to let it go. Barbo

12/03/2010 06:54 AM
Posts: 333

Very good article. I am reading (when I find a minute here and there) Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind. Very similar. You really have to train you mind to stop being negative, especially if it is how you were raised. Worry does not make a single problem go away. NOT ONE. And if realistically positive thinking can help, then I am all for it. Not saying I succeed all the time, but actually recognizing how pesimistic I can be is a start! Heard a cute saying yesterday. "Give the Devil and inch and he be your ruler." and I, for one, have enough problems without creating more!!

12/03/2010 09:11 AM
Posts: 220

Boy, if I could hug you right now I would! I REALLY needed this today (having a week). Thanks bj!!

12/04/2010 10:18 AM
TzuWhoPosts: 124

Wow, thanks so much BJ. I think Worry should have been the number one sin as it causes so many problems. Worry eats a hole in your soul. When worry happens, and it happens with all of us, just tell yourself to STOP, FEEL what is going on and move on. I admit sometimes I forget this so I have to bonk myself on the head a few times to get that through.

12/16/2010 12:47 AM
Posts: 1013
Senior Member

A little bird, or an angel or something with wings, told me in a dream to bump this back up to the top - just for shiggles Wink Then I got to thinking, who do I know named shiggles? Nobody!!! Silly Oh well, here it is anyway! Ok then, back to beddybye for me. Love, B

Post edited by: bjlvls, at: 12/16/2010 12:55 AM

12/16/2010 06:18 AM
Posts: 215

Oh Bj, My name must be shiggles, I needed it again. Thanks

12/16/2010 06:44 AM
Posts: 223

Thank you! Did I make oyu think to do this? LOL!

Oh, I tell myself these things ALL THE TIME! I am working on it!

I am going to print this and read it everyday!


01/31/2011 03:29 PM
Posts: 229

So true! I often "let it go" only to find myself "picking it back up later"....

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